Public Library Funding 2020/21

The Minister for the Arts the Hon Don Harwin MLC has approved the Public Library Funding Strategy for 2020/21.

The total funding for this year is a record $37,558,000.

The Funding Strategy model for 2019/20 to 2022/23 was unanimously supported by stakeholders at the Library Council of NSW’s Public Libraries Consultative Committee (PLCC) meeting of 25 March 2019

The model was subsequently endorsed by the Library Council of New South Wales on 10 May 2019, and recommended to the Minister

The 2020/21 allocations under the Public Library Funding Strategy are as follows:

Component Amount
1 Subsidy - $2.55 per capita
Population served 8,086,952
$20,621,728
2 Subsidy Adjustment Funding
Allocations to councils in addition to the $2.55 per capita (above)
$7,547,000
1+2 Sub-total - payments to councils $28,168,728
3 NSW.net $2,000,000
4 Outback Letterbox Library $200,000
5 Strategic Network Projects $250,272
6 State Library services to public libraries $939,000
7 Grant program $6,000,000
  Total Public Library Grants and Subsidies $37,558,000

2020/21 Subsidy and Subsidy Adjustment payments to councils which comprise the $2.55 per capita and Subsidy Adjustment.

Three year comparison from 2018/19 to 2020/21 Subsidy and Subsidy Adjustments

Subsidy Adjustment calculation

The Subsidy Adjustment provides funding to councils in addition to the per capita payment.

In 2020/21 a total of $7,547,000 is available for the Subsidy Adjustment.

The Subsidy Adjustment comprises an equal or flat rate allocation of funds to councils, with a portion of the funding allocated with reference to need, identified using the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas scale (SEIFA) developed by the ABS.

For 2020/21 the model comprises a flat rate payment of $50,000 per council (total cost $6.350 million), with the remainder of the funds ($1.197 million) allocated with reference to the SEIFA score of each council.

The SEIFA payment is calculated as follows:

Councils are allocated to one of 10 bands based on the council’s SEIFA score (a low score equates to high socio-economic need, while a high score indicates lower levels of need).

Arranging councils into ten bands enables a percentile approach to the funding.

Funds are then allocated to the councils in each band, with higher payments going to the high need councils and lower payments going to the lower need councils. A sliding scale of 10% reduction per band is applied.

This table sets out the bands and payments.

Band SEIFA Score # of Councils in Band 2019/20 amount per council Total Band Budget
1 <910 12 $14,430 $173,163
2 <922 13 $12,987 $168,834
3 <937 12 $11,689 $140,262
4 <944 14 $10,520 $147,275
5 <959 14 $9,468 $132,548
6 <973 13 $8,521 $110,772
7 <986 13 $7,669 $99,695
8 <1033 12 $6,902 $82,823
9 <1083 12 $6,212 $74,541
10 1086+ 12 $5,591 $67,087
Total $1,197,000

Note that the amount per council is added to the Flat Rate of $50,000 per council under this model. Accordingly, councils in Band 1 would receive a Subsidy Adjustment of $64,430, while Band 10 councils would receive $55,591.

The same principle will be applied over the 4 years of scheduled increases, with a review each year.

$60 million commitment from 2019/20

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