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Proposal to cut WA state library hours

The State Library of WA (SLWA) is considering cuts to its opening hours, including closing the library on weekends and earlier during the week, in a bid to meet the government’s cost-cutting targets, reports the ABC.

The ABC also reports that the library is considering cuts to its services to 232 public libraries in WA, for which it provides funding, books and other resources.

The library has been asked to find savings following an expenditure review into the Department of Culture and the Arts.

Local and national library associations have expressed ‘dismay’ at the proposed cuts. In a statement released on 27 February, Public Libraries WA president Michelle Brennand said the State Library was ‘the backbone for many of the public library services in local communities and any cut to the assistance provided would have a massive impact on the public’.

Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) CEO Sue McKerracher said the cuts ‘would mean books disappearing off the shelves and keen book borrowers being deprived of their reading material’. McKerracher also said she was ‘very concerned’ that funding would be cut to the ‘Better Beginnings’ program, co-funded by the WA State Library, local government and Rio Tinto, which sees 60,000 literacy bags delivered each year to families with a new baby and children starting school.

The news follows the government’s recent announcement that the WA Premier’s Book Awards, which are administered by the SLWA, will move to a biennial format in order to reduce costs.



Category: Library news