After a $5.2 million cut to library funding from the NSW State Budget, Griffith is being reassured the services at our library will be maintained.
Griffith City Council (GCC) say while it is unknown how these cuts will directly impact the library, they are still committed to providing the existing services.
Resident Gloria Maugeri goes to the library every Tuesday for Baby Bounce and says it would be a shame to see community events like these disappear.
“It would be a shame to any of these things have to be cut,” Mrs Maugeri said.
“Our library provides a range of services the community needs.”
Director of Business Cultural and Financial Services Max Turner said GCC is “absolutely” committed to delivering a Library service which supports the values of inclusion, literacy and lifelong learning.
“While the exact breakdown of the State Government’s subsidy reductions is unknown at this point, NSW public libraries already receive the lowest level of State Government assistance in the country making this latest announcement all the more disappointing,” Mr Turner said.
NSW has the lowest level of state government library expenditure in Australia at less than eight per cent – the lowest level of any Australian state or territory.
Greens Regional Arts spokesperson, Dawn Walker has slammed cut to libraries and accused the Government of taking a sledgehammer to communities.
“Our local libraries are at the heart of our communities; they’re where young families meet for story time, seniors learn online skills and students come to locate resources and services,” Ms Walker said.
“But instead of investing in our libraries, the Liberal-National State Government has cut $5.2 million from library funding by eliminating an annual grants program worth $4 million and slashing $1.2 million from annual subsidy payments that local councils rely on operate library branches.”
It is alleged this latest budget cut will place enormous strain on councils - potentially forcing them to reduce staff, cut opening hours, and reduce community programs.
Mr Turner said research indicates that for every $1 invested in public libraries, there is a $2.90 economic return on investment.
“Any reduction in funding is very short sighted and GCC encourages the State Government to recognise the value of public libraries and to re-evaluate this decision and increase their investment in this vital service,” Mr Turner said.
He assured GCC will continue to deliver an evolving Library service meeting the needs of the community.