Tag Archives: New York State Education Department

Educators: State Ed Department Needs Your Feedback


By on

0 Comments

State Education Building by Matt Wade Photography (Wikimedia User UpstateNYer)The Board of Regents adopted the New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework at their April 2014 meeting. Since then, the K-12 Social Studies Resource Toolkit project has begun and the creation of a field guide to provide guidance on the instructional impacts of the Framework is underway.

In addition to this work, the State Education Department (SED) is also thinking about how best to restructure the Global History and Geography and United States History and Government Regents examinations. In tackling this task, SED is looking for help informing their decision making. In order to gain the valuable feedback educators in the field can provide, four questions are being asked: Continue reading

Uncommon Approaches to the Common Core Event


By on

0 Comments

State Education Building by Matt Wade Photography (Wikimedia User UpstateNYer)The NYS Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education’s second Uncommon Approaches to the Common Core conference will be held in Albany on Tuesday, August 12, and Wednesday, August 13, 2014.

Proposals for an interactive lab in one of six curriculum areas are invited: The Arts, English Language Arts, Math, Science, Language other than English (LOTE), or Social Studies. Lessons or curriculum used during the lab must be aligned to the Common Core Learning Standards and must demonstrate inquiry through the use of primary sources and/or other cultural resources, such as historic objects, multimedia objects, maps, works of art, or natural resources such as plants, soil or rocks. Continue reading

Common Core: New York History in New York Schools


By on

2 Comments

SchoolShould New York students learn about the history of their own state in New York schools?

The question has not been resolved. The State Education Department has been seeking reactions to the latest draft of the New York State Common Core K-12 Social Studies Framework.

The current social studies curriculum dates from the 1990’s. A draft revision completed in 2012 was discussed a number of times in this New York State History Blog over the past couple of years. Continue reading

NYS Library Clearing Thousands of Items From Stacks


By on

14 Comments

TU StoryPaul Grondahl at the Albany Times Union is reporting that the New York State Library is rapidly discarding tens of thousands of items in the stacks of the old State Library beneath the State Education Building.

State Librarian Bernard Margolis, who is overseeing the reduction of the stacks, blames years of State Library budget cuts and an increase in state Education Department paperwork.  Opposition from State Library employees, who remain anonymous out of fear for their jobs, has gone unheeded.

Here are some of the details from Paul Grondahl: Continue reading

Bob Weible: Is NYS History Month Dead?


By on

7 Comments

poster1997lgIt’s true.  November is New York State History Month.

In 1997, New York’s legislature added Section 57.02 to the state’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Law and 1) designated November as New York State History Month, 2) defined the purpose of the month as the celebration of state history and the recognition of the contributions of state and local historians, and 3) authorized the Education Department to undertake projects to recognize the month (while the legislation failed to identify any specific projects, it did suggest student essay contests as one possibility). Continue reading

NY Public Historians: Looking Back, Looking Ahead


By on

2 Comments

albany_state_education_buildingApril 11, 2013 marks the 94th anniversary of Governor Al Smith’s signing the law that established New York’s system of local government Historians (Laws of 1919, Ch. 181). Smith was a history-minded leader.

As an Assemblyman, he had sponsored the bill in 1911 that moved the State Historian’s office to the State Education Department and initiated the state’s local government records program. In 1919, his first year as governor, he was preparing to reorganize and modernize state government.

His approval of the Historians’ Law was a milestone event. New York was, and still is, the only state in the nation to declare preservation and dissemination of local history to be a public purpose so important that it is embodied in statute.
Continue reading

Should We Teach NY State and Local History?


By on

4 Comments

If you have an opinion on whether or not New York State and local history should be taught in our public schools, now is the time to speak up.

As noted on September 17 here at the online news magazine New York History, the State Education Department has released a draft version of the “New York State Common Core K-8 Social Studies Framework” for review and comment until October 11 [online]. There is a link there for people to submit comments. After revision, the document will go to the Board of Regents for adoption as state education policy. Continue reading

Peter Feinman: Social Studies Conference Commentary


By on

0 Comments

The New York State Council for the Social Studies annual conference was held March 22-24 in Saratoga Springs. Several of the sessions were related to the new common core curriculum in social studies.

