Research and publications

The State Library works with NSW public libraries, library researchers and academics on projects that support the planning and development of library services. 

Current research

Co-designing public libraries

This ARC-funded Linkage project (LP220100274) is being conducted by members of the CSU Libraries Research Group, led by Professor Philip Hider, in partnership with the State Library of New South Wales and three NSW public libraries.

Public libraries are critical social infrastructure for communities across Australia. This project investigates how to involve community participation in the design of their public library spaces by analysing the efficacy of co-design activities introduced into three case studies. New knowledge will be generated about engaging community participation in the design and re-design of library spaces, as the societal role of public libraries continues to expand. Expected outcomes include an online guide and overarching framework, and blueprints for community participation that ensure genuine engagement and input.

Read more about the project

Understanding the needs of public library users in a COVID-changed Australia

The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has had a significant impact of Australian society. It seems likely that these societal shifts will have significant consequences for public libraries; the resources they provide, the needs and behaviour of library users, and models of service and resource delivery. In short, these changes encourage the asking of fundamental questions about the role of public libraries in a post-COVID society, and the value of their services to a post-crisis. This research project, funded by the State Library of New South Wales, will utilise focus groups at three NSW libraries to determine how user needs and expectations have changed, and how public libraries can best meet those needs.

Multicultural collections

The State Library has partnered with the Macquarie University Multilingualism Research Centre to research the availability and use of multilingual digital platforms, including the current access in languages to State Library NSW multicultural services and collections (via public library catalogues and digital platforms/apps). A key aspect of the project is to assess the hybrid provision of digital and hard copy multicultural collections in public libraries. Four libraries have been invited to participate as reference sites.