“Libraries have long been committed to building health, thriving communities, but they are now seeing and increased need to create and build strategic partnerships and expand relationships with the larger community.” – WebJunction

Special Populations | Education | Community Partners | Financial Literacy |Job Seekers

The CEFLS Outreach Department coordinates funds from the New York State Library to extend library services to special populations. From people who are visually impaired to those who are geographically isolated, we offer solutions and services that help everyone enjoy the benefits of a library. Services to these “target groups” are provided by CEFLS and/or local public libraries. CEFLS is dedicated to providing its member libraries and their patrons with information and awareness, to develop programs and services, to attract and connect to target populations, and to form relevant community partnerships at a local level.

Developmentally/Learning Disabled

A person who was born with a chronic condition that is due to mental or physical impairments or is affected by a disorder which may affect the acquisition, organization, retention, understanding or use of verbal or nonverbal information.

Educationally Disadvantaged

A person who requires special services and assistance to enable them to succeed in higher education.

Pathways to Success

  • Pathways to Success is a booklet designed for adult new learners looking for more resources to educational and economic success by the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System with supporting funds from the New York State Library's Adult Literacy Library Services Program. The booklet is available at libraries and as a PDF on our website.
  • Click here for easy access to local literacy providers and our favorite literacy pages that are great for adult new learners and tutors!


  • If you are new to computers, haven't used them for a while, are a little unsure and uncomfortable, or just need a bit of a refresher, we have the tools to help you tackle technology at your own pace and gain the confidence you need to succeed. Go to DigitalLearn.org today!
Ethnic Minorities in Need of Special Services

A person or group that has different national or cultural traditions from the main population (including non-English speakers).

Google Translate

  • Google Translate is Google’s free language translation service available on Android™ devices and iOS™ devices. You can seamlessly translate between 90 languages with text. It also features a two-way automatic speech translation in 40 languages, hands-free. Drawn characters can be translated without the use of an onscreen keyboard and you can translate signs with your phone or tablet’s camera.
Geographically Isolated

A person or group that is divided from the rest of the population as a result of a physical barrier.

Physically Handicapped

A person with a loss or failure to develop a specific bodily function or functions, whether of movement, sensation, coordination, or speech, but excluding mental impairments or disabilities.

ADA National Network

Residents of Institutions

A person placed in an institution (such as an assisted living facility, nursing home, or hospital) that offers specialized care.

The American Library Association: Prisoners Right to Read -

An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association asserts a compelling public interest in the preservation of intellectual freedom for individuals of any age held in jails, prisons, detention facilities, juvenile facilities, immigration facilities, prison work camps and segregated units within any facility. As Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote in Procunier v Martinez [416 US 428 (1974)]:

When the prison gates slam behind an inmate, he does not lose his human quality; his mind does not become closed to ideas; his intellect does not cease to feed on a free and open interchange of opinions; his yearning for self-respect does not end; nor is his quest for self-realization concluded.  If anything, the needs for identity and self-respect are more compelling in the dehumanizing prison environment.

Participation in a democratic society requires unfettered access to current social, political, economic, cultural, scientific, and religious information. Information and ideas available outside the prison are essential to prisoners for a successful transition to freedom. Learning to be free requires access to a wide range of knowledge, and suppression of ideas does not prepare the incarcerated of any age for life in a free society. Even those individuals that a lawful society chooses to imprison permanently deserve access to information, to literature, and to a window on the world. Censorship is a process of exclusion by which authority rejects specific points of view. That material contains unpopular views or even repugnant content does not provide justification for censorship. Unlike censorship, selection is a process of inclusion that involves the search for materials, regardless of format, that represent diversity and a broad spectrum of ideas. The correctional library collection should reflect the needs of its community.

Libraries and librarians serving individuals in correctional facilities may be required by federal, state, or local laws; administrative rules of parent agencies; or court decisions to prohibit material that instructs, incites, or advocates criminal action or bodily harm or is a violation of the law. Only those items that present an actual compelling and imminent risk to safety and security should be restricted. Although these limits restrict the range of material available, the extent of limitation should be minimized by adherence to the Library Bill of Rights and its Interpretations.

These principles should guide all library services provided to prisoners:

  • Collection management should be governed by written policy, mutually agreed upon by librarians and correctional agency administrators, in accordance with the Library Bill of Rights, its Interpretations, and other ALA intellectual freedom documents.
  • Correctional libraries should have written procedures for addressing challenges to library materials, including a policy-based description of the disqualifying features, in accordance with “Challenged Materials” and other relevant intellectual freedom documents.
  • Correctional librarians should select materials that reflect the demographic composition, information needs, interests, and diverse cultural values of the confined communities they serve.
  • Correctional librarians should be allowed to purchase materials that meet written selection criteria and provide for the multi-faceted needs of their populations without prior correctional agency review. They should be allowed to acquire materials from a wide range of sources in order to ensure a broad and diverse collection. Correctional librarians should not be limited to purchasing from a list of approved materials.
  • Age is not a reason for censorship. Incarcerated children and youth should have access to a wide range of fiction and nonfiction, as stated in “Free Access to Libraries for Minors."
  • Correctional librarians should make all reasonable efforts to provide sufficient materials to meet the information and recreational needs of prisoners who speak languages other than English.
  • Equitable access to information should be provided for persons with disabilities as outlined in “Services to People with Disabilities.”
  • Media or materials with non-traditional bindings should not be prohibited unless they present an actual compelling and imminent risk to safety and security.
  • Material with sexual content should not be banned unless it violates state and federal law.
  • Correctional libraries should provide access to computers and the Internet.

When free people, through judicial procedure, segregate some of their own, they incur the responsibility to provide humane treatment and essential rights.  Among these is the right to read. The right to choose what to read is deeply important, and the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. The denial of the right to read, to write, and to think—to intellectual freedom—diminishes the human spirit of those segregated from society. Those who cherish their full freedom and rights should work to guarantee that the right to intellectual freedom is extended to all incarcerated individuals.

Adopted June 29, 2010, by the ALA Council.
Community Connections

  • Community Connections is a booklet designed for people returning to Clinton, Essex, or Franklin Counties from a correctional facility compiled by the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System. It is made available to correctional facilities and at libraries as well as a PDF on our website.

Safe Streets Arts Foundation (incorporating the Prisons Foundation and Victims Foundation): uses the arts to allow all segments of the criminal justice community to communicate with each other and with the public.


A person who may require special consideration due to advanced age.


A person without a paid job available to work/one who does not have enough paid work or not doing work that makes full use of their skills and abilities.

Visually Impaired/Blind

A person with a visual impairment or low vision has a severe reduction in vision that cannot be corrected with standard glasses or contact lenses and reduces the person’s ability to function at certain or all tasks.


2-1-1 is an easy-to-remember telephone number to call for free, confidential information and referral. 2-1-1 Adirondack Region provides direct, personal and professional assistance for human services and is a vital resource to connect people with important services and volunteer opportunities.

Contact Us

Anja Bouchard
Coordinated Outreach Librarian
(518) 563-5190 ext. 118

Juliette Brookfield
Youth Services Librarian
(518) 563-5190 ext. 120

David Fuller
Library Computer Specialist
(518) 563-5190 ext. 122