Books torn from library funding

About $1.6 million allocated to purchasing books, DVDs and CDs and a van service delivering inter-library loans will be cut over the next two financial years.

Australian Library and Information Association chief executive Sue McKerracher said the community would be hurt.

“These proposed cuts to State Library funding would mean books disappearing off the shelves and keen book borrowers being deprived,” she said.

Public Libraries WA president Debra Summers has warned that other important services may suffer as councils shift resources to cover the losses.

Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey said WA libraries would be forced to redefine services.

“The only alternative is a cost shift to local government, which will result in an unpalatable impact on rates,” he said.

Culture and the Arts Minister John Day said the cuts were part of an agency expenditure review and would ensure the State Government delivered programs efficiently.

“More than $9 million is provided each year to public libraries,” he said.

“This funding will continue to be used to ensure public library users have access to fresh and contemporary materials.”