Sunday, August 07, 2011

library funding returned and review on the cards

Late last week the Minister for Local Government, Jeanette Powell, announced funding of $6.5million for Victorian libraries.

It was in response to the government's decision to withdraw funding from our libraries, which was unannounced in July (see blog). The government initially blamed the ALP for the shortfall, given the budget was handed down by the Liberal/National coalition, this is difficult to understand.

The Minister's latest announcement is a step in the right direction, it's good to see the government has taken action to return funding to libraries. It is also good to see the government has committed to a longer term review of libraries, their services and their funding.

The detailed information and funding agreements are still to come and we all know the devil is always in the detail but it seems so far:

The good news:
~ Funding was reinstated to last year's level to libraries across the state.
~ There will be a comprehensive review of library services and funding arrangements, this will be an opportunity to highlight the continuing unsustainable funding model for our libraries, state government only contributes 19% funding to our libraries and their contribution goes down every year regardless of whether it's a Labor or Liberal/National coalition government, this funding inequity needs urgent redress and hopefully the review will provide a mechanism to make this happen.

The bad news:
~ Yarra Ranges indexed library funding has not been reinstated for this year meaning our budget still has a shortfall, although the extent of the shortfall isn't known as yet. Only when we receive the details will we know what's really on the table and what we'll lose for this year (11/12).

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At 9:38 PM, Blogger Inge Meldgaard said...

There are many reasons why library funding should not be cut, but as a new author, it's particularly hard on us because libraries won't be as inclined to buy the works of lesser known Australian authors if they don't have decent budgets.


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