General Facts

Our operating revenue for 2012–2013 was $65.7 million, comprising:

  • $49.6 million (68%) in government appropriation
  • $16.1 million in external revenue.

In addition to the above revenue the government is providing the Library with $9.8 million to assist in developing the collection

Our expenses in 2012–2013 were $75.2 million ($62.9 million excluding collection depreciation), including:

  • $39.0 million (54%) in salaries
  • $15.3 million in supplier expenses
  • $20 million depreciation and amortisation with equivalent funding used to replace assets—buildings, software, plant and equipment
  • $12.3 million for collection depreciation for which no equivalent funding is provided

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

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

Our staff in 2012–2013 averaged 486 employees (equal to 437 full-time staff):

  • 70% of staff are female
  • 20% of staff have been in the Library for at least 15 years
  • the median age of staff is 45 years. The Library also has a volunteer program with 80 active volunteers.

Our visitors to the Library, local, national and international, numbered 577 000 in 2012–2013.

Our Friends of the National Library Inc is an active group with around 2000 members. In 2012-13 major Friends events included the annual Kenneth Myer Lecture presented by Professor Julian Disney on the topic of Media Standards in an Internet World,  and a celebration of the life and work of author and publisher Hilary McPhee.

Our websites received over 357 million page views in 2012–2013, a 1% increase over the previous year.

Facts on the Library’s collections

There are approximately 10 million items in the Library’s collection. The Library collects books, journals, newspapers, archives, manuscripts, pictures, photographs, musical scores, maps, websites and oral history and folklore recordings.

In 2012–2013, the Library received 132 400 new items.

As at June 2013, the proportion of the Library’s collection described on the online catalogue is 92%.

The Library digitises selected items in its collections. A total of 203 469 items had been digitised as at June 2013. The Library also collects online publications and websites through PANDORA and has undertaken large scale harvests of the Australian web domain.  In June 2013, the total size of the Library’s digital collections exceeds 2.5 petabytes.

The Library is also undertaking a digitisation of historic Australian newspapers and as at June 2013, over 10 million digitised pages, or 100 million articles, were freely available to the public through Trove.

The objective of our digitisation program is to make our collections more accessible, to engage with new audiences and to preserve rare and fragile materials.

Facts on access

Reading rooms

There are currently six reading rooms:

  • Main Reading Room
  • Newspapers & Microforms Reading Room
  • Petherick Reading Room (a facility for advanced researchers and those using rare or vulnerable materials, and for after-hours use of special collections)
  • Maps, Pictures and Manuscripts, and Asian collections reading rooms.

We are planning further reading room integration associated with a master building plan. 

Usage and access figures in 2012–2013 include:

  • over 182 000 physical items were delivered to users either on site through the reading rooms or via interlibrary loan
  • over 54 000 reference and information enquiries were answered
  • 146 computers were available for public use in the reading rooms. All reading rooms were wireless enabled and this service was heavily used with up to 150 concurrent laptop users active at any one time
  • over 363 000 entries to the Main and Newspapers & Microforms reading rooms
  • over 39 000 people participated in Library events and education activities

Opening hours

  • Main and Petherick reading rooms are open for a 67.5 hours a week, over seven days
  • Newspapers & Microforms Reading Room is open 48 hours a week, Monday to Saturday
  • Maps, Pictures and Manuscripts and Asian collections reading rooms are open 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday