Announcement and Guidelines: 2016-2019

Adult Literacy Library Services Program:
"Workforce Development at New York Libraries through Public Library Systems"
Announcement and Guidelines:  2016-2019

Application Deadline: Wednesday, April 6, 2016


The New York State Library announces “Workforce Development at New York Libraries through Public Library Systems,” a 2016-2019 Adult Literacy Library Services formula allocation program to help public library systems work with libraries and other partners to develop and expand adult literacy programs which will enhance workforce development services in public libraries. The overall theme and purpose of the 2016-2019 Adult Literacy Library Services Program is to increase the participation of adults in library literacy programs which will improve their career and educational opportunities. Adults are defined as persons over the age of 16 who are not enrolled in school. This 2016-2019 program will provide funding to public library systems only. Funds will not be awarded directly to public and association libraries during this program cycle.

What is the “Workforce Development at New York Libraries through Public Library Systems” Adult Literacy Library Services Program?

The Adult Literacy Library Services program with the theme of workforce development is a State-funded program which helps libraries offer services which will improve adult literacy on the job and in the home. The Program encourage libraries to become community literacy leaders and to strengthen partnerships between libraries and local literacy providers.  The program is based in Education Law § 273 1 h (2), and Commissioner’s Regulations 90.3 (n). Education Law provides up to $200,000 annually for this program.

How much funding is available to public library systems for 2016-2019?

The 2016-2019 program cycle will run from July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2019, with funds provided annually. Funds will be allocated to public library systems based on a formula approved by the State Education Department.  (For system Adult Literacy formula allocations see allocation chart.)  These allocation amounts are based on statutory funding levels.  Actual appropriations available for 2016-2017, 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 will be determined in the State budget, which is scheduled for adoption by April 1 of each year. If a public library system does not submit an eligible project proposal, the unused funds will be allocated proportionally among the approved public library system projects according to the Adult Literacy Library Services Program formula.

While there are no local matching requirements, public library systems will be expected to report on how they have leveraged State funds and to report system and member library in-kind and matching contributions in the final report for each year of the project. 

Who can apply?

Applicants for this funding cycle will be public library systems. Public library systems must operate their program in direct coordination with local public schools, colleges and other organizations which are operating similar adult literacy programs and are encouraged to collaborate with member libraries, other library systems and agencies. In all cases, payments will be made directly to public library systems and the system will be entirely responsible for budgets, appropriate use of funds, and all reporting requirements. Applicants are required to identify a project manager at the library system who will also be the contact person for project reports and budgetary information.

What types of projects are eligible for funding?

The 2016-2019 project proposals must enhance workforce development programs in public libraries. Workforce development programs in public libraries help adults who are looking for work acquire skills needed for employment and self-sufficiency. Participating adults may use library resources for GED assistance, citizenship information, resume assistance, job seeking strategies, information on career development, and for education and training.

Library systems may develop system-wide projects or may partner with other systems for regional or statewide projects, including training about the provision of adult literacy services in public libraries. Systems may also develop projects that deliver adult literacy services through public libraries and branches. All libraries that provide these services will report to the system and will follow the same fiscal guidelines as the system which has received the funds.

What are some examples of best practices in “Workforce Development at New York Libraries through Public Library Systems” Adult Literacy Program project activities? Suggestions below will be incorporated into the workforce theme for 2016-19:

  • Programming and activities that bring non-library users into the library
  • Programming and activities that encourage adults who need literacy services to become lifelong library users
  • Projects that include partnerships with literacy providers, member libraries, and community agencies
  • Library services and materials for underserved populations including off-site services
  • Projects that develop and/or test evaluation tools for library services to adults over 16 who are not enrolled in school and who need literacy services

Use of Adult Literacy Library Services Funds

Project funds may be used for :

  • Contracts for project services, e.g. programs, planning, publications, trainers, evaluators
  • Library materials for adults over 16
  • Project equipment
  • Project supplies
  • Project publicity
  • Evaluation and publication of a report for project replication
  • Other purposes directly related to project success

Project funds may not be used for :

  • Personnel costs (salaries and/or benefits)
  • Replacing system or library operating funds which are already used to support ongoing programs and services
  • Building modification, construction or renovation
  • Overhead and administrative costs

Project Application Requirements

Online Application

All application materials, program reporting information, and contact information for a project manager must be entered into the project application software. The project manager is responsible for completing all application and reporting information. All forms must be printed from the software for submission to the New York State Library.

