Regional Library Models Project

Last updated:  18 July 2024

In 2015 the State Library of NSW engaged the Centre for Local Government (CLG) at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) to undertake research to explore and recommend regional management models for NSW public libraries.  

The project included a literature review, stakeholder interviews, case studies and the development of a guide to regional library management models in NSW.    


Public libraries in NSW are managed by local councils in accordance with the Library Act 1939, with assistance from the State Government though the State Library. A significant number of councils are party to regional library agreements which are enabled by s12 of the Act. This means that one council provides library services (or an aspect of library services) to neighbouring councils. Councils that are not party to regional library arrangements run their own public libraries, but often cooperate with neighbouring council libraries to some extent.  In 2011 the Act was amended to add s12A which enables councils to propose alternate models for regional cooperation on libraries.

Project resources

The Regional library models summary report outlines the project methods, survey and case studies:

The Collaborative library service delivery guide provides local governments and library managers with a framework for considering possibilities for current and future library service delivery.