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Library Materials Aid - Frequently Asked Questions

What is Library Materials Aid (LMA)?

Answer: 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 attending public or nonpublic schools within the school district's boundaries 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 calculated by multiplying $6.25 by the number of enrolled pupils.
  • Aid is equal to the lesser of the maximum apportionment or the actual expenditures incurred by the school district for purchase of library materials during the base year. The State Aid Handbook defines base year as the year prior to the state aid claim and payment.
  • Each public school district is required to use such funds to purchase and loan library materials on an equitable basis for use by public and nonpublic students attending schools within the district's boundaries during the current school year. 
What expenditures are eligible for LMA?

Answer: School library materials eligible for reimbursement, according to Section 711 of Education Law (information about this law is available at Legislation and Guidance), are digital materials, audio/visual materials and printed materials that meet 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, according to Section 701, Education Law or as software, according to Section 751, Education Law.
  • School library materials meeting these criteria generally means hard cover and paperback books, e-books, periodicals, that is, print and digital publications which are subscription-based, digital and published materials, and documents other than books such as pamphlets, musical scores, videos, audio recordings, maps, charts, or globes.
How is the maximum Library Materials Aid for each district calculated?

Answer: School district enrollment is calculated as the total of:

  • Regular enrollment of the public school on the date BEDS data is collected,
  • The number of students eligible for home instruction on that date,
  • The number of students with disabilities registered to attend alternative programs,
  • The number of nonpublic students attending schools located within the district, and
  • The number of charter school students attending schools located within the district.

The total enrollment count is then multiplied by $6.25.

How does a district claim Library Materials Aid?

Answer: School district officials should use the State Aid Management System (SAMS) to record qualified expenditures for reimbursement as Library Materials Aid. In SAMS LMA is coded in the ST3 Annual Financial Report, General fund balance sheet Schedule A4b 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.

How are LMA amounts reported to the field?

Answer: LMA is reported by the SED State Aid Office to the field as part of the several “Instructional Materials Aids (IMA)” output. The IMA report for the current aid year is posted in late fall and updated nightly.  For a particular school or district, please go to State Aid View District Data and provide the institution name or BEDS code.

What are the deadlines for filing for Library Materials Aid?

Answer: State Aid claims are customarily due in September of each year. Districts usually have until April 15 of the following year 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. For additional information, please see State Aid Dates Deadlines.

When do districts receive Library Materials Aid?

Answer: Library Materials Aid is typically paid to a school district in the spring of the aid year together with the Instructional Computer Hardware and Technology Equipment, Textbook, and Software aid payments. These payments are based on the expenditures and enrollments of the previous year.

Are school libraries required to loan materials acquired with Library Materials Aid?

Answer: Yes. Section 712 of Education Law (information about this law is available at Legislation and Guidance) 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, including nonpublic school students.

What are the rules governing the loan of school library materials?

Answer: Section 21.4 of Education Law (Section 21.4: Lending procedures for school library materials.) states that:

  • Lending should be equitable to all public and nonpublic schools in the district,
  • Lending should be equitable to all public and nonpublic schools in the district,
  • Materials are to be required for a class or program and cannot be of a religious nature. 
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.

Answer: 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 allocate 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 students attending a particular school building.

How were Instructional Materials Aids changed in the 2011 Laws of New York?

Answer: Instructional Materials Aids, the formulas for Textbook, Library Materials, Computer Software and Computer Hardware Aids remain unchanged, but the enacted budget provided districts with new flexibility in how expenses for those aids may be claimed. Under these 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 expenses. (Additional information available at: 2011-12 Amendments to Textbook, Software and Instructional Computer Hardware Aids Statutes)

Who should I contact if I have questions about Library Materials Aid (LMA)?

Please contact the Office of State Aid for additional questions regarding Library Materials Aid.