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Western Australia’s libraries in line for major overhaul

Western Australia’s libraries in line for major overhaul
February 15, 2018

Western Australia’s public library system is to be overhauled to better meet evolving community needs.

A newly released background paper and strategy from the Western Australian Government outlines five priority actions to be undertaken over the next four years, including a single access card and management system to enable users to borrow an item at any public library in Western Australia, a new public library service delivery model, the development of new legislation to guide public library services, and a new system to measure and assess the impact and value of public library services on individuals and communities.

Developed in consultation with the State Library of WA, Public Libraries Western Australia, the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA), and local councils, the strategy supports the recommendations of the Western Australian Government's Service Priority Review, which are aimed at reforming the way services are delivered to the community.

Announcing the overhaul, Western Australian Local Government Minister David Templeman advised “WA has 233 public libraries with more than one million active library members who borrowed more than 16,000,000 million physical items in 2015/16.

“(They) 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.”

Local councils provide the library building, and cover the staff and operating costs of 232 public libraries in WA, while the Library Board is responsible for the purchase and delivery of shelf stock.

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