With the WA State election looming, Western Australian public libraries are calling on the new State Government to provide funding to help people learn new technologies and develop STEM skills.
Western Australian public libraries are calling on the new State Government to provide $8 million to help people learn about new technologies and develop the skills they will need for jobs and study in the future.
For just $3 a head from the State – matching local council funding dollar-for-dollar – WA’s 235 libraries could make everything from coding and robotic classes, 3D printers and music programs through to simple device charging available right across WA. At present, local government is supporting these programs wherever possible, but delivery is patchy in different areas of the state.
An opportunity for a partnership between State and local government
Public Libraries WA President Debra Summers said, “This is an opportunity for a partnership between State and local government to bring WA library technology programs up to the same standard enjoyed by communities in the Eastern states.
“It’s not right that people here should be denied the opportunity to develop STEM skills which will be essential in the future. These programs are for all ages, but they are especially critical for young people entering the workforce, job-seekers and people returning to work after extended leave.
“This modest investment would maintain the long term mutually beneficial partnership between State and local government in providing public library services throughout WA. The success of this relationship and the value to the community of these much loved public libraries is indisputable.”
Facts about WA public libraries
- 235 public libraries
- More than 15.5 million items loaned each year
- Nearly half a million eResources downloaded
- More than 10.5 million visits
- Nearly 10,000 storytimes, with more than 175,000 participants
Media release – Public Libraries Western Australia