Educational Design and Technology

School Library Services

Library Materials Aid - Questions and Answers

This Q&A is intended to assist school district administrators and business managers, library media specialists, school library system directors, and boards of education in the understanding and use of Library Materials Aid.

Research from 21 studies between 1990 and 2008 shows a positive relationship between adequately staffed and resourced school library programs and student achievement, reading scores, and literacy, regardless of socioeconomic or educational levels of the community (See: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/technology/library/libnatandinter.html ).

In New York, average low spending successful school districts (definition: lowest spending 50% of districts with 80% of students passing 7 or more Regents examinations in 3 years) reported average expenditures of $22 per student in 2008-09 on library materials. The New York State Education Department commends the effort of school boards and administrators throughout the State in recognizing the need to ensure New York’s students are information literate by providing strong school library programs. Based in NY Education Law, $6.25 per pupil of these qualified library materials expenditures correctly claimed through the State Aid Management System can be reimbursed to school districts.

  1. What is Library Materials Aid (LMA)?
    In New York State, public education funding comes primarily from three sources: federal sources, State formula aids and grants, and from revenues raised locally. Library Materials Aid (LMA) is part of State formula aid and is intended to supplement local funds budgeted for school library program support. Currently, up to $6.25 per student can be reimbursed by the State to a school district for correctly reported expenditures that meet the requirements in Section 711 of Education Law. Aid is based on the lesser of actual qualified and reported purchases of library materials or the maximum aid for the district. Maximum possible LMA is $6.25 times the number of public and non public students attending schools in the district in the prior year.

  2. What expenditures are eligible for LMA?
    School library materials eligible for reimbursement after being correctly reported via the State Aid Management System (SAMS), as defined in Section 711 of Education Law, are audio/visual materials and printed materials which meet all of the following criteria:
    • materials which are catalogued and processed as part of the school library or media center for use by elementary and/or secondary school children and teachers
    • materials which with reasonable care and use may be expected to last more than one year
    • materials which would not be eligible for aid as textbooks (Section 701, Education Law) or software (Section 751, Education Law). School library materials meeting these criteria generally means hard cover and paperback books, periodicals, documents other than books such as pamphlets, musical scores, videos, audio recordings, maps, charts, or globes.

  3. How is the maximum Library Materials Aid for each district calculated?
    School district enrollment is calculated as the total of regular enrollment of the public school on the date BEDS data is collected, plus number of students eligible for home instruction on that date, plus number of students with disabilities registered to attend alternative programs, plus nonpublic and charter school pupils attending schools located within the district. The total enrollment count is multiplied by $6.25.

  4. How does a district claim Library Materials Aid?
    School district officials use the State Aid Management System (SAMS) to record qualified expenditures for reimbursement as Library Materials Aid. SAMS is a secure information system that facilitates the collection and processing of data required by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to distribute annual state aid to all New York school districts. SAMS is accessible to authorized users from each school district, staff from the State Aid unit of the Education Department, and other authorized users from various state agencies. In SAMS LMA is coded in the ST3 Annual Financial Report, Exhibit A General fund balance sheet at ENTRY 220. A2610.46 is the place for recording expenditures qualified for Library Materials Aid. This item is used in the calculation of LMA. Expenditures recorded here also must have revenue recorded in A3263.

  5. How are LMA amounts reported to the field?
    LMA is reported by the SED State Aid Office to the field as part of the several “Instructional Materials Aids (IMA)” output reports posted to the Web. Go to the State aid homepage at https://stateaid.nysed.gov  and navigate to the specific district for which you seek an output report.

  6. What are the deadlines for filing for Library Materials Aid?
    State Aid claims for 2009-10 aid to use a set of dates to illustrate were due September 2, 2009. Districts have until April 15, 2010 to make corrections. Library Materials Aid is typically ‘frozen’ on April 30 of each year. This means that districts are encouraged to review the IMA output report on the Web and submit any necessary ST3 changes relating to Library Aid calculations to State Aid via SAMS by April 15.

