Library and Information Week is celebrated
each year in May.
Library and Information Week aims to raise the profile
of libraries and information service professionals in Australia and showcase the
many and varied resources and services that libraries provide to the
The event has been organised by the Australian Library and
Information Association (ALIA) to promote the value of reading and literacy, the
importance of Australia's book industry and the role of libraries. For more
information visit the ALIA
Library and Information Week provides the community with the
- find out about the wide range of services which
local public and school libraries offer.
- recognise the vital role which libraries and
information services play for research and education.
- recognise the contribution of specialist libraries
for the work outcomes in corporations, government departments, hospitals and
- debate our information future and government
approaches to it.
- emphasise the significance of libraries in the
maintenance of our history and culture at community and national levels.
- recognise the importance of library and
information services as providers of services for people who may otherwise be
disadvantaged by their lack of access to information and services.
- consider the role which libraries play in our
local community, work and personal life.
Libraries in Australia support the development of
literacy and reading, education, business, the community and provide vital
public internet access.
Each year, Australia's network of 1,500 public
libraries, 9000 school libraries, 40 university libraries, 380 TAFE campus
libraries and thousands of health, law and other special libraries assist us
with a vast range of resources and services.
- 10 million Australians are registered users of
their local public library (around 46% of the population) and many more
- 178 million loans occur in Australian public
libraries each year.
- Australian public libraries receive 110 million
visits each year.
- 11,600 internet computers are currently located in
public libraries around Australia
Why people love libraries
Public libraries are community-owned spaces, providing a safe
environment, where everyone is welcome and respected and no-one has to justify
their presence. There are quiet areas for study, but there are also fun events
Libraries offer universal free access to information, knowledge and
ideas, in a wide variety of formats, including traditional print material,
online content and e-books, and in many different languages. There is expert
help on hand if it’s needed and most of the services are free.
Public libraries support formal and informal learning, especially reading
and literacy, through all stages of life. Very young children are given a better
start in life through baby rhyme-time and storytime sessions. Older children can
take advantage of study space and homework clubs to improve their performance at
school. There are classes for adults and opportunities to learn new skills at
Job seekers find the resources they need to research vacancies and apply
online; others use the internet to return information to government; for
recreational pursuits, or to communicate with friends and family.
Public libraries are places where people can meet, share and be inspired
by each other, for example through reading groups – and if people are unable to
travel to their library, it can go to them through mobile libraries, the home
library service, and the internet.
Most public libraries have a local history section and often there is a
display charting the development of the community or some aspect of local
heritage. These are places where cultural identity can be explored and diversity