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8561.0 - Public Libraries, Australia, 1999-2000  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/06/2001   
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OVERVIEW


INTRODUCTION

This publication presents results, in respect of the 1999-2000 financial year, from an Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) census of local government libraries, National and State libraries and archival service organisations. Libraries with restricted access such as those operated by educational institutions (universities and schools), and libraries operated by businesses and organisations for internal reference purposes, were excluded from the collection.

There are three broad models for the operation of local government libraries in Australia:

  • A centralised model, which operates in South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory, where the acquisition, cataloguing and processing of all library stock are generally the responsibility of the State library or a single government department, with the individual locations being responsible for the service delivery.
  • A coordinated model, which operates in New South Wales and Victoria, where each library location is responsible for the total provision of library services, receiving support from the State and local government in the form of subsidies, grants and materials, and
  • A combination of these two models, which operates in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

There are also a number of joint use local government library locations (e.g. combined local government and school libraries) in South Australia, Western Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory which have been included in the scope of the collection. For purposes of this publication, the Australian Capital Territory libraries have been treated as local government libraries, because of the manner in which they operate.

Therefore, care should be taken in comparing State and Territory data as the allocation of income, expenses and employment may be treated differently according to the mode of operation.

Summary information

At the end of June 2000, there were 505 local government library organisations with 1,510 library locations, 8 National and State library organisations with 26 locations, and 8 National and State archive organisations with 27 locations operating in Australia.

The total library holding stock of these organisations was 54.3 million books and other library materials at the end of June 2000, of which 36.4 million were available as lending stock and 17.9 million as non-lending stock. This holding stock represented a 3% increase in lending stock and a 6% increase in non-lending stock since June 1997.

During 1999-2000, there were 99.4 million visits to local government, National and State libraries, which represented an 11% increase in visits since 1996-1997. In comparison, there were 11.8 million visits to botanic gardens and 79.4 million paid admissions to motion picture cinemas during the same period.

Libraries and archives are particularly reliant on government funding for their operation with 91% ($725 million) of total income being sourced from government funding.

In total, 12,596 employees worked for libraries and archives at the end of June 2000, and 5,150 volunteers worked for libraries and archives during the month of June 2000.

Income and expenses

The 1,510 local government library locations received $478 million in total income during 1999-2000. Government funding of $456 million accounted for 95% of this income. The other major source of income was services to clients (e.g. photocopying charges, binding, late charges) which accounted for $17 million. Total expenses of local government libraries was $456 million.

Employment

During June 2000, there were 14,085 persons working in local government libraries, comprising 9,592 employees at the end of June and 4,493 volunteers who worked some time during the month of June. The 4,493 volunteers in local government libraries during June 2000 worked 30,647 hours, which represented 6.8 hours per volunteer for the month.

Clients and library stock

During 1999-2000, there were 93.3 million visits to local government libraries, which represented 4.9 visits per head of population for the year. This compares with 4.6 visits per head of population in 1996-97. At the end of June 2000, local government libraries had holding stock of 39.4 million books and other library materials, of which 36.4 million books and other library materials were available as lending stock.


1.1 KEY AGGREGATES

Local government librariesNational and State librariesNational and State ArchivesTotal
1996-97
1999-2000
1996-97
1999-2000
1996-97
1999-2000
1996-97
1999-2000

Organisations at end June no.
522
505
8
8
8
8
538
521
Locations at end June no.
1,526
1,510
r26
26
r27
27
r1579
1,563
Visits to library locations '000
84,730.1
93,335.1
4,834.5
6,063.5
n.a.
n.a.
89,564.6
99,398.6
Library holdings at end June
Lending stock '000
35,489.2
36,416.4
..
..
..
..
35,489.3
36,416.4
Non-lending stock '000
2,671.8
2,963.9
14,198.8
14,925.0
n.a.
n.a.
16,870.6
17,888.9
Total '000
38,161.0
39,380.3
14,198.8
14,925.0
n.a.
n.a.
52,359.9
54,305.3
Employees at end June 2000
Librarians and archivists no.
2,298
2,422
788
732
338
359
3,424
3,513
Other employees no.
6,295
7,170
1,281
1,516
384
397
7,960
9,083
Total no.
8,593
9,592
2,069
2,248
722
756
11,384
12,596
Volunteers during June 2000 no.
n.a.
4,493
n.a.
n.p.
n.a.
n.p.
n.a.
5,150
Volunteer hours during June 2000 no.
n.a.
30,647
n.a.
n.p.
n.a.
n.p.
n.a.
33,790
Income
Government funding$m
379.3
455.7
116.0
190.9
57.0
78.2
552.2
724.8
Income from services to clients $m
14.3
17.1
13.7
11.4
5.9
8.2
33.9
36.6
Other income $m
5.4
5.3
18.1
24.7
-0.4
0.8
23.0
30.7
Total $m
398.9
478.0
147.8
227.0
62.5
87.2
609.2
792.2
Expenses
Wages and salaries $m
209.5
244.0
73.2
88.0
26.1
30.1
308.7
362.1
Other expenses $m
159.3
212.5
87.2
144.1
37.3
48.2
283.8
404.8
Total $m
368.8
456.4
160.3
232.1
63.4
78.3
592.5
766.9

