Ballarat Library will receive a funding boost in the coming year courtesy of the state government's Public Libraries Funding Program.
The funding comes as libraries across the state deal with the pressures of increased demand to deliver services during the restrictions of the pandemic.
Acting Minister for Local Government Mary-Anne Thomas announced public libraries and Vision Australia will receive a 3.5 per cent increase to their funding to grow their library collections, boost online services and increase library programs. The increase overall totals $47.4 million.
Ms Thomas said as Victorians continue to feel the impacts of the pandemic, libraries have demonstrated dedication to their communities by delivering online programs, adopting a book delivery partnership with Meals on Wheels, offering a click-and-collect model, and checking in with members over the phone.
This funding helps libraries evolve and serve the community in new ways: providing access to digital resources and children's programs, encouraging lifelong learningMP Juliana Addison
"Our public libraries provide endless access to knowledge, social connection and entertainment and this record investment ensures they can continue to deliver for all Victorians. Victorians have embraced libraries during the pandemic, and I commend library staff for continually looking for ways to connect with their communities and give people access to books, resources and support networks," Ms Thomas said.
The Public Libraries Funding Program provides annual funding for councils, regional library corporations and Vision Australia to support a range of activities and library services across 277 branches.
This funding contributes to the purchase of physical and electronic collection items, information technology, library and outreach programs, and other services provided by Victorian public libraries.
"This funding helps libraries evolve and serve the community in new ways: providing access to digital resources and children's programs, encouraging lifelong learning," Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison said
"I'm proud to support our libraries across Ballarat which are helping people feel less lonely and isolated during the pandemic."
Since 2015, the Victorian Government has invested more than $306 million through the Public Libraries Program.
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