Shellharbour City Council is delighted with the announcement of $36.5 million funding to NSW public libraries from the NSW Government, as part of the NSW 2019 State budget.
Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba has applauded the new library funding model.
“We believe that our libraries provide immense value to the residents of Shellharbour. Council has committed to a significant upgrade program for our libraries, including the new Warilla Library that is currently under construction,” Cr Saliba said.
“We’ve had record numbers of people using our libraries across Shellharbour in the past 12 months. We’ve had around 230,000 visits, 24,000 participants at library programs and we’ve gained thousands of new library members,” she said.
“The funding increase will help us to better meet the demand for libraries in our fast-growing region and support the lifelong learning needs of the Shellharbour community,” Cr Saliba said.
NSW State Librarian John Vallance welcomed the record boost in funding, which would see a total of $60 million additional Government funding for public libraries over four years.
“Public libraries offer so much to the people of NSW including quality collections, comfortable and safe public space, high speed internet, as well as events and programs. All this together helps create a literate and informed society,” Dr Vallance said.
The Minister for the Arts the Hon Don Harwin MLC said the funding would provide increases to per capita subsidies for public library, and a more transparent model for the allocation of other funds to councils based on local need.
The new funding package also includes a capital grants program of $24 million over four years, which will enable improvements to library buildings and IT systems.