Public libraries to be modernised in overhaul of system

Friday 08 December 2017
  • ​New approach to ensure public libraries reflect community expectations
  • A single access card and management system among the measures touted
  • An implementation working group is being established to lead the consultation process
  • Public urged to provide comment on background paper and strategy released today

Western Australia's public library system will be modernised to better meet the diverse and evolving needs of the community, as part of a State Government overhaul announced today.

The WA Public Library Strategy outlines five priority actions over the next four years, including:

  • A single access card and management system that would allow users to borrow an item at any public library in WA;
  • New model to support public library service delivery in WA;
  • A new model to support regional and remote library services to ensure equal access to library services across the State;
  • Improved governance systems, including the development of new legislation to guide public library services; and
  • A system to measure and assess the impact and value of public library services on individuals and communities.

The background paper and strategy are intended to be a consultation tool to establish a shared vision for public library development in WA.

The strategy was developed following extensive research and consultation with key partners including the State Library of WA, Public Libraries Western Australia, Western Australian Local Government Association and local government authorities.

It supports recommendations of the State Government's Service Priority Review, which are aimed at reforming the way services are delivered to the Western Australian community. This approach recognises the importance and value of working collaboratively to achieve better outcomes for communities.

Electronic copies of the background paper and strategy, together with a survey to collect feedback, are available at WA Public Libraries Strategy

Comments attributed to Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman:

"Our public libraries are much-loved and much-used facilities. WA has 231 public libraries with more than one million active library members who borrowed more than 16,000,000 million physical items in 2015-16.

"On top of that, 500,000 people attended library programs and events throughout the State.

"Our public libraries are run in partnership with 139 local government authorities and they have become vibrant community hubs where children and adults of all ages can learn new skills.

"I urge anyone interested in the future of our public library system to read the background paper and strategy and give their feedback."

Minister's office - 6552 5400

Last updated on: 20 December 2017