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$60m invested into NSW public libraries

The NSW government has announced a $60 million boost to NSW public libraries, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

The announcement, made on Friday, 24 August by Arts minister Don Harwin, follows a NSW Public Libraries Association and local government campaign to increase library funding in the state.

Harwin said that all councils would receive a 40-50% increase in subsidy funding by 2022-23, in a ‘landmark occasion for NSW public libraries’. The funding would have particular significance in areas of population growth such as Wagga Wagga, where the announcement was made in the lead up to a local byelection. ‘This significant investment demonstrates that our government supports the hundreds of libraries across the state,’ said Harwin.

NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian called the funding ‘the biggest single cash injection’ in the history of NSW public libraries. ‘This historic investment will transform the way NSW’s public libraries deliver much-needed services, especially in regional areas, enhancing customer experience and convenience,’ she said.

In an interview with the ABC, Renew Our Libraries campaign spokesperson Robert Knight said he was surprised at the quick turnaround by the government, with library funding slashed by five percent in recent months.

‘We are grateful the government of the day has actually recognised the value of public libraries,’ said Knight.

 

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Category: Library news