Friday, March 1, 2024

Blue Mountains Deputy Mayor to lead NSW public libraries

Blue Mountains City Council Deputy Mayor, Councillor Romola Hollywood, has been appointed as President of the NSW Public Libraries Association (NSWPLA).

The NSWPLA and Councillor Hollywood have welcomed the NSW Government’s commitment to recurrent funding worth $164 million for operations and capital works for the state’s 364 public libraries.

She said the announcement is a boost for the Local Government Area’s six local libraries.

“Through bushfires, floods and the COVID-19 pandemic, we have learnt even more about the vital role of public libraries in creating connected and resilient communities,” Cr Hollywood said.

“I will continue to champion the vital work of public libraries, large and small, across NSW.”

As serving Deputy Mayor to the City of the Blue Mountains and through her active involvement with NSWPLA over the last six years, Council says Cr Hollywood has been a constant voice advocating for public libraries in the Blue Mountains and the wider NSW community. 

Mayor, Mark Greenhill, congratulated Cr Hollywood on her appointment, saying: “This is great news for the Blue Mountains and is a source of pride for both Council and the community.”

In 2017, Cr Hollywood brought forward a motion from Council to the Local Government NSW conference calling on Local Government NSW and NSWPLA to work together to advocate for increased funding for council-run public libraries. The motion was passed unanimously and kicked off the Renew Our Libraries campaign, which has led to an historic increase in state funding to public libraries of $60 million over four years.

At the recent NSWPLA conference in Albury, the NSW Government announced that the funding increases achieved in 2018 will continue and will be indexed for population growth.

“This ground-breaking announcement (recurrent state funding) will ensure that our public libraries can continue doing what they do best, providing the books, information, digital services and programs their communities need and love,” said Cr Hollywood.

She also paid tribute to collective work of NSWPLA and Local Government NSW, and the support of Councils and communities across NSW in championing the value of public libraries for people of all ages.

Cr Hollywood has been Vice-President of the NSWPLA since 2016, and says she plans to continue the advocacy for public libraries established through the Renew Our Libraries campaign.

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