The State Library Board of Western Australia delivers public libraries in partnership with Local Government. 

There are 233 public libraries in Western Australia. Local Governments provide the library building, staff and operating costs, while the Library Board is responsible for the buying and delivering shelf stock to the 232 public libraries throughout the State.

Better Beginnings Program

Local Government also delivers, in partnership, the award-winning Better Beginnings Program, which aims to develop literacy skills in young children through fostering a love of books and language by introducing children to developmentally appropriate books and language activities.

The program is supported by the State Library of WA, Department of Regional Development and Rio Tinto - click here for more information.

The Role of the Public Library is Changing

Libraries reflect broader needs of their communities and have adapted their services accordingly.  

Historically, the financial partnership between the WA State Government and Local Government for public library services was an equal one of 50/50 investment. However, today the average investment from the State Government is 12% percent, and Local Government 88%.
Local Government works collaboratively with State Government and to deliver library services across the State.
  • WALGA has commissioned several pieces of research over the past 10 years to modernise and reform Public library services.  This research has been in collaboration and partnership with the State Library of WA and Public libraries WA. 
  • The most recent consultations have resulted in the development of a framework for strategic action. The 2025 Vision for public libraries clearly articulates roles and responsibilities in the delivery of the Strategy.
  • The State Government is committed to working with Local Government to establish a Public Library Taskforce and drive the transformational change required for our public library service in WA.

Single Access Library Card Business Case

As part of the WA Public Libraries Strategy, endorsed by WALGA State Council and the Library Board of Western Australian in July 2018, the State Library of Western Australia has commissioned AOT Consulting to prepare a Business Case to scope requirements and assess options for a model to facilitate single library card access for the community throughout Western Australia.

During consultation in 2018, 95% of the 873 community respondents to a survey identifying considerations for future public library services in Western Australia, nominated a single access library card as their top priority.

Local Governments have been notified by the State Library of Western Australia about the proposal for the single access library card. This letter can be viewed here.