Council rallies behind Renew Our Libraries
Cessnock City Council has thrown their support behind the NSW Public Libraries Association and Local Government NSW ‘Renew Our Libraries’ funding campaign.
Renew Our Libraries is advocating for the NSW State Government to reverse funding cuts to libraries across the state and seek bi-partisan support for the provision of a significant increase in funding for NSW public libraries.
The campaign is a result of the NSW Government slashing funding by a huge 18 per cent to the 360 public libraries across the state, a cut that threatens the viability of these important community hubs.
Currently the NSW Government contributes 7.8 per cent to total funding of libraries. Our neighbours Victoria and Queensland are doing a lot better. In Victoria the government contributes 18 per cent and in Queensland the rate is 12 per cent.
Local governments across NSW contribute a whopping $314 million annually to ensure our libraries remain thriving community centres. On the other hand the NSW Government contributes just $23.5 million a year.
Cessnock City Mayor, Councillor Bob Pynsent said the significance of local libraries cannot be understated.
“You only have to walk into any of our local library branches on any given day to see how integral these spaces are to our residents. They are not just a service that has great resources, but provide a space where people connect, learn and are entertained.”
“In our local government area less than half of households have a computer. Our libraries are a central place for residents, especially students doing their homework or assessments.”
“The importance of libraries needs to be a priority and these services need to be supported by a sustainable funding model.” Cr Pynsent said.