Library representatives call for further NSW funding at conference

Representatives of public libraries from across New South Wales are calling on the State Government to give them more funding.

The biennial NSW Public Libraries Association is hosting a conference in Mudgee this week, discussing the role of libraries in communities.

It is also trying to ensure a merger between regional and metropolitan libraries will not see country libraries neglected.

The association's Graham Smith said public libraries have an important place in local communities and are at crisis point in terms of funding.

"The government has allocated some money for infrastructure in the current budget," he said.

"However, there is still a need for recurrent funding which is currently at the second lowest level across the board than it's been in the last decade."

Mr Smith said he hopes the conference will allow the group to put its funding case to Deputy Premier and Arts Minister, Troy Grant.

"We met with him in early August, and at that point he did promise consultation and collaboration, but we've heard nothing since," he said.

"So we're hoping that when he delivers the closing address on Thursday afternoon there'll be something positive."

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