Friday 10 July 2009
Public Libraries NSW Metropolitan Association: June 2009 Survey of 2009 Library Patronage and 2010 Library Budgets www.plmnsw.org.au
On 6 June 2009 I circulated a short survey re the patronage of PLM Member's Public Libraries during the 2008/09 financial year and PLM Member's Library Budgets for 2009/10.
Below is a SNAPSHOT of the findings from the responses received:
18 of a possible 42 PLM Member's Libraries responded to the survey. The 18 LGAs represent a total LGA population of 2.2m people: 48% of the greater Sydney region's population (4.5m), 32% of the NSW population (6.9m) and 10% of Australia's population (21.6m).
6 of the 18 represent LGAs with populations greater than 150,000
5 of the 18 represent LGAs with populations between 100,000 and 150,000
5 of the 18 represent LGAs with populations between 50,000 and 100,000
2 of the 18 represent LGAs with populations under 50,000
2008/09 Library Patronage:
General increases in visitor numbers from very small (1% to 4%) to very large (over 20%) when compared with the previous year (2007/08)
Where increases have occurred, these have been across the board for sectors of the community eg job seekers, new migrants, and children and youth, and for a range of library programs eg baby rhyme time, children's story time, book groups, cultural and community programs, and homework/HSC help programs
One library (over 150,000 LGA population) reported a 46% increase in book groups
One library (over 150,000 LGA population) reported a 10%+ increase in loans and specifically in junior fiction
One library (50,000-100,000 LGA population range) reported a 20% increase in loans, 50% increase in PC bookings and a 24% increase in visits
PC/internet usage has witnessed a very large increase in some libraries:
One library (100,000-150,000 LGA population range) reported a 124% increase in internet usage
One library (50,000-100,000 LGA population range) commented that "Internet usage is at an all time high"
2009/10 Library Budgets:
Some marginal increases but generally stable and/or reductions
Increases in budgets are generally associated with Staff CPI Wage increases and not necessarily for library resources (eg book votes and programs) - few libraries with increases in resources budgets
Where a reduction in book vote and other resources is occurring: in some cases, up to and over 10%
With budget reductions, there are some reviews of opening hours (ie with possible reductions) occurring
Some reductions reported in Capital Budgets
Cameron Morley (State Library of NSW) very recently provided a snapshot of 2007/08 NSW Public Library utilisation:
Visits 36.4m - up 4.3% over the previous year and 17.5% over the past 5 years
Loans 48.8m - up 0.2% over the previous year and 6.1% over the past 5 years
Internet hours used in libraries 3.9m - up 41% over the previous year and 59.5% over the past 5 years.
From across the Tasman, the following late June 2009 email from the Chair of the Public Libraries Special Interest Group of LIANZA (Library and Information Association of New Zealand) - NZ has a population of 4.1m, with two-thirds living on the North Island, and Auckland with 1.4m people or 31% of the total NZ population - Auckland is marginally smaller than each of the WSROC and SSROC LGA populations:
"We are nearing the time of adoption of our LTCCPs around the country, so nearly there. At our recent North Island Library Managers meeting there was talk of some councils cutting budgets - not building libraries previously planned for and/or cutting materials budgets. It seems most councils have had to 'belt tighten' but until final adoption not positive how many are affected.
Of course our colleagues in the Auckland region are already planning to further the public library collaboration in view of the "super city" amalgamations. I have no doubt that other urban centres will follow suit - scooping up some of those smaller district councils. These are indeed interesting times."
Many thanks indeed for your input and assistance - very much appreciated.
I will be providing a further, more detailed review of the survey responses at the PLM Quarterly General Meeting on Friday 31 July 2009 (10am to 1pm) that will be held in the Mosman Council Chambers. Details to follow re this meeting and location/parking/transport.
Public Libraries NSW Metropolitan Association (PLM)
Mobile: 0407 208 364
Business: 02 9489 2310 (+61 2 9489 2310)
PLM Website: www.plmnsw.org.au
7 years ago