The Library serves three major constituencies:
The Research Library, which was established in 1818, collects, preserves and makes available materials that support State government work. The Library's collections, now numbering over 20 million items, may also be used by other researchers on-site, online and via interlibrary loan.
The Talking Book and Braille Library (TBBL) lends braille and recorded books and magazines, and related equipment to residents of the 55 upstate counties of New York State who are unable to read printed materials because of a visual or physical disability.
The Division of Library Development works in partnership with 73 library systems to bring library services to the millions of people who use New York's academic, public, school and special libraries. Library Development also administers State and Federal grant programs that provide aid for library services.