General facts

Our operating revenue for 2014–2015 was $66 million, comprising:

  • $50.4 million (76%) in government appropriation
  • $16.2 million in external revenue

In addition to the above revenue, the Government is providing the Library with $9.8 million to acquire materials for the collection.

Our operating expenses in 2014–2015 were $75.6 million ($63.5 million excluding collection depreciation), including:

  • $38.3 million (50%) in salaries
  • $16.2 million in supplier expenses
  • $8.1 million depreciation and amortisation with equivalent funding used to replace assets—buildings, software, plant and equipment
  • $12.2 million for collection depreciation

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 2014–2015 averaged 444 employees (equal to 420 full-time staff):

  • 68% of staff are female
  • 31% of staff have worked at the Library for at least 15 years
  • the median age of staff is 47 years

The Library also has a volunteer program with 75 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 453,000 in 2014–2015.

Our Friends of the National Library of Australia Inc. is an active group with around 2,000 members. In 2014–2015, major Friends events included the annual Kenneth Myer Lecture presented by Professor Brian Schmidt AC on the topic of Science and Society: Exploring the Role of Research in Australian Lives and the Friends 25th Anniversary gala event, Inspiration and Information: Why Libraries Matter. 

Our websites received on average 77,000 visits a day, which came to 28 million visits in 2014–2015.

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 2014–2015, the Library received 137,700 new items.

As at June 2015, the proportion of the Library’s collection described on the online catalogue is 93%.

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 2015, 235 622 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 2015 over 17 million digitised pages, or 170 million articles, 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 2015, the total size of the Library’s digital collections exceeded 3.8 petabytes, containing over 9 billion files.

Facts on access

Reading rooms

Over the last couple of years, the Library’s reading rooms have undergone a series of renovations. In January 2015, the Library opened a new Special Collections Reading Room and, in May 2015, a new 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

Usage and access figures in 2014–2015 include:

  • over 144,890 physical items delivered to users either in the reading rooms or offsite via interlibrary loan,  and document supply
  • Library staff answered over 44,990 reference and information enquiries
  • 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 287, 200 entries recorded to the Main Reading Room, Special Collections Reading Room and Asian Collections Reading Room
  • over 35,700 people participating in Library events and education activities

Opening hours

The Library made a number of adjustments to its opening hours in 2014–2015 in conjunction with the reading room renovations. Following the changes:

  • 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