Lane Cove Library is a busy place. It has one of the highest lending rates in NSW. Lane Cove Library is a cultural and community place where residents can borrow books, enjoy workshops and obtain information.
Modern libraries play an important role, not in upholding a sense of academic excellence and intellectual superiority among users, but in their inclusivity. They are places where people of all demographics can come together and enjoy the free use of a public space. The elderly and the young, parents and students all harmoniously share the library. It is an opportunity for integration between the generations that is rarely available elsewhere, but is beneficial to both the old and the young. Education opportunities available through libraries further serve to close the generational gap, with elderly people offered tutorials on the use of IT to help them navigate the technological age. And while library users may not necessarily converse or engage with each other, crucially, they are not alone, helping to alleviate the loneliness that is becoming the scourge of our time.
To make sure tomorrow’s libraries remain at the heart of our community, we need to resource them well today. That is why the Renew Our Libraries Campaign has been launched.
But the NSW Government is not contributing its fair share:
- For almost 40 years, funding has not kept up with demand and our public libraries are struggling to provide the services our community needs.
- Yearly visits to NSW public libraries have increased from 27 million in 2000 to over 35 million in 2017, but the State government has not increased recurrent funding, instead slashing it by a further five percent in its most recent budget.
- Today, local governments provide the bulk of annual funding, contributing $314 million a year, with the NSW Government contributing just $23.5 million a year.
We need to protect our libraries otherwise we could find that you don’t know what you have lost until its gone. In July this year, economics professor Panos Mourdoukoutas wrote a Forbes Article arguing for shutting down local libraries in favor of brick and mortar Amazon stores “in all communities.” This article met with such an uproar it was deleted by Forbes. Without our community standing up for libraries this could possibly happen.
Hey in case you did not know it libraries are cool, according to a piece on Upworthy by Parker Malloy. Many a young romance has blossomed over the reference section in the Lane Cove Library.
Most of all, libraries are a valuable community space. Along with parks and playgrounds, they are part of our social infrastructure. Shops and cafes and pubs are fine but it’s important to have spaces where you’re free to be a citizen not a consumer.
In this week’s North Shore Times Letters to the Editor, Ken Wilson from Willoughby had this to say:
“HATS OFF to Willoughby Council Library in Chatswood, the Friday before the first week of the trial exams, instead of closing up on schedule at 7pm they went round the large group of year 12s who seek refuge there to study and told them they could stay. They also introduced a group of tutors to help with their studies.”
The Lane Cove Library has responded to increased public demand by extending their opening hours. These extended opening hours reflect the popularity of the Library as a facility enjoyed by the whole community.
Lane Cove Library Hours
The new hours are:
Monday – Thursday: 9:30 am – 9:00 pm
Friday – Saturday: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday: 9:30 am – 2:00 pm
The Lane Cove Council has advised ITC they are looking at ways to fund extended opening hours on Sunday. Sunday is a very popular day for HSC and University students to study at the library.
Join the Fight for More Funding
The funding will not come from the NSW State Government.
Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President Linda Scott has noted:
The 2018/19 State Budget included a $25.2 million cut to the grants and subsidies that enable local government to provide local infrastructure and services. Funding to public libraries has been slashed by 18 per cent. Public libraries in NSW already receive the lowest per capita support of all Australian states.This NSW State Budget sees library funding plummeting to record low levels.
An investment in public libraries is an investment in the educational, social, cultural and economic outcomes of local communities. Research has shown that every dollar invested in public libraries returns $4 to community.
Together we can build a movement demand action and funding commitments from all political parties in the lead up to the 2019 NSW Election.
Join thousands of people across NSW to call for increased investment in our public libraries. Sign the petition here and send an email to our local STATE member Anthony Roberts telling him why the Lane Cove library is important and should be funded.
Lane Cove Council operate two libraries in the area – Lane Cove Library; and the other being Greenwich Library, on Greenwich Road. There is a third library in the area operated by Willoughby Council, West Chatswood Library, which is located on Mowbray Road, next to Mowbray Eatery.
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