How Victorian public libraries contribute to the health and wellbeing of their communities

Cory Greenwood
8 min readJun 24, 2023

What difference do public libraries make? What role do they play in affecting the mental health and physical wellbeing of the communities they serve? How much value (=savings) do they deliver for the public health sector?

Photo by Madison Oren on Unsplash

In late 2022, under the broad umbrella of Statewide Public Library Development Projects delivered by State Library Victoria (SLV) in partnership with Public Libraries Victoria, research was conducted to understand and quantify the value that public libraries contribute towards community health and wellbeing.

SGS Economics & Planning and Prescience Research were engaged to produce The Health and Wellbeing Benefits of Public Libraries (HWBPL) report, an exciting body of work that found that Victorians who engage with their local library enjoy significantly better health and wellbeing than those who don’t.

Empowering Communities and Enriching Lives

Victoria’s public libraries play a crucial role in empowering and enriching the lives of users and non-users alike. Viewing library services through a health and…