Latest Australian public library statistics

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Shellharbour City Library
Shellharbour City Library, 2019 Library Design Award winner. Photo: State Library of NSW Public Library Service, CC BY-SA

The Australian Public Libraries Statistical Report for 2016-17 has been released. The report, compiled for NSLA by the State Library of Queensland, identifies and measures the usage and activities of the 1,666 public library service points and outlets across Australia.

In 2016-17 total expenditure on public libraries increased to over $1.23 billion, representing a 19.5 per cent increase since 2012-13. Expressed on a per capita basis, expenditure on public libraries has increased by 12.3 per cent over the same period to $49.92.

In 2016-17 Australia’s public libraries:

  • made over 161.4 million loans to 9.3 million public library members
  • were visited by over 114 million customers – more than 9.5 million per month
  • made available over 36.3 million items from their collections
  • spent more than $126 million ensuring that these collections remained up to date and relevant
  • hosted programs attended by more than 6.5 million people.

The full report is available below. You can also download reports from previous years.