Project Manager and Project Contact

The public library system must agree to identify a project manager who is employed by the library system, has expertise in this area, and who will also be the project contact person. Each applicant will also agree to immediately notify the New York State Library’s Adult Literacy Library Services Program Manager, and update the information in the application software, if the project manager changes or if contact information changes. Project managers are responsible for conveying this information to all partners and participants.

Project Coordination and Partnership with Outside Organization

The project must be operated in direct coordination with local public schools, colleges and other organizations which are operating similar adult literacy programs. The partner organization must be named and their role in the partnership identified in the application.

Community Need

Documentation of a need in the community for a coordinated public library adult literacy program related to workforce development.

Project Evaluation

Adult Literacy Library Services projects will demonstrate that the project is effective in meeting the workforce development and literacy needs of out-of-school adults aged 16 and over.

The application must include an evaluation plan for the project consisting of quantitative and qualitative measures and an explanation of how evaluation results will be used.

The evaluation plan must include outputs and outcomes.

  • Outputs are a direct program product such as number of workshops given, number of participants served, and types of materials developed. Outputs are typically measured in numbers because they are basically quantitative.
  • Outcomes show changes in the target audience skills, attitudes, knowledge, behavior or status as a result of the activities of the project.  Measuring outcomes requires project planners to focus on the desired change for the participants and plan for how best to measure that change.

More information on outcome-based evaluation measures

Promotional Plan

Description of a means for disseminating information about project design, implementation, results, and potential for replication should be included.

Publications and Other Products

By completing and submitting the application, the applicant agrees to the following requirement: All products, regardless of format or method of distribution and including Internet web sites, which are created totally or in part under the Adult Literacy Library Services Program, will include the following acknowledgement:

"This publication (product) was supported by (or "in part by") funds from the New York State Library’s Adult Literacy Library Services Program.”

Project managers are responsible for conveying this information to all partners and participants.

Application Process

The application process for the 2016-2019 “Workforce Development at New York Libraries through Public Library Systems” Adult Literacy Library Services Program will be online by mid-February. System staff will need to obtain a user name and password in order to access the online application. All applications will be submitted online. The application covers all three years of the program and must include:

  • Project Manager and additional contact
  • Coordination Partnering Organization (90.3) (n)(1)(i) “…Direct coordination with local public schools, colleges or other organizations which are operating similar adult literacy programs, which is designed to initiate, enhance or extend services to adults to increase their literacy skills.”
  • Narrative - each narrative section should be limited to one page in length.
    • Abstract- a brief one-paragraph synopsis of the project's purpose and target group suitable for sharing with the general public.
    • Need, Target Audience
      • Project Need and Target Audience- Provide documentation of a need in the community for such a project.
    • Project Description-
      • Project Goals and Objectives- What are the project's goal(s) and objective(s).
      • Activities- Briefly describe the activities planned to accomplish each objective
      • Timetable- Provide a time-line of project activities for all three years.
    • Evaluation
      • Project Outputs- What will you measure to provide quantitative data about your project’s service or product outputs?
      • Project Outcomes- What will you measure to show the outcomes or impact of your services or products on the identified target population?
      • Measuring Project Outcomes- How will you measure the outcomes?
    • Budget – each narrative section should be limited to one page in length
      • Funded categories are limited to: Purchased Services, Supplies/Materials, Equipment, Travel.
      • Describe how program funds will be used to support the project activities and contribute to program goals.
      • List monetary amounts anticipated for each of the 3 years of the program for each funded category.
      • Other Funding Sources- List the dollar amount and source of other funds or in-kind services, provided by the applicant and any partner separately for each year, to be used to carry out the project.

Project Reporting

Final Reports for each year will be submitted online and will be due:

  • For the period July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017 (due July 31, 2017)
  • For the period July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018 (due July 31, 2018)
  • For the period July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2016 (due August 1, 2019)
  • Final reporting for entire three year cycle for period July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2019 (due August 1, 2019)




Applications are due

Submit online by Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Applications Approved

June 2016

Official Project Start Date

July 1, 2016


  • Submit application online by April 6, 2016.
    NOTE:  Applications will be submitted through the online system – no other form of submission will be accepted.



  • Please email any questions about these guidelines or the 2016-2019 Adult Library Literacy Library Services Program to:
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Last Updated: March 27, 2019 -- asm
March 27, 2019