Public libraries are particularly reliant on government funding for their operation, with 92% of their total income of $705.0m in 1999-2000 coming from this source. The total expenses of public libraries in 1999-2000 were $688.5m, of which $367.4m (53%) were labour costs. Other major expenses were purchases of library materials, and repairs and maintenance. The eight national and state archives were also highly dependent on government funding with $78.2m of their total $87.2m coming from this source.
10.8 INCOME AND EXPENSES OF PUBLIC LIBRARIES - 1999-2000
National and state libraries
All public libraries
|Government funding |
|Federal and state/territory |
|Income from services to clients |
|Other income |
|Total income |
|Labour costs |
|Telecommunication services |
|Repair and maintenance expenses |
|Purchase of library materials(a) |
|Total expenses |
|- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells) |
|(a) In addition to these purchases, public libraries also had $75.6m of capital expenditure on library materials (these purchases are treated as an asset and depreciated over a number of years). |
|ABS, Public Libraries, Australia, 1999-2000 (cat. no. 8561.0). |
An annual ABS collection of data on government funding of cultural activities provides more up to date information on the main source of income for libraries and archives. Data from the collection showed that the Australian Government increased funding for public libraries from $39.3m in 2000-01 to $49.1m in 2002-03, an increase of 25%.
State and territory government funding increased by 16% over the same period, from $273.2m to $317.9m. Australian Government funding for archives also increased, from $43.8m in 2000-01 to $63.7m in 2002-03. This represents an increase of 45%. By comparison, state and territory government funding for archives decreased by 4% over the same period, from $42.4m to $40.6m.
Substantial funding of libraries and archives also occurs at the local government level, but this data was not available for 2002-03. However, as an indicator of their contribution to these facilities, local governments provided funding of over $450m in 2000-01.