South Australian councils invest around $110.5 million annually to operate 100+ public libraries and support another 40 school/community libraries in rural and remote areas.
Public libraries are the most highly trafficked public buildings in the nation and today, provide far more than books.
Many libraries have evolved into community and service centre hubs, incorporating meeting rooms which are used by a huge variety of community groups. Some also have cafes.
Libraries offer free internet and computer access, lend out CDs and DVDs, toys, computer tablets and sometimes even garden equipment. They run programs that bring people from all walks of life together, including story time, summer reading clubs, English as a second language, online games, digital literacy courses and book discussion groups.
The State Government provides $19m in support to all libraries including about $12m in operating and materials grants and a further $7m in services including the one card network, internet access and bulk contracts for books and for transport of books between libraries. This assistance is provided under a formal agreement between the LGA and the Minister for the Arts and managed by the Libraries Board of SA.
Libraries also play a vital role in the collection and distribution of information about community groups and services. To find information about community services in South Australia visit the SAcommunity website.
More than 600,000 South Australians are active members of the acclaimed one-card library network, and between them they borrowed more than 15 million items in 2016. For more information visit www.libraries.sa.gov.au.