What is Living Learning Libraries?
Living Learning Libraries is an evidence based guide to the development of library services in NSW.
Written in two parts, it provides a practical basis for the comparison among library services, as well as a framework for service assessment and continuous improvement.
This edition uses population-based peer cohorts for benchmarking, allowing easier comparisons among library services based on the populations of their communities. The cohorts are defined as follows:
- rural standalone population up to 20,000
- rural regional library member population up to 20,000
- urban small population 20,001 to 50,000
- urban medium population 50,001 to 150,000
- urban large population 150,001 and above
Libraries that are below their cohort median for a given standard are encouraged to consider the median as a target to attain. Libraries are encouraged to aim to be the top of their cohort to demonstrate council is delivering best practice services to the local community.
Cohorts are updated annually.
The 2019/20 cohorts are determined using the ABS population figures for June 2019 as used for the 2019/20 NSW Public Library Statistics. The cohorts are used in conjunction with Living Learning Libraries.
- Library services in cohorts 2019/20
- Councils participating in regional library services in cohorts 2019/20
- Councils in cohorts 2019/20
Benchmarking during the pandemic
The statistical evidence base in 2019/20 has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown, library building capacity and physical distancing constraints. The Public Libraries Consultative Committee recommended at their meeting on 29/6/2021 that a new edition of the Standards be delayed until after the 2020/21 data is collected and the overall progress towards post-Covid recovery can be determined.
In the interim, councils are encouraged to continue to use the Living Learning Libraries 7th edition – 2020 update to measure their progress and to benchmark themselves against their cohort peer group.
Tables listing the ranking and performance data of libraries within their cohorts using the 2019/20 statistics are provided for libraries to use for benchmarking purposes, noting that they reflect the impact of lockdown and the constraints of building capacity limits and physical distancing requirements across the public library network in NSW.
- Living Learning Libraries benchmark tables 2019/20 statistics
- Living Learning Libraries benchmark tables 2019/20 rural councils in regional libraries
The 2018/19 cohorts are determined using the ABS population figures for June 2018 as used for the 2018/19 NSW Public Library Statistics. The cohorts are used in conjunction with Living Learning Libraries.
- Library services in cohorts - 2017/2018
- Regional library services in cohorts - 2017/2018
- Councils in cohorts - 2017/2018
Previous editionsLiving Learning Libraries 2014 (5th edition) Living Learning Libraries 2011 (3rd edition)
Earlier editions of Living Learning Libraries are available via Pandora.