  7. When do districts receive Library Materials Aid?
    Library Materials Aid is typically paid to a school district in the spring of the aid year together with the Textbook, Software, and Instructional Hardware and Equipment payments. For example, qualified 2008-09 school year expenditures recorded in SAMS ENTRY 220, A2610.46 by April 15, 2010, would typically be paid in the spring of 2010. To see your district's aid calculation on the State Aid Web site (http://stateaid.nysed.gov), choose the Instructional Materials Aid output report on your district page and scroll down to the Library Materials Aid section of the report.

  8. Must libraries loan materials acquired with LMA? Are there rules governing these loans?
    Yes. Section 712 of Education Law states that a district has the duty to make library materials acquired with LMA available for loan upon request by pupils or groups of pupils in the district; this requirement includes equitable provision for nonpublic as well as public school students under the loan program. Section 712 can be viewed at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/technology/library/newyorkconsolidatedlaws_
    Section 21.4 of Education Law governs the specifics of loan procedures for school library materials. Lending should be equitable to all public and nonpublic schools in the district, requests are made by individual K12 pupils, materials are to be required for a class or program and cannot be of a religious nature. For details of lending procedures review Section 21.4: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/technology/library/documents/21_4_

  9. Why didn't my school receive an amount equal to $6.25 times our enrollment? On the output report it shows my district maximized LMA.
    Reporting and reimbursement of Aid is to a school district, and not to individual schools within a district. Boards of Education and school officials must decide on how they will equitably allot LMA within a district. Typically, funds are disbursed to all buildings based upon enrollment, but in some circumstances district administrations have focused resources on the needs of a particular library.

  10. What can districts do about reporting LMA expenditures ineligible for Library Materials Aid?
    Districts can review actual and projected Library Materials expenditures reported to State Aid on the ST3 at items A2610.46 and A3263 and make any necessary revisions via SAMS to exclude Library Materials expenditures that may have been improperly claimed for Library Materials Aid.

  11. Why should Districts not reduce library materials spending in times of tight budgets?
    Expenditures for library materials may be one area NOT to reduce in times of tight budgets since 100 percent of expenditures are aided up to $6.25 per public and nonpublic school pupil residing in the district. Research shows that strengthening the library program can lead to increased student achievement. School district expenditures on library materials up to $6.25 per pupil are a cost effective way of improving the education of students.

  12. How were Instructional Materials Aids changed in the 2011 Laws of New York?
    Instructional Materials Aids, the formulas for Textbook, Library Materials, Computer Software and Computer Hardware Aids remain unchanged, but the enacted budget provides districts with new flexibility in how expenses for those aids may be claimed. Under the new provisions, if a school district spends more than its maximum allocation in any one of the areas, the excess expense over the maximum allocation can be designated as expense for aid in one or more
    of the other categories, with the exception of Library Materials expense.The new provisions first apply to 2011-12 expenses for 2012-13 aids. Click below for more information:

  13. Should districts be concerned about potential cuts to the reimbursement of LMA?
    Since LMA was introduced in 1984, there has been no history of any cuts to full reimbursement of qualified claims. As changes to school aid are enacted by the Governor and Legislature, NYSED will keep districts fully informed at: http://stateaid.nysed.gov .

  14. How can I find out more about Library Materials Aid?
    Additional reading about State Aid and Library Materials Aid can be found at:
    Primer on State Aid to School Districts
    http://www.oms.nysed.gov/faru/Primer/primer_cover.html external lint
    State Aid Handbook
    https://stateaid.nysed.gov/publications/handbooks/handbook09.pdf (295.83 KB)
    Section 711 Education Law School Library Materials Aid
    Section 712 Education Law—Loan of School Library Materials
    Section 21.4 Education law—Lending Procedures for Library Materials
    pdf document (123.72 KB)

  15. Who can I contact for more information about Library Materials
    Aid ?

    John P. Brock, Associate, School Library Services, ED&T, NYSED
    Joanne Shawhan, Associate, School Library Services, ED&T, NYSED, Joanne.Shawhan@.nysed.gov
Last Updated: October 29, 2014