Updates from Commissioner Elia

New York State Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia

MaryEllen Elia is the New York State Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York (USNY). In this role, she oversees New York State’s 7,000 libraries (academic, public, school and special), the 72 library systems (23 public library systems, 9 reference and research library resources councils and 40 school library systems) and your New York State Library, which is located in Albany.

Messages from Commissioner Elia that are for and about and of interest to New York State’s libraries and library systems are posted to this page.

Summer Reading Program

June 2019

Commissioner Elia reading to first graders at the 2019 Summer Reading launch.

Commisioner Elia helped launch the 2019 Summer Reading at NY Libraries program on June 6 at the Utica Public Library. Joining NYS Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia at the kickoff event were Chris Sagaas, the Director of the Utica Public Library; Congressman Anthony Brindisi; and a group of first graders from Kernan Elementary School. Picking up on this year's theme, A Universe of Stories, Commissioner Elia read the book "Pete the Cat Out of this World" to the students.

June 2018

Summer Reading 2018 kickoff event at Onondaga Public Library (Central Library)

New York's Summer Reading statewide kickoff event took place on June 27, 2018, hosted by Onondaga County Public Library Central Library. Commissioner Elia was on hand to offer strong support to Summer Reading and to public and school libraries working together to combat "summer slide."

July 2017

Collage of images from a July 2017 summer reading event with Commissioner Elia.

At a July 2017 event at the Amsterdam Free Library, to kick off their Summer Reading at New York Libraries program, Commissioner MaryEllen Elia read the book "Creepy Carrots" to children.

June 2016

Images from the kickoff of the 2016 SWummer Reading at NY Libraries program

The statewide Summer Reading at New York Libraries program held an official launch event on Monday, June 20, 2016 at the new Phyllis Bornt Branch Library and Literacy Center of the Schenectady Public library, Schenectady, NY. This year’s slogan is "On Your Mark, Get Set…Read!"

State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia and State Librarian Bernard Margolis spoke about the importance of keeping kids and families involved in reading activities and in library programs and cultural programs all summer long.  Assembly members, the Schenectady City Mayor, the Superintendent of Schenectady City Schools and other local dignitaries spoke about their own personal reading experiences and why it's important to collaborate and support school and public libraries and summer reading. The event culminated with Commissioner Elia's reading of The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza) to a group of first graders from the nearby Martin Luther King Elementary school.

Video Address to Librarians (October 2015)

Commissioner Elia's Message for Librariesexternal link (2 minutes and 32 seconds) from New York State Education Departmentexternal link on Vimeo.

State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia discusses the importance of libraries in this video message directed to librarians across the state.

Letter to Cultural Institutions (September 2015)

State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia sent a letter in September 2015 to cultural institutions across the state, including libraries, to discuss the vital role cultural institutions have in the education of students and all New Yorkers.

Last Updated: July 5, 2019