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. In support of this duty, the State Library collects comprehensive statistics from councils annually about their library services.

Key annual statistics are collected and used by public libraries for planning, developing and managing library services.

public library statistics

PDF Excel
2013/14 (PDF 1.5 MB) 2013/14 (Excel 1.2 MB)
2012/13 (PDF 1.6 MB) 2012/13 (Excel 1.2 MB)
2011/12 (PDF 1.5 MB) 2011/12 (Excel 2.2 MB)
2010/11 (PDF 882 KB)

Summary Statistics

There are 367 public libraries in NSW, with a further 34 satellite locations and 20 mobile libraries servicing small and isolated communities (as at March 2015).

The key indicators of public library use show that they are highly valued by their communities. See Public Library Statistics 2013/14 (PDF 1.5 MB) - Executive Summary for further analysis and graphs showing trends.

2014 figures show:

  • 34.87 million visits to NSW public libraries
  • over 45 million loans
  • over 7.7 million internet sessions in public libraries (including WiFi)
  • over 3 million library members
  • more than 67,000 public programs and events
  • more than 1.5 million people attended public programs
  • more than 10 million website visits

Source: State Library of NSW (Bibliostat May 2015)

Enquiry Completion Rate

Reference assistance is a core service offered by public libraries. Collecting and reporting data for this important indicator of use assists to demonstrate the value of public libraries.

NSW public libraries are encouraged to collect sample data on inquiries. 
The Enquiry Completion Rate page provides templates and further information.

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Note: This software is only available for New South Wales member public libraries.

Bibliostat Collect - for NSW public libraries to input their own data (we will notify libraries when this form is activated)


Note: This software is only available for New South Wales member public libraries.

Bibliostat Connect - analyse statistics across years and compare with other NSW public libraries

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The State Library provides a free Information Request Service.

Macquarie St, Sydney
NSW 2000, Australia
Tel: (02) 9273 1414

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