The Government has announced $58.8 million in funding over four years to fund libraries to support jobs and community services as New Zealand recovers from Covid-19.
Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin said the funding, as part of Budget 2020, will “protect library services and ... protect jobs”.
“This package provides for free internet access in all public libraries to ensure that anyone can access the online services and information they need,” she said.
Ms Martin said about $30 million will protect about 170 librarian jobs.
“This is targeted funding over two years to keep librarians in jobs and upskill them to provide extra assistance to jobseekers and to people wanting to improve their reading and digital literacy skills,” she said.
Four million dollors over four years will be used to extend free internet service to all public libraries.
Other funding increases included:
Ms Martin said the package also included a 20 per cent increase to the Public Lending Right fund – the money that is paid to New Zealand authors that have books available through public libraries. The $1.6 million extra over four years is the first increase to the fund since 2008.