The New York City School Library System (NYCSLS) is one of 41 School Library Systems (SLS) based in the Big 5 Cities and the Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), which serve multiple districts in an area. Main functions of the program are outlined in Commissioner's Regulations 90.18.
Established in 1984, the School Library Systems program provides a formalized network for public and nonpublic school library media centers across the State and provides for the development of a standardized automated catalog which enhances interlibrary loan of resources among the participating schools. The systems also provide services to their members such as consulting, continuing education and professional development, cooperative collection development plans, services addressing special client needs, database searches of professional research and literature, and connections to other types of libraries and library systems across the State and beyond. School Library Systems transact over 500,000 interlibrary loans each year. The number of school library media center holdings converted into standardized format and entered into a database (Union Catalog) for electronic access by School Library System students and teachers is 28.3 million. School Library Systems sponsor staff development workshops for 50,000 participants each year.