Outreach Services

Outreach Services

Outreach Mini-GrantsTalking Book and Braille Library | Reentry Guide | COSAC

The FLLS Outreach Department works to provide library services and resources to underserved groups in our service area. Targeted populations include: people who are blind or who have a physical disability, seniors, people who have a developmental or learning disability, people living in institutionalized settings, members of ethnic or minority groups in need of special services, people who are educationally disadvantaged, people who are unemployed or underemployed, people who are geographically isolated, and at risk youth from birth to age 21. Please contact Jenny Shonk, Continuing Education and Outreach Librarian, for more information: jshonk@flls.org.

Outreach Mini-Grants

Do you have an idea for an outreach project but lack funding? Member libraries in our service area can apply for an Outreach Mini-Grant. Approximately $15,000 is available each year. Have a question? Stuck on an idea? Read the Outreach Mini-Grant FAQs and Tips document (updated 12/2023) or email Jenny Shonk at jshonk@flls.org.

Applications are CLOSED for the 2024-2025 grant cycle! Applications were due March 22, 2024.
2024-2025 Outreach Mini-Grant ApplicationWord Document
*Please enter your information in the Word document and then save it as a PDF before emailing. 

Final reports for the 2023-2024 grant cycle are due June 30, 2024. 
2023-2024 Outreach Mini-Grant Final Report FormWord Document


 Demographic Data Resources:

Talking Book and Braille Library (TBBL)

TBBL Machine

People who cannot easily use printed materials can receive free audiobooks by mail or download through the NYS Library.

Application for Individuals – Adults & ChildrenPDF Icon Small
Application for Individuals – Adults & ChildrenWord Document
Application for InstitutionsPDF Icon Small
Formulario de postulación individual al Servicio Nacional de Bibliotecas en españolPDF Icon Small

TBBL Contact Information: 1-800-342-3688 or tbbl@nysed.gov. The phone line is staffed M-F between 9:00am-4:30pm, or you can leave a message anytime with your question/request and they will call you back. See the TBBL website for more contact information.

TBBL Services Available from FLLS: As a sublending agency, FLLS provides applications, local exchanges for nonworking machines, and informational outreach in our service area (please note we do not provide books in this format directly; they are mailed directly to qualifying individuals). Contact us at 607-319-5613 or jshonk@flls.org.

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Services to Correctional Facilities and Jails

Correctional Facilities

As outlined in the Guidelines for the New York State Public Library System Services to State Correctional Facility Libraries State Aid Program , the Finger Lakes Library System serves three correctional facilities in our service area:

      • Auburn Correctional Facility
      • Cayuga Correctional Facility
      • Five Points Correctional Facility

Services to these facilities include:

      • Interlibrary Loan: Includes in-system interlibrary loan of materials at FLLS and 33 member libraries. Holds can be placed electronically from the correctional facility using the PowerPac catalog.
      • Special Formats: Assistance with access to library materials in alternate formats, including Braille, large print, recorded and digital format for people with print-related and other sensorial disabilities.
      • Collection Development: FLLS assists with purchasing all types of library materials which supplement the collection of the correctional library. Consults with the facility librarian regarding reader’s advisory resources; user needs assessment of the educational, cultural and recreational needs of incarcerated individuals; facility directives such as treatment or transition/re-entry; and resources for new readers or non-English readers ensures that the most-needed materials are purchased for long-term loan to the facility. Materials purchased with the system’s State aid funds remain the property of the public library system. Materials may include books, audiobooks, newspapers, periodicals, equipment (Note: office equipment does not qualify).
      • Consultant Services: Training programs, reading lists, identification and location of vendors for specialized materials, assistance with effective use of system resources, assistance with program development, exhibits, advice on library management, operations, copyright compliance, etc.
      • Continuing Education: Continuing education and specialized programs are offered to system member libraries and the correctional facilities that we serve. Opportunities for professional conferences and travel are available when appropriate.
      • Delivery: Materials are delivered and picked up at regular intervals determined by FLLS and the correctional facilities.
      • Programs: Funds, resources, and support may be available to correctional facility libraries for programs which encourage personal growth and learning by incarcerated individuals.
      • Reference Services: Responses to reference question requests, supplemental material for educational purposes, booklists for patrons needing non-English material or other special needs, and other research to help incarcerated individuals and staff find the information they need.
      • Reentry Guide: FLLS publishes a reentry guide for our service areas to help incarcerated individuals prepare for release. Guide is supplied to each facility librarian to reproduce as needed.

County Jails

The Finger Lakes Library System also serves the five county jails within our service area by providing a number of paperback titles to maintain their reading rooms each year.

For more information on either program, please contact the Continuing Education and Outreach Librarian, Jenny Shonk at jshonk@flls.org.

Coordinated Outreach Services Advisory Council (COSAC)

COSAC advises FLLS’s Outreach Department, assists in the evaluations of its coordinated outreach activities, and works to promote collaborative efforts and partnerships. The Council is comprised of a mix of library directors and representatives from local human service agencies and institutions who serve our targeted outreach populations.

COSAC Members:

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