Council has been championing the Renew Our Libraries campaign which was launched across NSW recently in response to decades of underfunding of libraries by the NSW Government.

The good news is that on Friday, 24 August, the NSW Government announced a record $60 million investment in the state’s public libraries.

This is a huge win but the campaign will continue to push for long-term, sustainable funding for NSW libraries recognising that libraries are a vital piece of social infrastructure for people of all ages in our community and to enable public libraries in NSW to meet the growing needs of our residents.

If enough of us speak up and show how much we value our libraries, we can ensure the NSW Government acts to renew our libraries into the future.

Click to sign the petition to stand up for our libraries

Blue Mountains City Council joins the call to double NSW Government funding for libraries

Blue Mountains Library

  • 52% of Blue Mountains residents are library users. This is above the state average of 41%.
  • Our libraries had more than 450,400 visitors in 2018/19.
  • There were over 540,000 total loans for the year and over 23,500 hours spent on library computers.
  • Blue Mountains Library has almost 116,000 physical items in its collection and almost 7,000 items in its eCollection.
  • Our library staff answered more than 38,000 information requests in 2018/19.
  • Blue Mountains Library ran 663 programs in the past year, attended by more than 21,200 people.
  • Visits to the library website was also up by 13% in 2018/19.

NSW public libraries

  • 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.
  • The NSW government contributes just $23.5 million to support over 350 libraries across the state, compared to local government contributions of over $314 million a year.
  • 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%).
  • NSW public libraries make a massive $330 million contribution to the NSW economy every year and support over 3,000 full-time equivalent jobs.