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Renew Our Libraries campaign seeks increased library funding in NSW

Public library users across New South Wales are being encouraged to sign a petition calling for a fairer funding model as part of the Renew Our Libraries campaign, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

The campaign, run by the NSW Public Libraries Association and Local Government NSW (LGNSW), urges the NSW government to double its contribution to public library funding and create a ‘sustainable’ funding model in the lead-up to next year’s state election.

LGNSW president and City of Sydney councillor Linda Scott said funding for public libraries had reached ‘crisis point’ and they were struggling to maintain services. Scott said the NSW government had cut recurrent funding to libraries by 5% in its most recent budget and also cut off infrastructure funding for metropolitan libraries.

According to LGNSW, the NSW government’s 7.8% contribution to total funding of libraries is the lowest of any state, less than the Victorian government’s 18% contribution and Queensland government’s 12% contribution. ‘The NSW government now contributes just $23.5 million a year to support more than 360 libraries across the state,’ said Scott. ‘This compares with a local government contribution of more than $314 million a year.’

The campaign emphasises that a sustainable funding model will allow libraries to continue to deliver programs and activities, technology and databases, and infrastructure and community spaces.

For more information, and to sign the petition, see the website.


Category: Library news