Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has announced $456,720 in funding for Junee, Narrandera and Temora Shire Councils under the 2021/22 Public Library Infrastructure Grant program.

Ms Cooke said the grants are part of $6 million worth of funding for 26 public library projects across NSW.

“These are significant grants that will help our local libraries undertake a variety of measures such as increasing the programs offered at their libraries and the purchasing of new furniture,” Ms Cooke said.

“Our close-knit communities take great pride in our libraries that provide a wide range of valuable assets to the community, and cater for all ages. It is important that they have quality facilities, great collections and access to the internet, so it is wonderful to be able to assist in upgrading these critical sources to ensure they can continue to be a source of delight, entertainment, education and information.”

Projects awarded funding under the program:

  • Junee Shire Council, $319,110 to refurbish Junee Library increasing the usable public space in the library by removing a large service desk and office. Funds will also provide flexible furniture throughout the library, and upgrade lighting, electrical and flooring.
  • Narrandera Shire Council, $35,523 to enhance access to collections and increase space for programs in Narrandera Library’s children’s area. The project will include new mobile shelving, furniture, signage and technology.
  • Temora Shire Council, $102,087 for improvements to Temora library as the final stage of an ongoing renovation project. This phase includes painting and new signage, upgraded lighting, automatic doors and accessible entrance.

NSW Minister for the Arts, the Hon Ben Franklin said public libraries continue to grow and provide access to services that help people at all stages of their lives.

“This funding is part of the additional $60M over four years the NSW Government is providing to enhance library services and facilities across the state,” Mr Franklin said.

“The NSW Government is committed to working with councils to enhance library services and facilities across the state.

“This funding allocation brings the total of State Government support for NSW libraries in 2021/22 to a record $38.6 million.”

NSW State Librarian Dr John Vallance said the funds will enable councils to develop or improve library buildings and mobile library services.

“Two years of fires, floods and plague have left the people of New South Wales more in need of strong, safe, well-provisioned libraries than ever before. Public library funding is one of the State Government’s most significant contributions to the health of our communities.”

The Library Council of NSW, assisted by the State Library, assessed the applications for grants under the 2021/22 program.