The primary presenter was Larry Paska of the New York State Education whom Bruce Dearstyne identified in a post last week as the point person in the state for the project. Also speaking was Regent James Dawson. Continue reading

Social Studies Curriculum:Will Standardization Hurt Local History?


By on

1 Comment

The movement to evaluate teacher performance took a new turn recently. According to a press release from Governor Cuomo dated February 16, 2012: “Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New York State Education Commissioner John King, and New York State United Teachers President Richard C. Iannuzzi today announced a groundbreaking agreement on a new statewide evaluation system that will make New York State a national leader in holding teachers accountable for student achievement.” Continue reading

New Netherland Research Center Opened


By on

0 Comments

A ribbon-cutting ceremony today officially opened the New Netherland Research Center (NNRC) on the 7th floor of the New York State Library in Albany. The NNRC will focus attention on New York State’s rich collection of historic Dutch Colonial documents and facilitate access to them for future scholars, teachers and students both here and abroad.

The New Netherland Research Center, which will provide access to the colonial Dutch documents held by the New York State Archives and New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections, is the first step in an international effort to launch a collaborative digitization project to share collections and archives from former Dutch colonies.

During the 2009 Quadricentennial celebration of Henry Hudson’s voyage opening up the New World to Dutch settlement, Dutch dignitaries, including the Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands, visited the Cultural Education Center’s 1609 Exhibition.

At that visit the government of the Netherlands committed to a grant of €200,000 (approximately $275,000) to the New Netherland Institute to continue and expand the New Netherland Project by establishing a New Netherland Research Center. This gift, with matching support from the Institute, are expected to transform what started out as a translation project into a collaborative research initiative with international scope and context.

Modern technologies are hoped to make New York’s collections, along with those in other similar or complementary repositories, available digitally and to promote a more complete story of the Dutch global reach during the colonial period and its lasting impact on today’s world.

The NNRC is the culmination of a decades-long translation effort, the New Netherland Project, at the New York State Library. Dr. Charles Gehring is the project’s Director and principal translator. Dr. Janny Venema is Assistant Director. Both have worked to unlock the wealth of information in these collections by making them available in English. They have also written extensively and spoken widely on the scope and legacy of our early Dutch heritage.

Seventeenth century collections of government records in the New York State Archives and non-government documents in the Library’s Manuscripts and Special Collections constitute the world’s largest collection of early Dutch language documentation of the New World colonies. Encompassing what is now a large part of the northeastern United States, the early Dutch colony, its language, culture and laws, lie at the roots of much of our nation’s modern history. Scholars regularly explore the collections for insights into 17th century life in New Netherland. Russell Shorto relied heavily on Gehring and Vanema and the New York State collections in writing his book The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America.

The New York State Library is a program of the New York State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education.

Documentary Heritage Program Grants Offered


By on

1 Comment

The Documentary Heritage Program (DHP) is a statewide program established in 1988 under Education Law, §§ 140, 207; L. 1988, ch. 679. The DHP is administered by the New York State Archives to ensure the identification, sound administration and accessibility of New York’s historical records.

One component of the DHP is the grants program. DHP Grants are designed to encourage more comprehensive documentation of New York State’s history and culture by supporting projects that identify, survey, collect, and make available important records relating to groups and topics traditionally under-represented in the historical record. DHP is administered by the New York State Archives, a unit of the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants include not-for-profit community organizations, archives, libraries, historical societies, and similar institutions within New York State and consortia or partnerships of such agencies. Also eligible are service providers such as historical service agencies, colleges and universities, professional associations, or other not-for-profit institutions or systems that provide services to historical records programs.

Funding

A total of $92,000 is expected to be available for grants projects. Grants will be available in amounts up to $25,000. Applicants may seek support for personnel; purchased services, including qualified consultants; supplies; materials and equipment costing less than $5,000; and travel as required to directly support project activities and outcomes.

