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Australian Libraries in Focus

Australian Libraries in Focus
May 21, 2008

To coincide with Library and Information Week (being held from 19th to 25th May), the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released data on library usage in Australia. Under the theme 'Libraries are for everyone', the ABS report that:

• 46% of Australians aged over 18 years visited a library in 2006.
• After going to the cinema, libraries were the second most attended cultural venue or event in 2006.
• Almost two-thirds (65%) of Australians aged 15 and over who had visited a library during the 12-month period 2005/06 had visited more than six times during that period, including 25% who had visited more than 20 times.
• Females were more likely than males to visit a library - their attendance rate was 41%, compared with 27% for males.
• 55% (1,467,500) of children visited a public library outside of school hours in 2005/06.
• 74% (1,984,000) of children read for pleasure in April 2006. While 80% of girls read for pleasure during the same period, only 69% of boys did so.
• 72,600 Australians reported unpaid involvement in libraries and archives in April 2007.
• Federal and State and Territory Government funding for libraries in 2005/06 was $394.0 million. This was a national average of $19.95 per person.

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