Libraries are a vital piece of social infrastructure for the people in our community as they:
- Support literacy in young children
- Bridge the digital divide
- Foster social inclusion for newly arrived Australians
- Serve as a meeting place for older Australians
- Bring together people from all walks of life. Public libraries are a vital part of local community across the state – a focal point for people to access information and ideas.
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.
Thanks to the efforts of councils and community supporters so far, 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.
While we welcome these commitments as an important first step, they only go part way to delivering the $94 million objective Renew Our Libraries set at the beginning of the campaign to ‘double the funding’.
These commitments cut off in 2023 and without indexation, do not deliver a long-term solution for funding public libraries. Funding will quickly fall behind, delivering another funding crisis for public libraries in the near future. This is a scenario the campaign aims to avoid.
That’s why it is critical that together with the community, all councils commit support to the Renew Our Libraries campaign and on 23 July 2018 Lithgow City Council made this commitment.
If you love your library it’s your turn to help Renew Our Libraries. Follow the links to find out how you can support the campaign.