Important Dates

Grants in this cycle are for up to 12-month projects, from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012. Applications must be postmarked by Tuesday, February 1, 2011. Tentative date for the announcement of grant awards is June 30, 2011.

Grant Project Types

Documentation projects identify and ensure the systematic preservation of papers and records that shed light on the people, groups, events or changing political, economic or social conditions of New York State. The ultimate goal of a documentation project is to contribute to the building of a comprehensive and equitable historical record in repositories which make unique original source materials available to researchers and citizens. Typically consisting of three phases – planning, surveying, and collecting, documentation projects usually take at least two years to complete. Cost sharing of at least 20% is required.

Arrangement & Description projects – Arrangement and description are the processes used to obtain physical and intellectual control over materials held in historic records repositories. Arrangement is the process of organizing materials with respect to their provenance and original order, to protect their context and to achieve physical and/or intellectual control over the materials. Description is the creation of an accurate representation of a unit of archival material by the process of capturing, collating, analyzing, and organizing information that serves to identify archival material and explain the context and records system(s) that produced it. The objective of archival description is the creation of access tools that assist users in discovering desired records. Cost sharing of at least 50% is required.

Ineligible Projects

Several types of historical records projects are not eligible for funding under the DHP. These include:

· Projects that do not demonstrate a primary focus on New York State

· Digitization (projects to create digital records)

· Item-level description and/or indexing

· Oral history and/or video taping

· Newspaper collections (these are not considered to be historical records under the DHP law)

· Preservation (i.e., the physical work to conserve, restore, or repair records, or reproduction for preservation purposes such as microfilming)

Topical Priorities

In order to insure that the DHP addresses the New York State Historical Records Advisory Board’s mandate to identify, survey, collect, and make available historical records that relate to under-documented groups or subjects, the State Archives has identified and given priority to specific topical areas for DHP funding. These topics are listed in Priority Levels One and Two below. Although applications for projects that focus on any under-documented group or subject are eligible for funding, they will receive fewer points during grants review than those in Levels One and Two.

Priority Level One

· Population groups in the 20th and 21st centuries
· Economic change in the 20th and 21st centuries
· World Trade Center disaster, September 11, 2001
· Education policy

Priority Level Two

· Environmental affairs
· Mental health

Priority Level Three

· Other under-documented topics in New York State history

Application Process

Grant application forms may be obtained by emailing the State Archives dhs@mail.nysed.gov or by visiting the State Archives Web site www.archives.nysed.gov and clicking on Grants and Awards.

For further information contact:

Pamela Cooley/Documentary Heritage Program
New York State Archives
Room 9C71 Cultural Education Center
Albany, NY 12230
Telephone: 518-474-6276
Email: dhs@mail.nysed.gov

New Netherland: Scholar in Residence Programs


By on

0 Comments

The New Netherland Research Center (NNRC), a joint endeavor of the New Netherland Institute (NNI) and the Office of Cultural Education, New York State Education Department (NYSED/OCE), with financial support from the Government of the Netherlands, announces a Senior Scholar in Residence program and two NNRC Student Scholar Research Grants for 2011.

Student Scholar Research Grants

The grant covers a period of up to three months in residence and provides a stipend of $5,000. A time frame for fulfilling the grant requirements will be established in consultation with the Director of NNRC. No housing or travel funds are provided but
office space is included.

Scholars beyond the undergraduate level and actively working on a thesis, dissertation, or scholarly article are invited to apply. Research must be conducted at the New York State Library and Archives, Albany, NY, in the field of New Netherland history and the Dutch Atlantic World utilizing the Records of New Netherland. Candidates must indicate their research topic in their application. Genealogical research topics are excluded. Considering that much of the secondary, as well as the primary, source materials are in 17th century Dutch, it would be to the student scholar’s advantage to have a working knowledge of the language.

The $5,000 stipend is payable in equal installment upon submission and acceptance by the Director of NNRC of a monthly progress report. At the conclusion of their residency, the student scholar must submit a written report based on their work and deliver a public lecture on their research findings prior to receipt of their final installment.