r revised
np not available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated
na not available
. . not applicable

Copyright Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2001


EXPLANATORY NOTES


INTRODUCTION

1 This publication presents results, in respect of the 1999-2000 financial year, from an Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) census of local government libraries, National and State libraries and archival service organisations.


SCOPE

2 For the purposes of this collection, libraries with restricted access such as those operated by educational institutions (universities and schools) and libraries operated by businesses and organisations for internal reference purposes were excluded from the collection.

3 It should be noted that there are three broad models of local government library organisations. A centralised model exists in South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory where the acquisition, cataloguing and processing of library stock are generally the responsibility of the State library or a government department, with the individual locations being responsible for provision of service delivery. A coordinated model exists in New South Wales and Victoria, where each library location is responsible for the total provision of local government library services, receiving support from the State and local government in the form of subsidies, grants or materials. Local government libraries in Queensland and the Northern Territory have combinations of these two models.

4 There are a number of joint use library locations (e.g. local government and school libraries) in South Australia, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory which have been included in the scope of the survey.

5 Care should be taken when comparing data in this publication with that in Libraries and Museums, Australia, 1996-1997 (Cat. no. 8649.0) because the scope of the library survey was different. However, the historical data shown in this publication has been produced on the same basis to allow for accurate comparisons.


STATISTICAL UNIT

6 The statistical unit for National and State libraries and archives was the management unit. The management unit is the highest-level accounting unit within an organisation, having regard for industry homogeneity, for which accounts are maintained.

7 For local government authorities, the unit was defined to be those activities associated with the provision of library services.


RELIABILITY OF DATA

8 Because the collection was a census, the data are not subject to sampling variability. However, other inaccuracies collectively referred to as non-sampling error may affect the data. These non-sampling errors may arise from a number of sources, including:
  • errors in the reporting of data by respondents;
  • errors in the capturing or processing of data;
  • estimation for missing or misreported data; and
  • definition and classification errors.

9 Every effort has been made to reduce non-sampling error to a minimum by careful design and testing of questionnaires, efficient operating procedures and systems, and appropriate methodology.


REFERENCE PERIOD

10 Data contained in the tables of this publication relate to all employing organisations which operated in Australia at any time during the year ended 30 June 2000. Counts of organisations include only those that were operating at 30 June 2000.


ORGANISATIONS CEASED DURING THE YEAR

11 A very small number of organisations ceased operations during the 1999-2000 reference period. As is normal ABS procedure, the contributions of these organisations were included in the survey output.


ACKNOWLEDGMENT

12 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.


RELATED PUBLICATIONS

13 This publication is one of a series to be issued in respect of 1999-2000 for a range of cultural services industries. Other publications in this series are:
  • Botanic gardens, Australia,1999-2000 (Cat. no. 8563.0) - issued 23 April 2001
  • Motion Picture Exibitions, Australia,1999-2000 (Cat. no. 8654.0) - issued 18 May 2001
  • Video Hire Industry, Australia, 1999-2000 (Cat. no. 8562.0) - issued 29 May 2001
  • Museums, Australia,1999-2000 (Cat. no. 8560.0)
  • Television Industry, Australia, 1999-2000 (Cat. no. 8559.0)
  • Performing Arts, Australia,1999-2000 (Cat. no. 8697.0)
  • Commercial Art Galleries, Australia, 1999-2000 (Cat. no. 8651.0)
  • Film and Video Production and Distribution, Australia, 1999-2000 (Cat. no. 8679.0)


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