May 26, 2022

Public Library Visits in New South Wales, Australia Reach All-Time High While Online Services Continue to Experience Rapid Growth

From the State Library of New South Wales:

The number of people visiting public libraries in NSW is at an all-time high with internet and online usage going through the roof, according to the latest statistics released by the State Library of NSW*.

“Public library visits and loans continue to rise at an impressive rate, but it is free WiFi usage, virtual visits and, surprisingly, non-traditional library services that are delivering the most staggering results,” says NSW State Librarian & Chief Executive, Alex Byrne.

“Public libraries are to be congratulated on introducing more adventurous and quirky programming to their diverse offering of existing library services, with a 40% increase in attendance recorded since 2008 ‐ 1,538,019 people participated in over 67,000 programs in 2013/14,” said Dr Byrne.

Physical visits to over 360 public libraries across NSW have increased by 30% since 2000, with 35 million visits recorded for 2013/14. Loans are up 5% with 45 million loans recorded last year.


Internet use and online services have experienced extremely high growth over a short period. Virtual visits to public library websites grew by 3 million to 12 million between 2012/13 and 2013/14. And onsite Internet usage has doubled between 2009/10 and 2013/14 to 7.8 million sessions, largely due to free WiFi offered by libraries where people can use their own devices.


NSW public library statistics have been gathered, collated and published by the State Library of NSW since 1973.

*Public Library Statistics have been produced from reports provided to the State Library of NSW by local councils for the period July 2013 to June 2014.

Read the Complete News Release



About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.