Applications, consisting of a curriculum vita, two letters of recommendation, and a cover letter outlining the research topic and work plan, must be submitted to the Grants Committee, New Netherland Institute, Box 2536, Empire State Plaza Station, Albany, NY 12220-0536.

Applications must be submitted by October 1, 2010 with awards announced on December 1, 2010.

Senior Scholar in Residence Program

Pre–and post-doctoral students, including independent, non-university-affiliated persons, are invited to apply for a 12-month residency beginning not earlier than January and not later than September 2011 with the specific time frame to be established in consultation with the Director of NNRC. The proposed research will occur at the New Netherland Research Center in Albany, utilizing the resources of the New York State Library and Archives for research in the field of Dutch Colonial America and the Atlantic World. Scholars are expected to include the primary sources of the Records of New Netherland in their research, so a reading knowledge of seventeenth-century Dutch is necessary.

The recipient will be required to produce a minimum 5000 word manuscript based upon his or her research in the primary sources in the field, with NNI/ NNRC having the first option to publish it and holding the copyright. In addition, a public lecture on an aspect of the research for delivery at Siena College, Loudonville, NY, is also mandated. Both requirements must be met no later than the final month of residency and are subject to the approval of the Director of NNRC.

No housing or travel funds are provided, but office space at NYSED/OCE is included.

The stipend is $30,000, to be distributed monthly in equal installments upon submission of a written progress report acceptable to the Director of NNRC. The final payment will be contingent upon meeting the terms cited above.

The application must consist of two copies of a curriculum vitae; one copy of a thesis, dissertation, published article(s) or book; two letters of recommendation; and a cover letter outlining your research interest and work plan. It should be submitted to the Grants Committee, New Netherland Institute, P.O. Box 2536, Empire State Plaza Station,
Albany, NY 12220-0536.

Applications must be received by September 15, 2010. The grant will be awarded and announced by November 1, 2010.

NY Awarded $9.5M to Exapand Library Broadband


By on

0 Comments

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has been awarded $9.5 million in a matching grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to expand computer access in public libraries across New York State. The funding is being provided through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).

The grant will support the State Library’s Broadbandexpress@yourlibrary project to help low-income, unemployed, underemployed, and other vulnerable populations in upstate New York. High unemployment rates, a distressed economy, and a lack of affordable public access to high-speed broadband services, education, training and technical support have been particularly acute in geographically isolated upstate communities. The grant will enable the State Library and its public library partners to purchase equipment to expand the public’s access to computers and teleconferencing.

Broadbandexpress@yourlibrary will provide more than 860 computers in 30 libraries and five mobile training centers across 41 economically distressed upstate New York counties with populations totaling 6,655,824 (2008 census). This grant will allow libraries to extend hours, provide 24/7 access to job search resources, and serve an estimated 50,000 additional users per week system-wide.

New York State Education Commissioner David Steiner said, “Libraries are vital to our communities and our economy. The increased broadband capacity, training and online resources funded through this grant will provide more New Yorkers with access to essential online information for work, healthcare, education, and citizenship as well as E-government resources.”

“What librarians and libraries do everyday is vitally important work,” said State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries Bernard Margolis. “Yet, even though New Yorkers turn to their public libraries more in difficult economic times, libraries themselves have suffered cuts and reductions to their valuable services. This grant will enable our libraries to continue to do critically important work and to expand the opportunities, education, and services that high speed Internet provides to the unserved and underserved in our communities.”

The New York State Library, within NYSED, worked with partner libraries throughout the state and the New York State Office of the Chief Information Officer/Office for Technology (CIO/OFT) to submit the proposal for the grant. In order to participate in this matching grant, partner libraries must make an in-kind contribution to support the project. The total in-kind match is $5.4 million. (A list of partner libraries accompanies this release.)

