2013-2016 Grant Recipients

August 2013

New York State’s 23 public library systems will offer expanded access to literacy services through the New York State Adult Literacy Library Services program. State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries, Bernard A. Margolis, announced today that twenty-three grants have been awarded to public library systems for three years.  Grant awards will total up to $600,000 under Education Law for the three year period.  Actual State funding provided for 2013-2014, the first year of the three-year cycle, totals $167,755. Projects began July 1, 2013 and will end on June 30, 2016.

“New York State’s Adult Literacy Library Services grants help library systems and libraries offer services to improve adult literacy on the job and in the home.  These grants are aimed at helping adult students over age 16 who are not in school take advantage of library resources to continue their education and improve their job skills,” said Mr. Margolis.  “The grant program’s theme for 2013-2016 is ‘Workforce Development at New York Libraries through Public Library Systems.’  Participating public library systems offer training and resources to help New York’s workforce attain literacy levels as well as the skills and tools needed for successful careers.  Workforce development includes literacy, GED (General Equivalency Diploma) preparation, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), citizenship information, as well as job and career information and assistance.”

Adult Literacy projects include programs to adults 16 or older who are unemployed or underemployed; unfamiliar with technology; have low job skills and/or low literacy skills with the opportunity to develop strong workforce, literacy and/or digital literacy skills; prepare for the general equivalency diploma examinations (GED); and improve English language skills through training and resources offered by library systems, libraries and partnerships with various community workforce and literacy organizations.

For more information about the grant program, contact Karen Balsen, Library Development Specialist, New York State Library / Division of Library Development, 518-486-2194.

Following are the public library systems that are receiving New York State Adult Literacy Library Services Grant awards for 2013-2016: NOTE that actual award amounts listed are for Year One, 2013-14 only as funding levels for subsequent years will be determined in future State Budgets.

Brooklyn Public Library (Kings County) – Business & Workplace Discussion Series for Immigrants and English-speaking Learners.   Brooklyn Public Library’s project will target immigrant professionals and entrepreneurs and high-level English-language learners seeking to improve their fluency in English through weekly discussion workshops conducted by contracted facilitators.  By improving their informal and formal language skills, they will be more prepared for interviews and interactions in the workplace.  Partners will include CAMBA, Brooklyn College Adult Literacy Program and Upwardly Global.  Over a three-year period, Brooklyn Public Library expects to provide 510 workplace-centered discussions for an aggregated total of 2,750 adults.
Total Grant Award per Education Law:  $63,999
2013-2014 - Year One Actual Award:  $17,894
2014-2015 - Year Two Actual Award: To be determined
2015-2016 - Year Three Actual Award: To be determined

Buffalo & Erie County Public Library (Erie County) – Workforce Development Outreach Program.   The purpose of Buffalo and Erie County Public Library’s project is twofold:  (1) to increase awareness of library resources available to job seekers, as well as local government, nonprofits, and community workforce agencies; and (2) to directly teach the use of library resources to increase workforce literacy to the unemployed, as well as individuals seeking a career change or looking to enhance existing skills.  With the regularly scheduled programs and events developed through the grant, along with the solid partnerships formed with groups such as: Buffalo Employment Training Center, Buffalo Adult Education, the Erie County Sheriff's office and the Erie County Correctional Facility, this project will reach non-users, elevate the BECPL as a solid provider of employment/workforce information and provide a structure to build on for future programming beyond the grant’s three-year cycle.    
Total Grant Award per Education Law:  $27,000
2013-2014 - Year One Actual Award: $7,549
2014-2015 - Year Two Actual Award: To be determined
2015-2016 - Year Three Actual Award: To be determined

Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System (Chautauqua County) – Path to Success at Work:  Library Classes & Materials.  The goal of the project is to provide free public access to job-related training and materials for residents seeking workforce preparation within the service area of the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System by using three public computer centers to offer basic computer classes, to lend new career materials and to partner with the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES.  Members of the target audience (under-served low-income residents who are unemployed or underemployed and unfamiliar with technology) will achieve short-term workforce success such as completing an online job application and long-term involvement as lifelong learners who benefit from library materials and services.
Total Grant Award per Education Law:  $15,000
2013-2014 - Year One Actual Award: $4,194
2014-2015 - Year Two Actual Award: To be determined
2015-2016 - Year Three Actual Award: To be determined

Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System (Clinton County) – Adult Literacy:  Collaborative Skill Building for Job Search Success.  The goal of the project is to measurably increase the success and “comfort level” of 3,000 adult job seekers with library-based resources.  Selection, delivery, promotion and evaluation of these resources will occur within an established and expanding network of library and agency partners, such as ACAP and Literacy Volunteers of Clinton County, to best meet the expressed needs of Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System’s shared adult learner clientele.
Total Grant Award per Education Law:  $15,000
2013-2014 - Year One Actual Award: $4,194
2014-2015 - Year Two Actual Award: To be determined
2015-2016 - Year Three Actual Award: To be determined

Finger Lakes Library System (Tompkins County) – Building Educational Success in Tompkins County.  The Finger Lakes Library System will partner with Tompkins Learning Partners and the Southworth Library Association to provide workforce preparation resources aimed at people in Tompkins County in need of basic computer and technology literacy.  Grant funds will be used to market the classes to a wide audience, including people currently preparing to take the General Education Development test (GED), and to provide and market the Learning Express database to all patrons located in the five-county service area.
Total Grant Award per Education Law:  $15,000
2013-2014 - Year One Actual Award: $4,194
2014-2015 - Year Two Actual Award: To be determined
2015-2016 - Year Three Actual Award: To be determined

Four County Library System (Broome County) – Partnering to Expand Access to JobNow Resources.   In order to address the high unemployment in the Four County area that stems from low job skills and/or low literacy skills within the regional workforce, the project proposes to extend public access to Brainfuse JobNow, a suite of online resources to aid those seeking to improve their skills and job seeking tools in order to find work and succeed in their employment.  The grant will provide an opportunity for the Four County Library System to work with colleagues, such as Workforce Development and Literacy Volunteers of America, in workforce investment and adult literacy to demonstrate this valuable resource to their clientele at their sites and within the context of their services.
Total Grant Award per Education Law:  $15,000
2013-2014 - Year One Actual Award: $4,194
2014-2015 - Year Two Actual Award: To be determined
2015-2016 - Year Three Actual Award: To be determined

Mid-Hudson Library System (Dutchess County) – Adult Literacy at MHLS Libraries.  Project funds will be used for mini grants to encourage five to nine libraries in the Mid-Hudson Library System who have strong existing relationships with local adult literacy providers, along with institutional infrastructure support, to develop and expand adult literacy programs.  These programs will enhance workforce development services in public libraries and improve adult literacy on the job and in the home.
Total Grant Award per Education Law:  $27,000
2013-2014 - Year One Actual Award: $7,549
2014-2015 - Year Two Actual Award: To be determined
2015-2016 - Year Three Actual Award: To be determined

Mid-York Library System (Oneida County) – Mid-York Library System Adult Literacy Grant.  The goal of the project is to equip unemployed/underemployed adults in the Mid-York Library System to succeed in an increasingly digital workplace while raising awareness of library services through partnerships with local literacy providers.  Participants will gain the digital literacy skills they need to successfully apply for employment in an online environment.  Formal small business development centers will assist potential or existing small business owners and entrepreneurs with their information needs.
Total Grant Award per Education Law:  $15,000
2013-2014 - Year One Actual Award: $4,194
2014-2015 - Year Two Actual Award: To be determined
2015-2016 - Year Three Actual Award: To be determined

Mohawk Valley Library System (Schenectady County) – Adult Literacy Grant 2013-2016.  Adults 16 or older in the Mohawk Valley Library System who are unemployed or underemployed will have the opportunity to develop strong workforce development, literacy or digital literacy skills by utilizing library resources and services through partnerships with community organizations, such as local Literacy New York affiliates.  Library staff will be provided with training on topics relating to workforce development skills.
Total Grant Award per Education Law:  $15,000
2013-2014 - Year One Actual Award: $4,194
2014-2015 - Year Two Actual Award: To be determined
2015-2016 - Year Three Actual Award: To be determined

Monroe County Library System (Monroe County) – Workforce Development.  Through a relationship with RochesterWorks!, a local workforce development agency, the Monroe County Library System will bring workforce development activities to libraries in the county.  Classes will be suitable for the unemployed/underemployed, the first-time job seeker, or the career changer.  Activities will focus on how to search and apply for jobs, as well as computer literacy that will translate directly to marketable job skills.
Total Grant Award per Education Law:  $27,000
2013-2014 - Year One Actual Award: $7,549
2014-2015 - Year Two Actual Award: To be determined
2015-2016 - Year Three Actual Award: To be determined

