Four County Library System **
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What is the Four County Library System?
We are one of 23 public library systems across the state that help local public libraries better serve the people of their communities. 4CLS is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that was founded in 1960 under the education laws of New York State and chartered by the Board of Regents.

How does Four County help my local public library?
Your library is a voluntary member of the Four County Library System. We provide a broad range of shared programs, services, and specialized resources that your library would otherwise not be able to offer to you on its own in a cost-effective manner. These include:

Extensive and authoritative online reference resources. more...
Computer services linking libraries in the four-county region. more...
Inter-library loan and free delivery of books and other materials to your library. more...
Unique children's services such as the BOOKS Program. more...
Discounted book ordering, shelf-ready book processing, cataloging, preservation and repair, and other technical services. more...
Training, workshops, advocacy, marketing and development. more...
Outreach to rural and unserved residents with the award-winning Cybermobile - the first library vehicle with satellite-linked Internet access. more...

What region do you serve?
Four County's 30 full- and part-time staff provides comprehensive library services to 42 public libraries in Broome, Chenango, Delaware and Otsego Counties, through which we indirectly serve nearly 400,000 residents in a 4,000-square-mile territory.

What is the relationship between the System and its member libraries?
Each member public library has an independent board of trustees - Four County Library System has no legal authority or control over these libraries. However, a membership contract between the System and our member libraries details specific responsibilities. Libraries pay no fee to be a member of Four County, although costs for some services are partially shared with them.

Who governs Four County Library System?
Each of the four counties we serve is represented on our nine-member board of trustees. Trustees are elected for five-year terms. Their actions and those of our System are governed by the laws of the New York State Department of Education and Commissioner's Regulations.

Where does the System get its operating funds?
Approximately 80% comes from state aid. The balance comes from grants, program fees, interest, and county aid (which partially supports some outreach services).

What is a central library?
The trustees of each of the public library systems in New York State have designated their own central library. Its purpose is to provide in-depth information services and supplemental resources to their system's member libraries, for which the central library receives state funding. Broome County Public Library (Binghamton) is Four County Library System's central library.

How may state-provided central library funds be used?
Central library funds have two components: central library development aid (CLDA) and central library book aid (CBA). CLDA funds may be used for staff, materials, and equipment, such as automation services and other technology. CBA funds may only be used for adult non-fiction materials, including reference, audio-visual, and electronic resources. All materials purchased with CBA funds are the property of the respective System.