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The NOVELNY Program

What is NOVELNY?

NOVELNY, the New York Online Virtual Electronic Library, is a public no-cost online information network that creates a "library without walls." NOVELNY provides a gateway for all New Yorkers, even those in the most geographically isolated communities, to a vast array of electronic books, e-journals, full text magazines and articles as well as to the rich resources of libraries throughout the state via online catalogs, digitized collections of photographs, images, maps, manuscripts, encyclopedias, journals and other proprietary databases licensed on a statewide basis for free public access.

Isn't the Internet already doing what NOVELNY is proposed to do?

Although the Internet, the World Wide Web, and other technologies provide online information, only NOVELNY provides the high quality, reliable, accurate sources of electronic information New Yorkers need.

Because of the open nature of the Internet, much of the information it accesses is neither accurate nor up-to-date. Other valuable information is available only at a cost from commercial publishers, and much information still remains to be digitized.

At the same time, many people lack the resources to access the Internet. According to a study released in 2002 by Benton Foundation, 76 percent of minority households and 73 percent of those with a disability do not have Internet access. While 76% of households making $75,000 per year or more have computers in the home, 86 percent of households with an annual income less than $15,000 do not. NOVELNY will help community libraries provide access to electronic information resources for all New Yorkers regardless of economic circumstances.

NOVELNY helps close the digital divide by making electronic and digital information accessible via the local library as well as remote locations such as home, school or office. This means that all New Yorkers, regardless of economics, geographic isolation or disabilities have access to the information they need.

Why is NOVELNY Important?

NOVELNY assures that all New Yorkers have equity of access to information independent of financial, physical or geographical limitations. While the ability to obtain information is essential today, much of the electronic information that is available is complex. Consumers need trusted navigators to find accurate, valid information that is sorted from the sea of less relevant data.

NOVELNY offers a networked library where librarians apply their expertise in selection to create paths to useful sites, to verify the accuracy and currency of data, and to validate resources. Through its connection at the local library, NOVELNY also makes these resources available to those without personal computers. Through an online connection at home or office, NOVELNY is always open, always ready, and always available.

How can New Yorkers access NOVELNY?

All New Yorkers have free access to digital information via their community library and in many cases from remote locations such as home, school or work.