Ballina backs campaign for libraries - Lismore votes tonight

FUNDING for libraries across the state has reached "crisis point", and local councils are being asked to support a new campaign that will lobby for support from politicians and decision-makers.

Ballina Shire councillors last month voted unanimously to support the NSW Public Library Associations in its push for increased funding.

Lismore City Council will vote on whether to support the campaign at tonight's meeting.

The recommendations include approaching the state member in relation to the need for additional funding, writing to the minister for the arts to implement the Reforming Public Library Funding submissions, approving the distribution of NSW Public Library Associations campaign information in libraries and take a lead role in activating the campaign locally.

NSW Public Library Associations spokesman Graham Smith said library lovers needed to work together to protect the future of libraries.

"Libraries are often the most well-used and valued public facilities in the community, but the ability of councils to maintain service levels at their local libraries may be at risk due to deteriorating state funding," he said.

"State Government expenditure on public libraries has decreased as a proportion of total public library expenditure from 23% in 1980 to only 7% in 2013.

"This reduction in funding has led to service reductions in a number of libraries across NSW, and will continue to impact on the ability of local libraries to meet the needs of their communities."

Library lovers can show their support by visiting the campaign page on the association's website.


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