2018-19 Australian public libraries statistics

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Australian public libraries statistics 2018-19
Background image: Henty Library, NSW - State Library of NSW Public Library Services (CC-BY)

The Australian Public Libraries Statistical Report for 2018-19 is now available. The report is a quantitative snapshot of Australia's 1,683 public library service points.

In 2018-19:

  • The total expenditure on public libraries increased to over $1.32 billion in 2018-19, an increase of 16.4% since 2014-15. On a per capita basis, the total expenditure on public libraries increased by 9.1% over the same period to $52.38.
  • More than 110 million visits to these physical facilities and an additional 51 million visits to public library websites.
  • There were more than 9 million registered members, representing 36% of the total Australian population.
  • Total collections of more than 39.2 million items (1.5 items per person) were available for the use of the community, with expenditure of more than $133 million to ensure that these collections remained up to date and relevant.
  • Total usage of public library collections of over 158 million, comprised of more than 136 million loans of physical items and more than 22 million loans, downloads and retrievals from electronic collections.
  • More than 273,000 library programs attracted over 7.4 million attendances.
  • Public library staff responded to over 8 million requests for information or assistance.

The Australian Public Libraries Statistical Report is an annual project that identifies and measures the usage and activities of Australia's public library services. This report is compiled for NSLA by the State Library of Queensland using data supplied by the authority responsible for public library services in each state and territory.