Public libraries are much-loved and much-used facilities. Across Western Australia’s 233 public libraries, there are more than 870 000 active library members. In 2019 -20, they borrowed around 13 million physical items and around 2.3 million eBooks and audiobooks. 

There is a need for significant, transformational change to deliver more efficient and flexible public library services to continue to meet our growing and diverse community needs.  The Public Libraries Working Group (PLWG) leads this work on behalf of State and Local Government to “deliver more agile and innovative public library services and programs that respond to the diverse needs of Western Australian communities and are sustainable into the future".

The WA Public Libraries Strategy is the result of extensive research and consultation through the Public Libraries Working Group and with stakeholders including local government authorities.  

New Tiered Model to Support Public Library Service Delivery

A Framework for a new tiered model to support public library service delivery in Western Australia was endorsed by WALGA State Council and the Library Board of WA in May 2019. This aspirational framework means that local government public library services in Western Australia fall into one of three tiers primarily dependent on their population and capacity.

The endorsed Framework was phased in over 2019-20 and 2020-21.  Support for libraries in regional and remote Western Australia has been incorporated into the new model and is now facilitated by SLWA using enhanced access to technology and on-line platforms to improve engagement.

New Funding Allocation Model

The State Government provides SLWA with funds for the purchase of print and online materials for the State's 233 public libraries. Traditionally, this funding has been used exclusively for the purchase of print and online resources. The new model allows for local government to apply for some of their funding to be used to support library initiatives and public programs. The new model has been implemented from 1 July 2021.  

Under the New Funding Allocation Model, Local governments may apply for some of their funding to be used to support library initiatives and public programs.  Details of successful grant applications are listed below:

Library Priority Allocation Grants (Tier 1):

Local Government




Library of Things



DigiPlay Van (Mobile outreach vehicle for digital engagement and play based learning)



Meeting Pods



Youth Study Space



Digital Experiences Learning Area


Derby- West Kimberley

Significance Assessment



Library Connect - Project Evaluation



The Create Room, Wundowie



Spoken History: Hearing the voices of Plantagenet



Purchase of 2 x interactive touch screens - Safety Bay Library and Warnbro Community Library


Technology and Digital Inclusion Grants (Tier 2 and 3)

Local Government




Digital Awareness Project


Boyup Brook

Tech Tips



Improving Digital Inclusion - Resources and Training



Frankland River Youth Zone and Computer Lab



Interactive Foreign Language Learning Online



GO Tech Access For All



Connecting Irwin



Our Passion, Your Potential thru Technology



Craft Makerspace



Community Technology Access Program



Supply Community with Digital Hub


Upper Gascoyne

Upper Gascoyne Staying Connected



"Savvy Seniors" Computer Lessons.  (Improvement of Library Technology and Training Facilities)


Encouraging Promise Practice Grants (Tier 2)

Local Government



Boyup Brook

Library Revival



Shire of Cranbrook Archives - Equipping Volunteers and Library Staff to Preserve Our Communities History



Inspiring a Connected Irwin



Fitzy Unearthed / Fitzy Files



Waroona Public Library Interactive Children’s Space



Library Improvements and Programs


Library Priority Allocation Grants (Tier 1):

Local Government Project Amount
Cambridge Cambridge Library 2021 STEM Programme $2 400
Canning Connect in Canning – Resilient Street and Neighbourhood Project.  Subproject – “Welcome” Points $15 880
Capel STEM Robotics $3 000
Collie STEAM education and recreation collection $2 000
Gosnells Mobile Makerspace $20 000
Kalamunda Virtual reality experiences @ your library $6 416
Rockingham Purchase of interactive touch screens $10 175

Technology and Digital Inclusion Grants (Tier 2 and 3)

Local Government Project Amount
Chapman Valley Nabawa Library Relocation Project $4,343.68
Corrigin Connecting Corrigin $2,282.45
Dalwallinu Digital Lounge Project $1,597
East Pilbara Pilbara Immersion $4,944
Mingenew Public PC for Mingenew library $1,970
Narembeen Digital together in Narembeen $2,532.40
Three Springs Upgrade of computers at Three Springs library $1,905
Victoria Plains Innovating Calingiri $2,317.27
West Arthur Tablets for digital inclusion $850
Westonia Wifi for Wessie $890
Wongan-Ballidu Portable Public Use Devices $2,948.60
Woodanilling Community Internet Access Computer $2,040

Encouraging Promise Practice Grants (Tier 2)

Local Government Project Amount
Chittering Bindoon Library Reading Nook $4,818.24
Dalwallinu Cubby house play and learn project $3,979.38
Narembeen Building brains together in Narembeen $2,738.75

One Card Project

As part of the WA Public Libraries Strategy the State Library of Western Australia commissioned AOT Consulting Pty Ltd to prepare a business case to scope requirements and assess options for a model to facilitate single library card access (one card) for the community throughout Western Australia.  This proposal was rejected by State Treasury.  State Library is currently investigating if the State Library’s library management system can be shared with Tier 2 and 3 local governments in a consortia arrangement.

Oversees the implementation of public library strategies.
The Public Library Strategy closed on 8 April 2022.
This page last updated on 14 April 2022