Libraries need a lifeline

Cory Greenwood
4 min readDec 27, 2023
Photo by Dirk Ribbler on Unsplash

Public libraries play a vital role in our communities by providing access to books, resources, and programs that promote learning and community engagement. However, due to rising costs, some public libraries in Victoria have had to reduce their operating hours, cut staff, and limit program delivery, putting these vital and well-loved services at risk.

This blog post explores why operational funding for public libraries is essential, what programs and services are offered, and how additional funding can help.

The Importance of Public Libraries

Public libraries in Victoria have over 2 million members, serving almost 1 in 3 Victorians. Our libraries deliver almost 58,000 programs to over 800,000 people every year, with 200 programs on offer every single day. These include:

  • BabyTime, ToddlerTime and StoryTime
    Programs that teach parents how to engage their children in reading and foster pre-literacy skills.
  • The BIG Summer Read
    A statewide program that addresses the loss of reading proficiency in children over the summer holidays.
  • Inter-library loans
    Sharing collections between libraries allows users to access any book they want to read or study, even if their local library does not have it.
  • Inclusive events
    Programs delivered under the Libraries After Dark initiative provide a social alternative to gambling. Libraries also host inclusive events for rainbow families, sensory-friendly programs for children with disability (Sensitive Storytime) and casual socialisation events for adults with disability (LEGO for all).
  • Digital literacy support
    Helping seniors and other groups learn how to use technology and access digital resources.

Libraries also offer tutoring for students, support for job seekers, and social and stimulating book clubs on a range of topics/genres.

Without additional operational funding, libraries cannot meet the growing service demand. Many people, including those in regional and rural communities, rely on public libraries for free access to books, digital resources, and community events. By providing this universal access, libraries help promote literacy, digital connectivity, and social networks, contributing to…

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Cory Greenwood

Public Libraries | Marketing & Community Engagement