NSW libraries get $36.5m boost
The NSW state government has announced a funding boost of $36.5m to public libraries in 2019/20, as part of a total of $60m in additional funding over four years.
NSW state librarian John Vallance said the funding will make ‘a huge difference to public libraries right across NSW, helping them to better meet the growing demands from their communities’.
‘Public libraries offer so much to the people of NSW including quality collections, comfortable and safe public space, high speed internet, as well as events and programs,’ said Vallance. ‘All this together helps create a literate and informed society.’
NSW arts minister Don Harwin said the new funding will provide increases to public library per capita subsidies, with a transparent model to allocate other funds to councils based on local need. ‘All councils will receive increases to their annual payments, enabling improvements to public library collections, opening hours and services,’ said Harwin. ‘Small councils such as Bourke will see increases to annual subsidies of over $45,000, while large councils such as Blacktown will receive increases of over $100,000, with more to come in future years.’
The new funds will also cover a $24m, four-year capital grants program to improve library buildings and IT systems.
The budget has also allocated $2m over four years to the State Library for Vision Australia, to provide expanded services and a greater selection of audio and braille books.
Category: Library news