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NSW regional libraries to receive enormous funding boost

For regional towns, a library is so much more than its title. A library provides local communities with a space for learning, research and recreation. Whether users are after the Internet, book loans, childcare or a quiet study area, these spaces are of the utmost importance to the residents of our towns.

The Nationals recognise this and have announced $4 million funding to be allocated to regional libraries across NSW.

This fantastic development will result in 31 public libraries undergoing extensive and necessary upgrades. This funding from the Public Library Infrastructure Grants program will improve public library infrastructure, including buildings and information technology systems, and will provide users with a greatly improved experience.

The Glen Innes Library and Learning Centre’s $63,734 grant will be put towards a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system. This electronic loaning and security system will allow librarians and book lovers alike to easily keep track of borrowed items, providing added protection against theft and loss.

“Librarians will be able to cut down on a lot of the mundane tasks that fill up their day – freeing them up to focus on valuable tasks like recommending books to members, or teaching seniors computer skills,” Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said.

“As times change, so must libraries – and this grant will ensure Glen Innes Learning Centre is able to keep up to date with the demands of the community,” added Mr Marshall.

Member for Cootamundra Katrina Hodgkinson announced that the funding for Hilltops Council libraries will similarly be used for the integration of the library IT system.

“It is fantastic news that this funding will support new measures at the local Hilltops libraries to improve their capacity to keep track of, and also to expand, their various collections,” Katrina said.

“Libraries are a great community facility and it is important our public libraries continue to receive appropriate support to remain viable into the future.”

The funding allocation brings the NSW Government support for public libraries in 2016/17 to almost $32.5 million.

For the 2016/17 round of funding, successful Council applicants include the following localities:

  • Glen Innes;
  • Bourke;
  • Bellingen Shire;
  • Cobar;
  • Coffs Harbour;
  • Forbes;
  • Hilltops;
  • Hay;
  • Griffith City;
  • Gilgandra;
  • Greater Hume;
  • Port Macquarie;
  • Tamworth Regional;
  • Snowy Valleys;
  • Lachlan;
  • Gunnedah;
  • Cabonne;
  • Broken Hill City;
  • Murray River;
  • Coonamble, and;
  • Gilgandra.

The Public Library Infrastructure Grants program is administered by the State Library of NSW on behalf of the Library Council of NSW.

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