Nassau Library System (Nassau County) – Workforce Development.  Nassau Library System will partner with HempsteadWorks and The Workforce Partnership to provide workforce development workshops in member public libraries.  The workshops will be offered in English and Spanish; tablet computers will be integrated as appropriate.  Literacy Nassau will assist in promoting the workshops to the target population of adults with low literacy skills.  The project will include an assessment of current services and resources in member libraries and training for member library staff in serving job seekers.
Total Grant Award per Education Law:  $27,000
2013-2014 - Year One Actual Award: $7,549
2014-2015 - Year Two Actual Award: To be determined
2015-2016 - Year Three Actual Award: To be determined

New York Public Library (New York County) – Adult Literacy Library Services Grant.  Project funds will support the acquisition of new materials and staff training workshops to enhance the New York Public Library’s Adult Basic Education and English for Speakers of Other Languages programs.  These programs are designed to help the City’s lowest-level English speakers, readers, and writers to gain the literacy skills they need to obtain jobs and become more self sufficient.  The grant will allow the Library to provide additional classroom materials for 20 classes of 20 students each year, directly serving approximately 400 adults ages 16 and older.  
Total Grant Award per Education Law:  $63,999
2013-2014 - Year One Actual Award: $17,894
2014-2015 - Year Two Actual Award: To be determined
2015-2016 - Year Three Actual Award: To be determined

Nioga Library System (Niagara County) – JobNow.  The purpose of the project is to create literacy-related activities for member libraries, workforce partners and patrons in the Nioga Library System using the database, JobNow (distributed through Brainfuse).  These activities will coincide with the System’s current focus on providing resources for job seekers, both the unemployed and the underemployed.  The Pioneer and Southern Tier Library Systems are also partnering on this project.
Total Grant Award per Education Law:  $15,000
2013-2014 - Year One Actual Award: $4,194
2014-2015 - Year Two Actual Award: To be determined
2015-2016 - Year Three Actual Award: To be determined

North Country Library System (Jefferson County) – North Country Libraries:  Bridging the Digital Literacy Divide.  The North Country Library System will partner with local literacy, housing developments and work agencies (ex. - WorkPlace, 
Oswego County Opportunities, Literacy Volunteers, Dept. of Labor and Dept. of Social Services) to recruit adults ages 16 and over with low literacy skills and help them obtain the skills needed to enhance their professional and personal careers.  Programs and classes will focus on drawing non-library users into the library to utilize job-readiness resources, with the goal of creating life-long library users and promoting the literacy resources available in the library.
Total Grant Award per Education Law:  $15,000
2013-2014 - Year One Actual Award: $4,194
2014-2015 - Year Two Actual Award: To be determined
2015-2016 - Year Three Actual Award: To be determined

Onondaga County Public Library (Onondaga County) – Digital Literacy in Your Community.  Through “Digital Literacy in Your Community,” the Onondaga County Public Library will support adult literacy students in Syracuse by providing digital literacy training with an emphasis on workforce development skills.  Adult basic education participants will develop job search, resume writing, and interviewing skills, and will learn essential workplace skills.  The large community of English language learners will learn basic computer skills from trainers at the Refugee Assistance Program and Partners in Learning, Inc.
Total Grant Award per Education Law:  $27,000
2013-2014 - Year One Actual Award: $7,549
2014-2015 - Year Two Actual Award: To be determined
2015-2016 - Year Three Actual Award: To be determined

Pioneer Library System (Ontario County) – Jobs Now—Live Job Assistance Database.  Partnering with the Nioga and Southern Tier Library Systems, Geneva Public Library, and local workforce development offices, the Pioneer Library System will contract with Brainfuse for the JobNow database.  Unemployed and underemployed adults over age 16 who are not enrolled in school will receive on-demand access to trained career experts to develop unique academic skills and crucial job finding tools through live, one-on-one interview coaching and resume assistance.
Total Grant Award per Education Law:  $15,000
2013-2014 - Year One Actual Award: $4,194
2014-2015 - Year Two Actual Award: To be determined
2015-2016 - Year Three Actual Award: To be determined

