New funding for public libraries a welcome first start

Renew Our Libraries has welcomed a $60 million funding commitment for NSW public libraries as an important first step in the right direction and has thanked councils and supporters for their efforts so far.

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President Linda Scott said this announcement by Arts Minister Don Harwin was an excellent start, but further clarification was needed and further work was required to fix the long-term funding model for NSW public libraries.

“We welcome this announcement to better fund our public libraries across NSW as a positive first step in the right direction,” Clr Scott said.

“I want to thank all of the councils and over 6,000 supporters who have signed up to support Renew Our Libraries. This important win is due to your efforts.

“Our libraries face a funding crisis due to decades of underinvestment and this funding will help our public libraries deliver the services our communities need.

“That said, it is critical that any commitment of extra funding be recurrent, to ensure our public libraries can continue to grow and provide those valued services with certainty well into the future.”

NSW Public Libraries Association (NSWPLA) President Clr Dallas Tout welcomed this commitment, but said he would be seeking further clarification from the Government.

“We need to understand exactly how, and over what time period, this funding boost will be rolled out,” he said.

“We’ll also be seeking further detail on where the funding is going to ensure it meets the needs of the community.

“Additionally, we still need to fix the current funding model which sees local governments provide 92.5% of public library funding in NSW.

“We continue to call on all political parties to commit to properly funding public libraries across NSW.”

Source: LGNSW

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