Public library funding hits record new high with $60 million boost

READING MATTERS: Moree Plains Shire Trainee Library Assistant Ebonie Hyland and Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall.
READING MATTERS: Moree Plains Shire Trainee Library Assistant Ebonie Hyland and Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall.

NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall today announced public libraries across the region would be able to expand their collections, carry out major upgrade work, and extend their services thanks to a record $60 million investment from the NSW Government.

Mr Marshall said the extra funding would transform and modernise local libraries, delivering key services and educational and cultural experiences across the entire State.

“I welcome this boost in support for our library facilities, which are at the heart of every local community,” Mr Marshall said. 

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“This investment in libraries will provide for a wide range of community needs such as better access to collections, children’s services, public IT, connectivity, events, and programs.

“Public libraries are very important in our towns and villages, providing all kinds of opportunities for people at every age and every stage of life, and all interests.

“This funding will also support the roll out of more Service NSW self-serve kiosks at public libraries, which will allow everyone to access key government services.

“Libraries have embraced change, and are now so much more than books and membership cards.”

Mr Marshall said local councils expressed concerns after the 2018-19 NSW Budget about the level of library funding.

“I am pleased that the government has acted quickly on these genuine concerns and boosted the funding to ensure our local libraries continue to be wonderful resources for everyone in our community,” he said.

The money will be used to extend opening hours, expand book collections, deliver English lessons, provide HSC study help. and classes and outreach programs for seniors. It will also enable smaller libraries to expand and deliver mobile library services in remote locations, among other initiatives.

This story Public library funding hits record new high with $60 million boost first appeared on The Armidale Express.