Outreach Services

Outreach Services

Outreach Mini-Grants | Accessibility | Jobseekers | Literacy | Community Resource GuidesTalking Book and Braille Library | Seniors | TASCReentry Guide | COSAC | Volunteer ResourcesHelpful Links

Community illustrationThe following resources are available to help underserved groups and people with special needs to use their library. Our targeted outreach groups include:  55+ individuals, people with visual, physical, or developmental disabilities, residents of institutional facilities, individuals with an educational disadvantage, jobseekers,  individuals who are geographically isolated, ethnic minorities, incarcerated individuals, and individuals with criminal records. 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. Have a question? Stuck on an idea? Read the Outreach Mini Grant FAQs and TipsPDF Icon Small document or email Jenny Shonk at jshonk@flls.org.

Applications are CLOSED for the 2019-2020 grant cycle! Applications for the next cycle will be due March 2020.  
2019 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 2018-2019 grant cycle are due June 30, 2019
Final Report FormWord Document


 Demographic Data Resources:

Resource Guides

Accessibility Resource Guide: This guide includes information about accessible reading formats at your local library, signing up with other special-need lending libraries, local disability resources, and a collection of disability-related links.

Jobseeker Resource Guide: Search for jobs online, get help with your resume, plan your career, and find local assistance resources. This guide is tailored for residents of Cayuga, Cortland, Seneca, Tioga and Tompkins Counties.

Literacy Resource Guide: Find materials and resources for people of all ages who need help with reading, writing, or speaking English and/or basic computer skills. Also included: TASC TestsNew York State has selected a new high school equivalency test called the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC™) to replace the General Educational Development (GED®) as the primary pathway to a New York State High School Equivalency Diploma effective January 2, 2014.

TASC Brochure EnglishPDF Icon Small
TASC Brochure SpanishPDF Icon Small


Community Resource Guides

Each guide includes helpful resources for the following categories: alcohol and substance abuse, education and literacy, food and emergency assistance, health services, housing, jobs and training, legal help, local libraries, mental health, and transportation. Updated for 2018.

Cayuga County Community ResourcesPDF Icon Small 2017-2018 Community Directory, Living in Cayuga County.
Cortland County Community ResourcesPDF Icon Small
Seneca County Community ResourcesPDF Icon Small
Tioga County Community ResourcesPDF Icon Small
Tompkins County Community ResourcesPDF Icon Small


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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 Adults PDF Icon Small
Application for Children/Teens PDF 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.



Programming Materials for Seniors: Our collection includes several games and group activity resources for older adults. They are perfect for reminiscing, sparking conversations and exercising minds. Reserve them through our catalog by searching for the “Senior Programming” series.

Offices for the Aging

New York State Offices for the Aging provide a variety of resources, programs and services to enable seniors to maintain independents and self-directed lifestyles. Click below for more information about your local county office:

Online Resources

  • AARP – Resources for adults 50+ from healthcare to games.
  • AARP Technology 101 – Articles concerning personal technology and safety.
  • Medline Plus – The site doctors recommend! This free, unbiased health information website is provided by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.
  • NYS Office for the Aging – Official information and services from the New York State Office for the Aging.
  • Savvy Senior – A national information service devoted to older Americans and their caregivers.
  • Tech Boomers – A free educational website that teaches older adults and other inexperienced Internet users with basic computer skills about websites that can help improve their quality of life.

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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 four correctional facilities in our service area:

      • Auburn Correctional Facility
      • Cayuga Correctional Facility
      • Five Points Correctional Facility
      • Willard Drug Treatment Campus

Services to these facilities include:

      • Interlibrary Loan: Includes interlibrary loan of FLLS materials systemwide, as well as materials borrowed from other libraries worldwide. Holds can be placed electronically from the correctional facility using OCLC and the PowerPac catalog.
      • Reentry Guide: FLLS publishes a reentry guide for our service areas to help inmates prepare for release. The guide is supplied to each facility librarian to reproduce as needed. Our bilingual reentry guide lists community resources for people returning from prison or jail to our service area. Updated for 2019. 
      • Consultant Services: Training, bibliographies, identification and location of vendors for specialized materials, and visits to facility libraries to assist the librarians in making effective use of resources, assistance with program development, workshops for inmates, exhibits, etc.
      • Collection Development/Programming: Purchase of all types of library materials to supplement the collections of the correctional facility libraries, or to provide speakers/performers at the facility. Consultation with the facility librarian ensures that the most-needed materials are purchased for long-term loan to the facility. Such materials remain the property of the public library system. Materials may include books, audiobooks, materials for the blind, newspapers, periodicals, equipment (note: office equipment does not qualify).
      • 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 inmates and staff find the information they need.
      • Special Formats: Assistance in gaining access to library materials in alternate formats, including Braille, large print, recorded and digital format for people with print-related and other disabilities.
      • Delivery: Materials are delivered and picked up at regular intervals determined by FLLS and the CFs.
      • Continuing Education: Continuing education and specialized programs are offered to system member libraries and the CFs we serve.

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:

Volunteer Resources

Helpful Links

2-1-1 Information Hotline

The Advocacy Center: Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse ServicesSupport, advocacy and education for survivors of domestic violence.

Alzheimer’s Association (CNY Chapter): The world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

American Association of People with Disabilities: Access to education from preschool through post-graduate work. Advocacy, partnerships with educational institutions, and programs designed to break down barriers to education.

American Red Cross

ARISE Child & Family Service: Independence and Access for ALL

Campus Pride: Resources, programs and services to support LGBTQ and ally students on college campuses across the United States

Center for Parent Information and Resources: Supporting the Parent Centers Who Serve Families of Children with Disabilities.

Child Care Council of the Finger Lakes: Information, training, and resources to parents, child care providers, and businesses in Monroe, Livingston and Wayne counties.

Every Student Present: Public awareness campaign designed to help school staff, parents and communities understand the impact of chronic absence.

Family and Children’s Services of Ithaca: Mental Health and Children’s Mental Health Program, Psychiatry, Employee Assistance Program, Youth Services and Senior Services.

Families Together in New York State: Non-profit, family-run organization that strives to establish a unified voice for families of children and youth with social, emotional and behavioral challenges.

Finger Lakes Independence Center: Assistance and resources for individuals and organizations.

Food Bank of the Southern Tier

It Gets Better: The It Gets Better Project was created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach – if they can just get through their teen years. The It Gets Better Project wants to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone — and it WILL get better

Library Services for Youth in Custody

National Institute on Aging: Senior health information. Makes aging-related health information easily accessible for family members and friends seeking reliable, easy to understand online health information.

National Organization of Rare Disorders


NYS Office for New Americans

Range App: Help youth find a meal and a safe place in the summer

Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service

Techboomers: Comprehensive tutorials of popular websites for digital immigrants.

United Way of Cayuga County