Assemblymember Kevin Cahill Announces New Borrowing Privileges Offered by the New York State Library

December 13, 2004

Assemblymember Kevin A. Cahill (D-Ulster and Dutchess Counties) announced the expansion of free borrowing privileges by the New York State Library to all state residents ages 18 and older. Residents can now borrow onsite from the State Library collection of more than 20 million items and will obtain direct remote access to NOVEL, the first statewide virtual library in New York.

"I encourage everyone to participate in this six-month pilot project intended to gauge public interest in accessing library materials electronically," Assemblymember Cahill said. "This program makes a wealth of knowledge available to Hudson Valley residents through the internet or at their local library," he continued.

The New York State Library research collection includes major holdings in law, medicine, the social sciences, education, American and New York State history and culture, the pure sciences and technology. Other collections include some of the oldest and most extensive genealogy materials in the nation, items on World War II, biographies and policy analyses of past presidents and grant writing information for non-profit organizations. The New York State Library is also one of five US Patent and Trademark depository libraries in the state and includes many sources detailing how one can patent an original idea.

NOVEL, the first statewide virtual library in New York, is an information powerhouse that gives New Yorkers online access to the full text of thousands of national and international newspapers and magazines, health and medical resources, business collections and age appropriate materials for youngsters. Many local libraries in the Hudson Valley already provide access to NOVEL through their library website. This expanded borrowing pilot program allows individuals who may not have a local library nearby an enhanced means by which to tap into this virtual library.

"The research collections of the New York State Library and the electronic databases of NOVEL include the kind of state-of-the-art information New Yorkers need in order to compete in the 21st Century," Mr. Cahill said. "These important information resources belong to all the people of the state and can now be enjoyed by everyone," he continued.

State residents 18 years of age and older can apply for a library card and borrow research materials when they visit the State Library in Albany or access NOVEL directly from home, school or office. Currently, New Yorkers can also tap into the NOVEL databases from their local library.

"I have a great appreciation for the needs of area residents and how well they are met when they visit their local library," Assemblymember Cahill said. "They are the foundation of our education system and make it possible for all New Yorkers to be life-long learners. Providing this additional access is a significant complement to those great services," he concluded.

Individuals may apply for a library card in person at the State Library, located in the Cultural Education Center, Empire State Plaza, Albany, request an application by email at or by mail to New York State Library, Circulation, CEC, 7th Floor, Albany, NY 12230. For more information about the expanded borrowing program, contact the New York State Library at 518-473-7895 or online at