The Victorian Government is building on the central role that libraries play in communities across the state, backed by record investment in services and resources.

Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane joined representatives from the Victorian public library sector for the Libraries by Design Conference, highlighting the importance of libraries in Victoria.

Co-hosted by Public Libraries Victoria and State Library Victoria, the virtual conference explored innovative library design themes and celebrated the role that libraries play in creating a thriving, equitable and sustainable world.

Public libraries will receive record funding of $47.4 million in 2021-22 with the Public Libraries Program receiving an additional $9.3 million over four years in the Victorian Budget 2021/22 to enable libraries to buy new books and collection items, run online services and expand their community programs.

The Government is also investing in new and upgraded libraries with $10.1 million available in 2021-22 through the Living Libraries Infrastructure Program.

Applications for this funding round will open in the second half of 2021.

Public libraries also benefit from the Premiers’ Reading Challenge Book Fund, with $1.1 million available in 2021-22 for books and materials to support young readers.

Victoria is home to 276 permanent library branches and 28 mobile library services, with more than 2.1 million library members across the state.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane

“With more funding than ever before, we’re supporting councils, regional library corporations and Vision Australia to provide public library services to encourage lifelong learning.”

“Libraries are such an important resource – from big inner-city centres to smaller operations in regional and rural Victoria, they provide a place where people of all ages and backgrounds can expand their worlds.”