Renew Our Libraries

Public libraries still need our help!

 Right now, our public libraries are facing a funding crisis. NSW public libraries receive over 35 million visits a year, but State recurrent funding has not increased to match the demand and in fact, was slashed by 5% in the 2018-19 State Budget. At just 7.8% of total funding, the NSW contribution to libraries is the lowest in Australia, and far behind Victoria (18%) and Queensland (12%). 

In response to this crisis, at the 2017 LGNSW Conference, all councils unanimously agreed to joint advocacy and the NSW Public Libraries Association (NSW PLA) and Local Government NSW (LGNSW) have united to create Renew Our Libraries which launched on 1 August, 2018. Due to the incredible efforts of libraries, councils and community supporters since then, the NSW government and Opposition have committed to providing millions in additional funding to NSW public libraries over four years from 2019 - but there’s more work to do.

The good news?

After feeling the pressure from people like you, the NSW Government and NSW Labor have committed to increasing funding for our public libraries!

The bad news?

The funding still falls short and cuts off in 2023, creating an unsustainable situation for public libraries leading to severe under resourcing. Both the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition have shown they listen to people like you who care about libraries – that’s why they’ve committed to the funding so far. Let them know that we won’t be satisfied until libraries are properly and sustainably funded.

A sustainable funding model would:

• Double the contribution of the NSW Government to public libraries by 94 million dollars over four years

• Index State funding to ensure it keeps track with changes to the Consumer Price Index

• Protect this funding by providing legislation to lock in these arrangements

Will you send Premier Berejiklian and Opposition leader Michael Daley an email now and ask them to fill the shelves by providing full and sustainable funding for public libraries in NSW? Visit the Renew Our Libraries page to send an email now.

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