Wednesday, 29 May 2024
    “It’s a lot to deliver for the cost of two new books,” regional libraries on shoestring budget
    09
    Apr
    Library

    “It’s a lot to deliver for the cost of two new books,” regional libraries on shoestring budget

    Regional libraries are more than just book repositories; they are vital community hubs. Take the Kyogle library in New South Wales, for example, it hosts diverse programs from Italian classes to Lego clubs, and served as a refuge during floods and the pandemic. Yet the library only receives just $60.22 per person annually. “It’s a lot to deliver for the cost of two new books.” writes Helen Hawkes, in a recent article on regional libraries operating on a shoestring budget 

    Funding starts at $2.85 per capita then grants and levies are added in. This reflects a rise in public library funding due to a 10-year campaign by local governments which resulted in a commitment to boost funding in 2020. Yet, libraries in regional towns operate on shoestring budgets and they face challenges, often unable to open full-time or provide extensive services. 

    To add to the budget pressure, libraries are called on to deliver a broad range of services, such as Rainbow Storytime – a Pride event that involves drag queens reading stories to children, toy library, yoga and meditation, and no-fixed-address membership, to name a few.  

    Smart librarians must be ingenious with effective procurement. With over 50 suppliers covering 15 categories, Procurement Australia offers a Library Collections Contract, which provides a one-stop solution for all library needs. From management systems to cosy reading corners, this contract ensures competitive prices and all Procurement Australia members can access our team of procurement experts. By leveraging this contract, libraries can continue to thrive for generations to come. 

    There’s a lot to be gained from a well-resourced library. We are in agreement with Kyogle’s mayor, Kylie Thomas, who says it's a “priceless” investment in the community. 

    Source: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/dec/31/libraries-in-regional-towns-are-building-community-on-a-shoestring-budget

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