Renew our libraries
The Renew Our Libraries Campaign began in mid-2018 in response to funding cuts by the NSW state government to libraries. Funding for NSW public libraries is at a crisis point! Libraries are more than books - they are valuable centres of information, knowledge and community.
Did you know that NSW makes the lowest contribution of total funding to its public libraries of every state in Australia? At just 7.8% of total funding, NSW is far behind Victoria (18%) and Queensland (12%).
Yearly visits to NSW public libraries have increased from 27 million in 2000 to over 35 million in 2017, but state recurrent funding has not increased to match demand and was in fact, slashed by 5% in the recent 2018 NSW Budget. This means that the NSW Government contributes just $23.5 million to support over 360 libraries across the state, compared to local government contributions of over $314 million a year. Yet NSW public libraries make a massive $330 million contribution to the NSW economy every year and support over 3,000 full time equivalent jobs.
The lack of commitment by the NSW Government to fund public libraries shifts the burden onto local government’s whose budgets are already stretched. We need urgent funding to keep up with demand and to build the libraries of the future.
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.
We need to act now
Will you send Premier Berejiklian and Opposition Leader Luke Foley an email now asking them to fill the shelves by providing full and sustainable funding for public libraries in NSW?
Together, let's fix public library funding once and for all.