Libraries for all in Australia: future perspectives

Australia is as large as the United States, but has a population of only 23 million, 85% of whom live along the coast. The country has an extremely extensive library network, including some forty university libraries as well as technological university libraries like those in community colleges elsewhere in the English-speaking world, school libraries and specialist libraries – some undergoing rapid development – and over five hundred public libraries. While there are undoubtedly problems in replacing staff as they retire and some financial issues, communities are in ever greater need of the services provided by libraries, hinting at a bright future for Australia’s library network.