New York Public Library

Delivery of Services and Selected Financial Management Practices

A not-for-profit corporation supported by both private funds and Federal, State, and City appropriations, the New York Public Library (NYPL) operates under guidelines established by the New York State Education Department (SED). For the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 1997, it received $19.6 million in State aid. Our audit reviewed NYPL's delivery of library services and selected financial services from July 1, 1995, through September 30, 1998. We found that opportunities exist for the NYPL to strengthen its internal controls for the purchasing, recording, monitoring, and safeguarding of library books and other library-related materials. We also found that the NYPL should identify ways that branch libraries can be open for more hours and deliver Internet access to more patrons. SED does not verify the NYPL's actual expenditures of State funds; it relies on data NYPL submits to determine whether program objectives have been met and whether the funds provided have been used appropriately. Our review found that $7.9 million of State aid was commingled with an NYPL corporate account during the 1995-96 fiscal year, preventing us from making a determination of how the funds were spent.

For a complete copy of Report 98-N-4 click here.