The State Library collects comprehensive statistics from councils annually about their library services.
Under section 5 of the Library Act 1939 the Library Council of NSW makes careful inquiry into the administration and management of every local library in NSW. Key annual statistics are then used by public libraries for planning, developing and managing library services.
Please find the annual statistics below to download for your use.
Public library statistics
|2013/14 (PDF 2.1 MB)||2013/14 (Excel 1.2 MB)|
|2012/13 (PDF 2.1 MB)||2012/13 (Excel 1.2 MB)|
|2011/12 (PDF 1.7 MB)||2011/12 (Excel 2.2 MB)|
|2010/11 (PDF 8.69 MB)|
|2009/10 (PDF 1 MB)|
Please contact Public Library Services staff for access to earlier statistics.
There are 367 public libraries in NSW and 21 mobile libraries servicing small and isolated communities (as at June 2015).
The key indicators of public library use show that they are highly valued by their communities.
- 35.35 million visits to NSW public libraries
- over 43.68 million loans
- over 9.5 million internet sessions in public libraries (including WiFi)
- over 3 million library members
- more than 74,000 public programs and events
- more than 1.6 million people attended public programs
- more than 11 million website visits
Source: State Library of NSW June 2016
Enquiry completion rate
The Library Act 1939 s10 sets out that public libraries are to offer free basic reference services to the community. Reference assistance is a core service, and is one of the facets of library service that is a point of difference between libraries and other agencies. Collecting and reporting data for this important indicator of use assists to demonstrate the value of public libraries.
Enquiry completion rate (ECR) survey differentiates information requests and customer service requests, it also combines the requests to create an Enquiry completion rate total.
If you are already collecting detailed statistics and reporting them annually to the State Library please continue to use your existing method.
8 February 2016
9 May 2016
8 August 2016
7 November 2016
13 February 2017
The survey runs from Monday to Sunday
For the person at each library service co-ordinating the Enquiry completion rate (ECR) survey
- Read the ECR definitions (below)
- Download the ECR daily tally sheet
- Print one copy for each branch for each day they are open
- Train all staff who service clients in how to fill in the forms
- Make the forms available for the week
- At the end of the week download the ECR form (excel spreadsheet) which matches the number of branches at your library service
- Save the spreadsheet
- On the results sheet tab enter the dates of the survey – this will embed them on the location pages
- Fill in the location page information for your branches, save the spreadsheet
- Save the spreadsheets so that the data is available for your annual statistical return (you do not need to send these to the State Library, we just require your totals at the end of the financial year)
These forms were originally developed by the Public Libraries Evaluation Group (PLEG).
ECR daily tally sheet (Word 14.42 KB)
ECR form - 1 location (Excel 46.11 KB)
ECR form - 2 locations (Excel 54.96 KB)
ECR form - 3 locations (Excel 65.35 KB)
ECR form - 4 locations (Excel 75.84 KB)
ECR form - 5 locations (Excel 86.23 KB)
ECR form - 6 locations (Excel 96.5 KB)
ECR form - 7 locations (Excel 106.93 KB)
ECR form - 8 locations (Excel 117.42 KB)
ECR form - 9 locations (Excel 127.72 KB)
ECR form - 10 locations (Excel 137.93 KB)
ECR form - 11 locations (Excel 148.37 KB)
ECR form - 12 locations (Excel 158.88 KB)
ECR form - 13 locations (Excel 170.84 KB)
ECR form - 14 locations (Excel 179.82 KB)
ECR form - 15 locations (Excel 191.74 KB)