Love Your Library: Valentine's Day timely reminder for NSW Government

12 February 2018

Forget roses and chocolates on Valentine’s Day – February 14 is the time for the State Government to show our local libraries some love, according to Local Government NSW (LGNSW).

LGNSW President Linda Scott said the 450 council-run public libraries in NSW receive less state government funding than in any other state or territory in Australia.

February 14 has been named ‘Library Lovers Day’ by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), a move LGNSW strongly supports.

“NSW public libraries are visited by more than 34.8 million people each year,” Clr Scott said.

“To put this in context, the Sydney Cricket Ground, Allianz and ANZ stadiums combined attract an average 3.1 million visits per year.

“Our council-run libraries operate as important community and literacy hubs, both in rural and regional NSW and in metropolitan areas.

“They’re open to everyone and they’re free, offering a wide range of services that can include children’s story time, homework help for students, and activities for seniors – no entry ticket required.

 “Yet the NSW Government contributes $3.76 per capita; well under than the next lowest government contribution of $6.07 provided in Queensland.

“The South Australian Government contributes $25.69, which is a strong recognition of the vital community services our libraries provide.

“The NSW Government tells us it’s committed to investing the State Budget surplus in better public infrastructure, yet we’re still lagging at the bottom of the league table when it comes to public library funding.

“It’s well past time for the NSW Government to ‘share the love’ with our public libraries by boosting funding support.”

Clr Scott said the Government’s forecasts for dramatic population growth in NSW make it even more important to boost funding for underlying community infrastructure now.

“The NSW Department of Planning and Environment is projecting a NSW population of 9.9 million people by 2036, and the State Government is pushing for faster development to support this growth,” she said.

“Let’s make sure that community infrastructure and services such as those provided by public libraries aren’t left to fall even further behind the rest of Australia.

“The last thing anyone wants to see are council-run libraries being left with no choice other than to reduce library collections, services and opening hours.”


Media Enquiries

LGNSW President Linda Scott
Media Toni Allan: 0412 774 441