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Public Library Grant

The State Library of Queensland (State Library) administers the annual Public Library Grant to Queensland Local Governments to support the development of high-quality library and library-related services to meet the diverse needs of the whole community.

The Public Library Grant is automatically indexed each year for population growth, and is administered under a Service Level Agreement.

For Independent Libraries 50% of the grant is tied to collection expenditure as defined in the Collection Expenditure Information Guide [pdf 156KB] and up to 50% can be spent on projects identified as high priority for the library service. Such projects are known as Library Priority Projects. Applications to divert annual Grant funding to a Library Priority Project must be submitted to State Library for approval by the State Librarian and CEO prior to the project commencing:

In lieu of a cash grant, Local Governments participating in the Rural Libraries Queensland (RLQ) network or operating an Indigenous Knowledge Centre (IKC) will receive a notional allocation which funds the centralised purchase of library materials and eresources accessed from a networked web catalogue. The physical library materials are refreshed regularly by State Library at each RLQ and IKC site.

In addition, a Local Resources Grant is paid directly to Local Governments operating RLQ services that operate 6 hours or more per week, or IKC services that maintain an average of 24 hrs/ week of service (including outreach services delivered outside the physical IKC). for local needs such as tablets, ereaders, programming or other resources. This small cash grant is for local needs such as the purchase of new technologies, consumable materials to support programming, or other resources as required.


The Public Library Grant Methodology is the method used to determine how funds are allocated to public libraries and IKCs from the Public Library Grant. It includes the formula by which allocations are made to Independent, RLQ and IKC services.

The Public Library Grant Methodology is reviewed triennially and aims to ensure Queensland Government strategic priorities are addressed and there is equity in the provision of funding to Local Government to support the provision of public library and library-related services in Queensland.

State-wide consultation during 2017 on the methodology resulted in submissions from 44 Local Governments and the Local Government Association of Queensland.  Based on this feedback a revised methodology was developed. The revised methodology aims to ensure streamlined allocation of funding, improved service provision, increased transparency and parity for all Queensland councils.

Under the revised methodology no changes have been made to the formula for calculating allocations to all Queensland Local Governments from the Public Library Grant. The revised methodology will be in place from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2021.

Calculating the allocations

The formula used to calculate the allocations to Local Governments uses regional population data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The formula is as follows:

  • 66% is distributed as an equal per capita component
  • 30% is distributed on weightings reflecting:
    • population growth rates
    • proportion of people aged 55 years and over
    • proportion of people aged 0-14
  • 4% is distributed relative to proportion of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

This total is then weighted by:

  • a location index (derived from Local Government Grants Commission)
  • a dispersion index derived from the number of separate library services (including mobile libraries) and the population density.

The funding amount is indexed each year for population growth.

Last updated
25th November 2019