Queens Borough Public Library (Queens County) – Queens Library Workforce Development Training.  The Queens Library’s project, through its Adult Learning Centers, will utilize the results of a needs assessment and ongoing evaluations to create a curriculum that ties digital literacy and career planning to the adult learning population’s workforce development needs.  The project will not only improve and expand current library programming, but it will also look at ways to truly assess and incorporate the employment needs of English for Speakers or Other Languages students.
Total Grant Award per Education Law:  $63,999
2013-2014 - Year One Actual Award: $17,894
2014-2015 - Year Two Actual Award: To be determined
2015-2016 - Year Three Actual Award: To be determined

Ramapo-Catskill Library System (Orange County) – Get Job Help @ Your Library.  In order to improve the career and educational opportunities of the unemployed, those in career transition and adults lacking basic literacy skills in need of employment, twenty member libraries within the Ramapo-Catskill Library System will offer one-on-one career counseling and provide workforce development workshops.  The project will involve partnerships with community workforce development facilities and adult literacy organizations to provide career and literacy support to the community.   
Total Grant Award per Education Law:  $27,000
2013-2014 - Year One Actual Award: $7,549
2014-2015 - Year Two Actual Award: To be determined
2015-2016 - Year Three Actual Award: To be determined

Southern Adirondack Library System (Saratoga County) – Workforce Readiness Program.   In conjunction with the Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex Board of Cooperative Educational Services, the Southern Adirondack Library System and its member libraries will offer a National Workforce Readiness Credential training course to library patrons in the service area.  Job seekers, veterans, persons recently completing their GEDs, and persons seeking to improve career skills will learn the skills needed to perform entry-level employment activities and succeed in today’s workplace. 
Total Grant Award per Education Law:  $15,000
2013-2014 - Year One Actual Award: $4,194
2014-2015 - Year Two Actual Award: To be determined
2015-2016 - Year Three Actual Award: To be determined

Southern Tier Library System (Steuben County) – LiteracyLink.  LiteracyLink will be a multi-faceted program involving library staff training and the development of job readiness programs for adults with low literacy, with an emphasis on creating strong partnerships between libraries and literacy agencies.  The Southern Tier Library System will expand on its existing partnerships with adult literacy agencies in the five-county region in order to strengthen library services to adults with low literacy who are seeking employment.  The Nioga and Pioneer Library Systems are also partnering on this project.
Total Grant Award per Education Law:  $15,000
2013-2014 - Year One Actual Award: $4,194
2014-2015 - Year Two Actual Award: To be determined
2015-2016 - Year Three Actual Award: To be determined

Suffolk Cooperative Library System (Suffolk County) – Working Towards Employment.  The Suffolk Cooperative Library System’s project will provide the tools needed for job readiness by improving the specialized literacy and job search skills required for employment in Suffolk County by partnering with Suffolk Community College and the NYSDOL Workforce New York One Stop Career Center in Patchogue.  The literacy and job preparation services currently offered by the Patchogue-Medford Library will continue—with enhanced workforce preparation skills and English as a Second Language classes for new immigrants, the largest segment of which is Spanish speakers.
Total Grant Award per Education Law:  $27,000
2013-2014 - Year One Actual Award: $7,549
2014-2015 - Year Two Actual Award: To be determined
2015-2016 - Year Three Actual Award: To be determined

Upper Hudson Library System (Albany County) – The Force Unleashed:  Public Libraries as Allies in Workforce Development.  Working with their member libraries and local adult literacy providers, the Upper Hudson Library System will target the unemployed and underemployed in their two-county library system to provide them with the skills necessary to successfully enter and/or return to the workplace.  Workforce development resources will include, but not be limited to, literacy and special skills such as computer training, resume writing, communication skills, job searching and GED resources.
Total Grant Award per Education Law:  $27,000
2013-2014 - Year One Actual Award: $7,549
2014-2015 - Year Two Actual Award: To be determined
2015-2016 - Year Three Actual Award: To be determined

Westchester Library System (Westchester County) – GEDConnect! Development.  The Westchester Library System currently supports the county’s 800,000+ GED-eligible residents through FirstFind and GEDConnect!  The services provided by FirstFind.org, a resource for job seeking, licensing exams, and family/health issues; and GEDConnect!, a volunteer-staffed, walk-in tutoring service, will be enhanced and enriched during the project to make residents aware of the resources and services available at member libraries.
Total Grant Award per Education Law:  $27,000
2013-2014 - Year One Actual Award: $7,549
2014-2015 - Year Two Actual Award: To be determined
2015-2016 - Year Three Actual Award: To be determined

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Last Updated: December 11, 2014