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Australia / Analyst Insights
Well Read: Funding Increases have Supported Libraries and Schools

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by Hayley Munro-Smith
May 16 2019

Technology has transformed the operating environment for the Government Schools industry and the Libraries and Archives industry. Enterprises in both industries have had to weather significant changes and disruptions to their operations – in both the mode of delivery and new services demanded by users. Firms in both industries have risen to the challenge, supported by their respective state and territory governments.

Funding from state and territory governments is the chief source of revenue for schools, libraries and archives. Revenue for the Government Schools industry is forecast to grow at an annualised 3.8% over the five years through 2018-19, to reach $51.7 billion. Similarly, the Libraries and Archives industry is set to expand at an annualised 1.5% over the period, with revenue expected to reach $1.5 billion in the current year. Visitor numbers at libraries and archives have gradually risen over the past five years, as have total student numbers attending government schools. The expansion of downstream markets has contributed to revenue growth for both industries, and has placed greater pressure on technology and communications infrastructure.

As these industries have grown over the past five years, demand for access to their services via technology has skyrocketed. Schools, libraries and archives have all invested in technology to meet this demand. Many schools now use tablets and interactive whiteboards in classrooms, and libraries now offer ebooks and other materials electronically. Online platforms or portals are a key feature of service delivery for many libraries and archives, while intranets are essential to many schools for homework submission and testing. Where digital disruption and technology may have otherwise presented a threat, operators in these industries have turned these developments into opportunities to support growth and augment service offerings.

The Government Schools industry and Libraries and Archives industry are projected to continue expanding over the next five years. The Quality Schools Package is anticipated to accelerate revenue growth for government schools. However, both industries are likely to face a similar challenge in the near future, regarding adequate training and skills for existing and new staff. In-depth training in the use of new technologies and digital tools will be essential to maintaining current service levels at schools, libraries and archives. Library and archive staff will need to be able to navigate online resources and offer solutions for questions and challenges in the digital realm. Teachers and principals will need strong IT knowledge to deliver lessons and learning material surrounding technology and digitally-based subjects. Overall, players in both industries are anticipated to invest in maintaining and improving the technological expertise of their staff to ensure they stay at the forefront of developments and match the preferences of their customers over the next five years.

Related industries:

Libraries and Archives in Australia
Government Schools in Australia

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