Australian libraries facts and figures from the ABS, 2008

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May 21, 2008

Australian libraries facts and figures from the ABS

To celebrate Library and Information Week (19 May - 25 May) the ABS has prepared the following snapshot on the theme of "Libraries are for everyone".
  • 46% of Australians aged over 18 years visited a library in 2006.
  • Libraries were the second most attended cultural venue or event in 2006. The most popular cultural and leisure activities enjoyed by people aged 18 years and over in 2006 were: going to the movies (69% of persons when reporting all activities enjoyed over a 12 month period); visiting libraries (46% of persons); visiting zoological parks and aquariums (41%); and visiting botanic gardens (40%).
  • Almost two-thirds (65%) of Australians aged 15 and over who had visited a library during the 12-month period 2005-06 had visited more than six times during that period, including 25% who had visited more than 20 times.
  • Females were more likely than males to visit a library - their attendance rate was 41%, compared with 27% for males.
  • 55% (1,467,500) of children visited a public library outside of school hours in 2005-06.
  • 74% (1,984,000) of children read for pleasure in April 2006. While 80% of girls read for pleasure during the same period, only 69% of boys did so.
  • 72,600 Australians reported unpaid involvement in libraries and archives in April 2007.
  • Federal and State and Territory Government funding for libraries in 2005-06 was $394.0 million. This was a national average of $19.95 per person.

Information sourced from General Social Survey: Summary of Results, Australia 2006, cat. no. 4159.0; Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events, Australia 2005-2006, cat. no. 4114.0; Children’s Participation in Culture and Leisure Activities, Australia, April 2006, cat. no. 4901.0; Work in Selected Culture and Leisure Activities, April 2007, cat. no. 6281.0; and Cultural Funding by Government, Australia, 2005-06, cat. no. 4183.0.