NSW councils are set to benefit from a $165m state government investment in public libraries over the next four years.
The funding includes $30 million for councils to improve collections and services, a $6 million capital grants program, $2 million in internet connectivity support and a range of targeted programs such as Broken Hill City Library’s Outback Letterbox Library.
The funding will help public libraries better meet the changing needs of their communities, Treasurer Matt Kean said.
“As part of the ongoing increase in funding, money provided to councils to support public libraries will be indexed to meet population growth,” he said in a statement.
Arts minister Ben Franklin said increases to annual subsidy packages will continue, as well as an ongoing capital grants program.
“This funding ensures all councils will continue to have access to funds for library extensions, renovations and improvements, whether they are in the cities or the regions.”
State Librarian John Vallance said the announcement is welcome news for NSW’s 364 public libraries.
“This announcement provides certainty for councils and enables them to plan ahead and to keep improving their collections, library buildings and spaces,” Mr Vallance said in a statement.
“The State Library works closely with all NSW local councils and their libraries, and we know this funding is critical to supporting free access to books and information for every citizen of NSW.”
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