New funding for public libraries

The New South Wales (NSW) Government has announced $60 million to fund public libraries.

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President, Linda Scott, said further clarification was needed and the long-term funding model for the State’s libraries needed fixing.

“We welcome this announcement to better fund our public libraries across NSW as a positive first step in the right direction.

“I want to thank all of the councils and over 6,000 supporters who have signed up to support Renew Our Libraries.

“Our libraries face a funding crisis due to decades of underinvestment and this funding will help our public libraries deliver the services our communities need.

“That said, it is critical that any commitment of extra funding be recurrent, to ensure our public libraries can continue to grow and provide those valued services with certainty well into the future.”

NSW Public Libraries Association (NSWPLA) President, Councillor Dallas Tout, welcomed the commitment, but said he would be seeking further clarification from the Government. 

“We need to understand exactly how, and over what time period, this funding boost will be rolled out,” he said.

“We’ll also be seeking further detail on where the funding is going to ensure it meets the needs of the community. 

“Additionally, we still need to fix the current funding model which sees local governments provide 92.5 percent of public library funding in NSW.

“We continue to call on all political parties to commit to properly funding public libraries across NSW.”