General facts

Our operating revenue for 2015-2016 was $66.054 million, comprising:

  • $48.74 million in government appropriation
  • $17.314 million in external revenue

In addition to the above revenue, the Government is providing the Library with $9.679 million to acquire materials for the collection.

Our operating expenses in 2015-2016 were $75.097 million ($63.996 million excluding collection depreciation), including:

  • $37.824 million in salaries
  • $16.99 million in supplier expenses
  • $8.167 million depreciation and amortisation with equivalent funding used to replace assets—buildings, software, plant and equipment
  • $11.101 million for collection depreciation
  • $0.767 million for grants
  • $0.248 million for other expenses.

We operate from four buildings: three in Canberra and one in Jakarta, Indonesia. They are:

  • the main Library building
  • two repositories for offsite collection storage
  • an office in Jakarta within the Australian Embassy.

In 2015–2016, the full time equivalent staffing average was 414:

  • 70% of staff are female
  • 71% of staff have worked at the Library for more than 5 years
  • the median age of staff is 46 years

The Library also has a volunteer program with 73 registered volunteers who work at the Library welcoming visitors, offering public tours and engaging in a range of activities that make our collections more accessible.  The Library also has digital volunteers who contribute to Trove through newspaper text correction, the addition of tags and comments, and the creation of user-generated lists.

Local, national and international visitors to the Library numbered 483,000 in 2015–2016.

Our Friends of the National Library of Australia Inc. is an active group with around 2,000 members. Highlights of the 2015–2016 Friends events program included the launch in July of NLA Publishing’s My Salute to Five Bells by John Olsen AO, OBE; Celebrating 150 Years of W.B. Yeats in August; the inaugural Harold White Lecture delivered in November by playwright Hannie Rayson; and special viewings of the Celestial Empire exhibition and of the Library’s collection of theatrical ephemera.

Our websites received on average 77,000 visits a day, which came to 27.8 million visits in 2015–2016.

Facts on the Library’s collections

There are approximately 10 million items in the Library’s collection. The Library collects books, journals, newspapers, music scores, maps, e-resources, websites, manuscripts (personal papers and organisational archives), documentary pictures, oral history and folklore recordings.

In 2015–2016, the Library received 188,213 new items.

As at June 2016, 92.9% of the collection is catalogued and search through the online catalogue.

The Library digitises selected items in its collections to make our collections more accessible, engage with new audiences and preserve rare and fragile materials.

At June 2016, 251,502 items had been digitised, including maps, music, books, journals, pictures, archives, oral history and folklore. Many of the items digitised contain multiple works, such as hundreds of photographs in a single album, or multiple pieces of music contained within a volume.

The Library is also digitising historic Australian newspapers and as at June 2016 over 21.75 million digitised pages were freely available to the public through Trove.

The Library collects online publications and websites through its curated PANDORA web archive and has also undertaken large scale harvests of the Australian web domain.

In June 2016, the total size of the Library’s digital collections exceeded 4.8 petabytes.

Facts on access

Reading rooms

Over the last four years, the Library’s reading rooms have undergone a series of renovations including the integration of Reading Rooms on Level 1 and the creation of a Newspapers and Family History Zone within the Main Reading Room. The Library now operates three reading rooms:

  • Main Reading Room (including Newspapers and Family History)
  • Special Collections Reading Room (including the Petherick Reading Room)
  • Asian Collections Reading Room.

In 2015-16, a large and appealing informal study and meeting space was created on Lower Ground 1 and further enhancements made to the Main Reading Room.

Usage and access figures in 2015–2016 include:

  • over 120,000 physical items delivered to users either in the reading rooms or offsite via interlibrary loan, and document supply
  • Library staff answered over 42,948 reference and information enquiries
  • approximately 120 computers made available for public use in the reading rooms. All reading rooms are wireless enabled and this service was heavily used with up  to 130 concurrent users at any time
  • over 249, 200 entries recorded to the Main Reading Room, Special Collections Reading Room and Asian Collections Reading Room
  • over 31,300 people participating in Library events and education activities.

Opening hours

Following the completion of the Reading Rooms renovations, in 2015-16:

  • the Main Reading Room was open 57.5 hours a week, over seven days
  • the Special Collections Reading Room was open 54 hours a week, Monday to Saturday
  • the Asian Collections Reading Room was open 35 hours a week, Monday to Friday
  • the Treasures and Exhibition Galleries are also open 49 hours a week, over seven days (closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day).