Record $36.5M State funding to benefit Bellingen Shire libraries

Bellingen Shire Libraries are set to benefit from a boost in funding, with the State Government delivering $36.5 million in funding to NSW public libraries in 2019/20. This increase is thanks in large part to the Renew our Libraries campaign run by the NSW Public Libraries Association and endorsed by the Bellingen Shire Council.

NSW State Librarian John Vallance welcomed this significant increase announced as part of the NSW State Budget in 2019, which will see a total of $60 million in additional Government funding going to 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,” said Dr Vallance.

Bellingen Shire Council Mayor, Cr Dominic King said the funding increases will make a huge difference in helping our library to better meet the growing demands of our readers and communities.

The Minister for the Arts the Hon Don Harwin MLC said: "The new funding will provide increases to public library per capita subsidies, and a more transparent model for the allocation of other funds to councils based on local need."

"All councils will receive increases to their annual payments, enabling improvements to public library collections, opening hours and services."

"We are also very pleased that the Government has amended the Library Regulation to lock in the per capita increases, giving certainty for councils about per capita funding in future years,” said Dr Vallance.

Bellingen Council’s payment from the State Library has increased from $49,113 in 2018/19 to $92,279 in 2019/20.