Technology standards

Last updated:  31 May 2024

Information technology


To ensure the accessibility of all library resources and services to the community served by the library. Information Technology Standards include all aspects of ICT (information and communication technologies).

General guidelines for library technology are presented in G12. Information technology

S15. Provision of multiple use public internet workstations

Minimum standards:

In general, there should be 1 PC for public access to the internet per 3,000 residents or part thereof.

Libraries serving populations of less than 20,000 should have at least five PCs with internet access.

Public access PCs provided with current software, printing facilities, scanners and associated equipment:

  • public and staff PCs less than three years old
  • application software less than three years old
  • at least one printer accessible from each public workstation
  • wi-fi provision and power outlets so that customers can use their own personal devices in the library
  • printing available from wireless devices.

Points to consider

Public access PCs for internet access and other uses should be provided in each branch; numbers of PCs per branch is dependent on the population served.

The number of printers provided will depend on the network configuration within individual libraries and on customer demand.

Note: General practice is to depreciate computers and peripherals over a three-year period. Some library services operate with different depreciation periods, e.g. four years, and some purchase or leasing arrangements are likely to be required to conform with council policies.

Usage of electronic services


To provide a set of measures for electronic resources use which NSW libraries can use for comparison with each other, or for identifying trends over time.

These are not the only measures of electronic library services that libraries will employ. Libraries and councils will collect additional information and monitor the use of electronic resources to plan and develop electronic library services. Measurements such as website bounce rates, time spent on the website, page views and time spent on a webpage will provide libraries with useful data for analysing website use and for planning future content and navigation.

Related guidelines for library technology are presented in G12. Information technology.

S16. Measuring electronic service usage

The library collects and reports on the following data sets:  

Access (resources available)

  • number of public workstations connected to the internet in the library
  • numbers of items digitised by the library  
  • number of full text journal, book and film titles available on databases
  • number of ebook and e-audio titles
  • proportion of expenditure on digital resources by comparison with print materials

Usage (resources used)

  • number of visits to the library website per annum
  • number of unique visitors to the library website per annum
  • number of internet hours used on public workstations per annum
  • number of internet sessions on public workstations per annum  
  • number of wireless logins in the library per annum
  • number of wireless devices used in the library per annum
  • number of downloads of ebook and e-audio titles  
  • number of database searches per annum
  • number of views and/or downloads of full text items from databases and other external or commercial content such as music downloads per annum
  • number of downloads and/or views of items digitised by the library per annum.


All the datasets listed above are collected annually via the NSW Public Libraries Statistical Return which contains detailed definitions for each measure.

While website usage reports can be generated by libraries themselves, reports of externally-hosted database, ebook and e-audio usage are generated by commercial suppliers. Access to vendor usage figures is critical and should be considered with other selection criteria such as costs, coverage and retention rights.

For consortia-purchased electronic materials such as ebooks, reporting libraries will need to disaggregate their usage figures from the consortium total.

In relation to measuring website usage, number of visits is the accepted metric as defined in NSW Public Libraries Statistical Return.

Evidence base

The evidence base for the target figures is derived from the NSW Public Library Statistics and additional data collected annually in the statistical return and statement of library operations.  

In this update 2022/23 statistics are used with data submitted by councils as at 30 June 2023 and per capita calculations based on ABS population figures for June 2022.