Onkaparinga calls for no cuts to library funding

Published on 28 April 2021

City of Onkaparinga ratepayers could miss out on key education, digital and community programs and services if the state government refuses to maintain funding to South Australian Public Libraries.

Mayor Thompson is urging the state government to commit to a new libraries funding agreement that maintains current funding levels, with the existing state/local government agreement due to expire in June .

Currently, the state government provides about $20 million per year to South Australia’s libraries through the partnership, and councils providing around $86 million.

Mayor Thompson says any cuts to funding would impact the vital programs and services Onkaparinga’s six libraries offer the community as it emerges from COVID-19.

“It is crucial the state government commits to maintain its share of funding for libraries next financial year,” she said.

“Libraries provide services and programs that facilitate lifelong learning and help us to connect in safe and welcoming environments.

“South Australians treasure their libraries.”

A community survey commissioned by the LGA in March 2021 found that 93 per cent of respondents believed it was important for the state government to continue the current level of funding provided to public libraries.

City of Onkaparinga is SA’s largest metro council with 170,000 residents and covering an area of 516 square kilometres.

The council has six libraries across the region at Aldinga, Hub (Aberfoyle Park), Noarlunga, Seaford, Willunga and Woodcroft.

In 2019-20, Onkaparinga’s libraries:

  • loaned more than one-million items to the community, including books, DVDs, sporting equipment and toys
  • recorded 738,505 visits
  • provided access to physical and digital collections that support lifelong learning and recreation opportunities to over 66,000 active users
  • delivered individual and group based digital literacy sessions to over 2000 people, teaching them how to access government services (such as Centrelink and passport applications), apply for jobs and use technology safely
  • delivered joint-use library services in partnership with TAFE SA and the Department for Education
  • delivered literacy and science, technology, engineering and mathematics focussed library activities
  • provided a range of services for children and their parents that develop language and literacy development through our early literacy sessions and a range of services including access to WiFi, retirement planning, Justices of the Peace and tax help to assist people of all ages.