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A summary of the latest statistics relating to Australian Libraries can be found in Arts and Culture in Australia: A Statistical Overview (cat. no. 4172.0). A chapter Libraries and Archives that provides an overview of data from a range of publications can also be found in the first issue of this publication.
Below are some key facts and figures about library users, the library workforce, and library funding.
General Social Survey: Summary of Results, Australia 2006 (cat. no. 4159.0)
- 46% of Australians aged over 18 years visited a library in 2006.
- Libraries were the second most attended cultural venue or event in 2006. The most popular cultural and leisure activities enjoyed by people aged 18 years and over in 2006 were: going to the movies (69% of persons when reporting all activities enjoyed over a 12 month period); visiting libraries (46% of persons); visiting zoological parks and aquariums (41%); and visiting botanic gardens (40%).
Visits to Libraries - Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events, Australia 2005-2006 (cat. no. 4114.0)
- 5.5 million people (34% of Australians aged 15 and over) visited a library in 2005-06.
- Almost two-thirds (65%) of those who had visited a library during the 12-month period had visited more than 6 times during that period, including 25% who had visited more than 20 times.
- While people in most states and territories had attendance rates similar to the national average (34%), the rates were somewhat higher for people in South Australia (40%) and in Western Australia (37%). Attendance rates were slightly higher for residents in the six state capital cities (35%) than in the rest of Australia (33%).
- Females were more likely than males to visit a library - their attendance rate was 41%, compared with 27% for males. Large differences between the attendance rates for females and males were evident for most age groups except 75 years and over.
- The highest attendance rates for libraries were reported by people who: were born overseas in the main English-speaking countries (42%), were unemployed (48%) or working part-time (43%), had graduate diplomas and certificates (51%), postgraduate degrees (50%) or bachelor degrees (45%).
Children attending Public Libraries - Children's Participation in Culture and Leisure Activities, Australia, April 2006 (cat. no. 4901.0)
- 55% (1,467,500) of children visited a public library outside of school hours in 2005-06.
- While the attendance rates at public libraries were higher for girls (58%) than boys (53%) they were similar for the different age groups (around 55%). Children in couple families had an attendance rate of 56% compared with 50% for children in one-parent families.
- Attendance rates for the states and territories ranged from 60% in South Australia to 50% in Tasmania.
- 74% (1,984,000) of children read for pleasure in the 2 weeks prior to the survey in April 2006. While 80% of girls read for pleasure during the same period, only 69% of boys did so. An average of 7 hours was spent on both reading (for pleasure and homework and other study) outside school hours.
- 12% (293,600) of children had used a public library computer, and 8.5% (147,600) had accessed the Internet at a public library in 2005-06.
Library Workforce and Library Funding
Library Workers - Employment in Culture, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 6273.0).
- There were 25,735 Library and Archive workers employed in various industries in Australia in 2006. Of these 895 were Archivists, 10,077 were Librarians, 6, 508 were Library Technicians, and 8,255 were Library Assistants. 85% (21,849) were Female, and 15% (3,890) were Male.
Volunteers in libraries - Work in Selected Culture and Leisure Activities, April 2007 (cat. no. 6281.0)
- 72 600 Australians reported unpaid involvement in libraries and archives in April 2007.
Library funding - Cultural Funding by Government, Australia, 2005-06 (cat. no. 4183.0)
- State and Territory Government funding for libraries in 2005-06 was $394 million. This was a national average of $19.95 per person.
The following ABS publications include statistics relating to libraries:
4114.0 Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events, Australia
4159.0 General Social Survey: Summary of Results, Australia
4172.0 Arts and Culture in Australia: a Statistical Overview
4183.0 Cultural Funding by Government, Australia
4228.0 Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey, Australia
4901.0 Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia
6273.0 Employment in Culture, Australia
6281.0 Work in Selected Culture and Leisure Activities, Australia
8146.0 Household Use of Information Technology, Australia
8561.0 Public Libraries, Australia