“CIO/OFT is very proud to continue supporting the innovative Broadbandexpress@yourlibrary project,” said Dr. Melodie Mayberry-Stewart, New York State CIO, Director of the Office For Technology, and Chair of the Broadband Development and Deployment Council. “In these tough economic times, access to free resources is critical for New York’s citizens. Many times, computers located in libraries are the only point of broadband contact for many citizens. Those who do not own a computer or have access to the internet often go to the library, where it is available for free. And for those who have never used a computer help is available. These grants will help ensure our libraries can continue to provide high-speed, reliable internet services and digital literacy training programs for our communities.”

The Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, funded by ARRA, provides matching grants to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas, enhance and expand public computer centers, and encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service. Funded at $4.7 billion, BTOP will also advance ARRA’s objectives to spur job creation and stimulate long-term economic growth and opportunity.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided a total of $7.2 billion to fund projects that will expand access to and adoption of broadband services. NTIA plans to announce all grant awards by September 30, 2010.

The New York State Library is the largest state library in the nation. In addition to its research collection of more than 20 million items, the State Library provides leadership and support to libraries and library systems throughout the state, maintains a Talking Book and Braille Library serving more than 39,000 New Yorkers, offers 24-hour access to an online catalog, and provides residents with 24/7 access to NOVELNY, New York’s first virtual library. The State Library is located in the Empire State Plaza in Albany. For information call 518/474-5355 or go to www.nysl.nysed.gov.

Documentary Heritage Program Grants Announcement


By on

0 Comments

The New York State Department of Education has announced the Documentary Heritage Program (DHP) funding for 2010-2011. DHP is a statewide program established in 1988 and administered by the New York State Archives to ensure the identification, sound administration and accessibility of New York’s historical records.

One the most important components of the DHP is the grants program. DHP Grants are designed to encourage more comprehensive documentation of New York State*s history and culture by supporting projects that identify, survey, collect, and make available important records relating to groups and topics traditionally under-represented in the historical record. DHP is administered by the New York State Archives.

Eligible applicants include not-for-profit community organizations, archives, libraries, historical societies, and similar institutions within New York State and consortia or partnerships of such agencies. Also eligible are service providers such as historical service agencies, colleges and universities, professional associations, or other not-for-profit institutions or systems that provide services to historical records programs.

A total of $92,000 is expected to be available for grants projects. Grants will be available in amounts up to $25,000. Applicants may seek support for personnel; purchased services, including qualified consultants; supplies; materials and equipment costing less than $5,000; and travel as required to directly support project activities and outcomes.

Grants in this cycle are for up to 12-month projects, from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011. Applications must be postmarked by Monday, February 1, 2010. Tentative date for the announcement of grant awards is June 30, 2010.

Grant Project Types

Documentation – The purpose of a documentation project is to identify and ensure the systematic preservation of papers and records not currently in historical records repositories that provide information on the people, groups, events or changing political, economic or social conditions of New York State. A documentation project typically consists of three phases – planning, surveying, and collecting – and usually takes at least two years to complete. Cost sharing of at least 20% is required for Documentation projects.

Arrangement & Description – Arrangement and description are the processes used to obtain physical and intellectual control over materials held in historic records repositories. Arrangement is the process of organizing materials with respect to their provenance and original order, to protect their context and to achieve physical and/or
intellectual control over the materials. Description is the creation of an accurate representation of a unit of archival material by the process of capturing, collating, analyzing, and organizing information that serves to identify archival material and explain the context and records system(s) that produced it. The objective of archival description is the creation of access tools that assist users in discovering desired
records. Cost sharing of at least 50% is required for Arrangement & Description
projects.

Archival Needs Assessment – Historical records repositories undertake needs assessments to evaluate and plan for archival program development. As a result, a comprehensive needs assessment, carried out by an experienced archivist with the requisite expertise, will pinpoint problems, recommend solutions, set priorities, and guide the development
of archival activity. Cost sharing of at least 50% is required for Archival Needs Assessment projects.

