Libraries and Archives in Australia Industry Market Research Report Now Updated by IBISWorld

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Libraries remain viable and irreplaceable services, despite the rapid rate of technical change affecting the industry's operations and the composition of its collections. For this reason, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated its report on the Libraries and Archives industry in Australia.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

Libraries are currently reinventing what they collect and how they present it to their users

The Libraries and Archives industry in Australia is overwhelmingly reliant on public funding and private donations, which remain relatively stable for such an entrenched public service. Funding, while slowing for federal and state libraries, remains solid for local libraries. According to IBISWorld industry analyst Caroline Finch, “while funding for federal archives has grown in the past five years, it has declined at a state level.” The industry’s poor performance over 2008-09 and 2010-11 followed through 2012-13, as the effects of the economic downturn filtered through to government appetite for funding cultural and heritage activities.

The industry's four largest players control a small amount of industry revenue. It is important to note that current market share for major players include operating revenue only and excludes capital funding from governments. “The industry is dominated by local libraries collectively” says Finch, and the majority of libraries are run by their respective local government and are usually within a municipality that typically employs less than 20 staff with additional staff requirements filled by part-time or casual workers. Due to the mature nature of the Libraries and Archives industry and no indications of significant shifts in the distribution of library funding in the future, IBISWorld expects industry concentration to remain low, with municipal and mobile libraries to dominate the industry into the foreseeable future.

This pattern of decline in the Libraries and Archives industry is expected to be corrected over the coming five years, with revenue forecast to grow. Archives provide services essential to Australia's democratic state and for this reason, archives are expected to attract steady funding in the five years through 2017-18. Libraries are in the process of reinventing what they collect and how they present it to their users. This is expected to ensure their long-term relevance.

Libraries are projected to continue to combine resources to provide improved services while funding growth is constrained. This will extend to public, school, university and other libraries. National networks and databases will continue evolving as libraries nationwide become more involved; although proposed new legislation may include a provision that denies private libraries from a fair dealing exemption for digitally published information. Information access at a nationwide level and an international level will become easier and more commonplace. With more convenient access to information, many libraries will need to differentiate and add value to their services to remain viable. It is also likely that libraries will develop means of generating income besides traditional government funding. That said, the coming years may be challenging, with contracting state and federal budgets likely to put funding under pressure.

For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Libraries and Archives report in Australia industry page.

Follow IBISWorld on Twitter:!/ibisworldau

IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

The industry is mainly engaged in providing library or archive services. Libraries and archives maintain collections of documents (e.g. books, journals, newspaper and music) and facilitate the use of such documents (recorded information regardless of its physical form and characteristics) for the historical record and for access by the general public. All or parts of these collections may be accessible electronically.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
International Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Basis of Competition
Barriers to Entry
Industry Globalisation
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Technology & Systems
Revenue Volatility
Regulation & Policy
Industry Assistance
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognised as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every Australian industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Melbourne, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organisations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call (03) 9655 3886.

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Gavin Smith
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