The true value of our libraries

Community members passionate about the role of local libraries turned out in force for the launch of the Libraries Change Lives initiative at Castlemaine Library earlier this month.
Library manager Jess Saunders said the aim of the campaign was to highlight the economic and social benefits public libraries brought to our region and the state as a whole.
Goldfields Libraries CEO Mark Hands and local author Christie Nieman also spoke about the value of public libraries and the essential services they provide every day.
Ms Saunders said the campaign hoped to kick start conversation about the important role public libraries play in our communities.
Developed by Public Libraries Victoria Network and State Library Victoria, Libraries Change Lives is a statewide project designed to build community support and attract additional state government funding for the state’s 272 public libraries, which attract more than 30 million visitors a year.
New economic modelling demonstrates that every dollar invested in public libraries generates $4.30 of benefits for the state. At the local level, every dollar invested in Goldfields Libraries is delivering $4.50 of benefits to our community.
Mr Hands said public libraries had evolved beyond their traditional role of housing collections to offer vital community services, including digital connectivity, support for all kinds of literacy (including early years, financial and digital), universal access to information and government services.
“No other institution offers the same personal help, equal and free access to information, social engagement, and sense of safety and belonging,” he said.

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