Ineligible Projects

Several types of historical records projects are not eligible for funding under the DHP. These include:

* Projects that do not have primary focus on New York State
* Digitization (projects to create digital records)
* Item-level description and/or indexing
* Oral history and/or video taping
* Newspapers (these are not considered to be historical records under the DHP law)
* Preservation (i.e., the physical work to conserve, restore, or repair records, or reproduction for preservation purposes such as microfilming)

In order to insure that the DHP addresses the New York State Historical Records Advisory Board*s mandate to identify, survey, collect, and make available historical records that relate to under-documented groups or subjects, the State Archives has identified and given priority to specific topical areas for DHP funding. These topics are listed in Priority Levels One and Two below. Although applications for projects
that focus on any under-documented group or subject are eligible for funding, they will receive fewer points during grants review than those in Levels One and Two.

Priority Level One
* Population groups in the 20th and 21st centuries
* Economic change in the 20th and 21st centuries
* World Trade Center disaster, September 11, 2001
* Education policy

Priority Level Two
* Environmental affairs
* Mental health

Priority Level Three
* Other under-documented topics in New York State history

Application Process

Grant application forms and guidelines will be available in October 2009. They may be obtained by emailing the State Archives at dhs@nysed.gov or by visiting the State Archives Web site at http://www.archives.nysed.gov/a/grants/grants_dhp.shtml.

For further information, contact:

Pamela Cooley/Documentary Heritage Program
New York State Archives
Room 9C71 Cultural Education Center
Albany, NY 12230
Telephone: 518-474-6926
Email: dhs@mail.nysed.gov

Fort Ticonderoga Financial Crisis May Spread


By on

0 Comments

The Associated Press is reporting that the New York State Board of Regents, which oversees museums in the state, may change their policy to allow museums to sell their collections in order to pay back debt. The change is a result of Fort Ticonderoga’s recent financial troubles. Here is a clip from the story:

The state Board of Regents started working on an “emergency amendment” to the rules governing how museums can manage collections because it appeared that Fort Ticonderoga, a historic site and museum in northern New York, was on the verge of bankruptcy, said James Dawson, chairman of the board’s Cultural Education Committee… State rules currently require museums to use the money from such sales only to buy other works or enhance their collections.

The emergency amendment would allow museums to sell off works to pay down debt if they can show that they have no other way to raise the money and would otherwise go bankrupt. The museums also would only be allowed to sell the works to another museum or historical society in New York.

The Board was to have taken up the amendment at a meeting Monday but Dawson — who represents northern New York on the Board of Regents — said he withdrew the proposal Thursday, partly because Fort Ticonderoga was able to raise enough money to stay out of bankruptcy court.

The plan has come to light just two weeks after the National Academy in Manhattan (not subject to the Board of Regents) sold off two Hudson River School paintings. Other cultural institutions in the state are also facing financial hardships that have been reported here at the New York History blog, including local libraries and Amsterdam’s Elwood Museum. Last month Fort Ticonderoga laid-off four employees and closed an office building (BTW, the Smithsonian is also facing financial hardship and recently cut salaries).

It was announced in July that Fort Ticonderoga faced financial ruin after Deborah Mars, a Ticonderoga native married to the billionaire co-owner of the Mars candy company Forrest Mars Jr., bailed on their long-time support for the fort just before completion of the new $23 million Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center. The Mars paid for nearly all of the new building’s construction but left before it was finished leaving Fort Ti about two million dollars in debt. When the building bearing their name opened, they didn’t show.

Other options that have been floated include applying for new short-term loans, a new capital campaign to raise $3 million to $5 million, asking the state for a bailout or to take over ownership of the fort, selling of some of the fort’s property or collections or closing for an indefinite period until the finances are sorted out.
Coincidentally, Ticonderoga was also considering selling a Hudson River School painting, Thomas Cole’s 1831 “Ruins of Fort Ticonderoga.”

According to the Associated Press:

Anne Ackerson, director of the Museum Association of New York, said her group was among those opposing the idea of allowing museums to sell their collections to pay debts. While it might be a short-term fix for some museums’ financial problems, it might dissuade others from seeking other solutions when money gets tight, she said.

The Board of Regents rules governing the sale of museum holdings were established in the early 1990s when the New York Historical Society faced financial problems.

Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, a Queens Democrat who chaired an investigative committee at the time, said he was happy to hear the Board of Regents had withdrawn the emergency amendment proposal but remained concerned that they might still try to tweak other parts of the rules that define what qualifies as part of a museum’s collection.

Brodsky said he urged the Regents to hold off on making any changes until after a more thorough review involving museums, the Legislature and others with an interest.

Bernard Margolis Appointed NY State Librarian


By on

0 Comments

The Board of Regents has announced the appointment of Bernard A. Margolis as the New York State Librarian. He will assume his new responsibilities in January 2009.

State Education Commissioner Richard Mills said, “We live in an age of information, and libraries play a critical role in providing us with access to that information. They are vital to our economy and our communities. They promote literacy and lifelong learning. And in these trying economic times, they are vital to people seeking information about jobs. I am thrilled that the Regents have appointed a dynamic and innovative person like Mr. Margolis to serve in the critically important position of State Librarian.”

The New York State Library provides information and library services through its Research Library and the Division of Library Development. Mr. Margolis will have oversight responsibility for a $13.4 million operating budget, 180 employees, over 20 million collection items and nearly $100 million in State and federal aid to libraries.

One of the largest research libraries in North America, the New York State Research Library is the only state library which is a member of the Association of Research Libraries. The Library’s holdings include a significant manuscript and rare book collection, as well as holdings in a wide variety of formats, including paper, microform, digital and electronic records. It is also a Federal Depository and Patent Library; has the responsibility for the acquisition, distribution and maintenance of New York State documents; and is a regional library for the blind and visually impaired in New York’s 55 upstate counties.

The Division of Library Development provides leadership and technical assistance to New York’s 73 library systems through a comprehensive program of State aid for public, school, academic and special library services. Staff experts work with librarians, trustees, school administrators, public officials and local leaders to solve problems and find new ways of making library services and resources available to their community. Library Development administers more than $100 million in State and federal aid to New York’s libraries and helps them to take full advantage of federal and private funding programs like E-rate telecommunications discounts and Gates Library Foundation grants.

Mr. Margolis served as the President of Boston Public Library (BPL), Boston, Massachusetts, from 1997 to 2008. BPL is the oldest municipal public library in the country, with 27 neighborhood branches. The Library’s collections of over 34 million items include the library of President John Adams, Shakespeare’s first folio, Gutenberg’s Catholicon, and many other unique and rare materials. BPL is a member of the Association of Research Libraries.

Mr. Margolis’s achievements as BPL president include expansion of branch library hours; appointment of a children’s librarian in every branch; creation of a nationally recognized Homework Assistance Program and online tutoring program; implementation of Reading Readiness to prepare preschoolers for school success; creation of local history centers in eight branch libraries; creation of the award-winning Norman B. Leventhal Map Center; development of a collection conservation program; and growth of the BPL’s trust funds from $37 million to $55 million. Under Mr. Margolis’s leadership, BPL secured $7 million of direct grants and $18 million in federal funds for technology improvements and many foundation grants, designated gift funds, and major bequests.

Mr. Margolis led the effort to restore and renovate the historic central library building, securing funding from a number of sources. He worked with the City of Boston to establish a critical repair fund, allowing BPL to address building and equipment repairs in a timely manner. BPL collaborated with other cultural institutions and more than 4,500 different community groups and organizations.

Mr. Margolis holds a BA in Political Science and an MA in Librarianship, both from the University of Denver. His library experience includes management and executive positions in libraries and library systems in Colorado and Michigan. Prior to moving to Boston, he served as Director/CEO of the Pikes Peak Library District in Colorado Springs (from 1988 to 1997).

Mr. Margolis’s service includes a number of elected positions within the American Library Association, leadership in the Association of Research Libraries, service as a professional delegate to the White House Conference on Libraries, and service on the boards of library organizations in Massachusetts, Colorado, and Michigan. He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Library Administration and Bottom Line: The Magazine of Library Financial Management. He has contributed to several books and has published articles in American Libraries, Pub­lic Libraries, and Library Journal.