We use cookies to provide you with the best experience on our website and to improve our communications with you. If you continue without changing your settings, we’ll assume you’re happy to receive all cookies on this website. If you wish, however, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Click “find out more” for detailed information about how cookies are used on this website. Find out more


2023 School Library Survey Australia – preliminary findings


Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2023 Softlink Australia School Library Survey.

The 2023 the Softlink School Library Survey was released September 11 and closed November 3. Invitations to participate were extended to all schools in Australia via email, X (formerly known as Twitter), LinkedIn, OZTL_Net, and promoted by a number of our partners, associates, and school library groups.

Some preliminary findings are available below.  The full report is due to be released in early 2024. 

Participant breakdown

We had a fantastic response rate, with 951 participants from all states and territores. 

As can be seen in the graph below, overall 62% of respondents were from Government schools,  20% Catholic schools , and 18% Independent schools; 47% were from Primary, 30% Secondary, and 17% Primary & Secondary.

School Library Budgets and Staffing

There were a number of questions related to library budgets and staffing.  When asked whether school library budgets had changed from the previous year, 13% of respondents reported an increase and 18% reported a decreased budget.  45% reported no change in budget.

Staff changes were also considered with 9% of respondents reporting an increase in staffing from the previous year and 26% reporting a decrease in staffing.  65% reported no change.

Participants were asked whether they thought that their school library was adequately staffed with 52% of respondents answering no and 48% yes.

Asked if they thought that their school library budget was adequate, 43% answered no and 57% responded with yes.

Participants were also asked about the level of support the library received from senior leadership within the school, 37% of respondents felt it was high to very high while 27% answered low to very low.

The level of engagement with the library from both teachers and students was questioned.  35% of respondents believe that teacher engagement is high to very high while 22% felt that it was low to very low.  

Student engagement was considered high to very high for 60% of respondents, with 8% believing it to be low to very low.

Thank you again for your involvement with Softlink's School Library Survey.  We look forward to sharing the full report with you in the new year.  

The report contains valuable benchmark information on school library staffing, budgets, resources, changing roles and technologies and other important issues.  Our findings are shared with school library associations and other bodies to advocate for school libraires and librarians. 

We also look forward to sharing valuable insights gained from our open-ended questions (below) on some of the key issues and challenges facing school libraries:

  • How can school libraries improve students' emotional health or well-being?
  • What do you see as the main impact of AI on school libraries moving forward?

Thank you to the partners and associations that help the survey to reach as many librarians as possible, your support is key to the reliability of the survey.

ALIA logo
Students Need School Libraries

While every care is taken to include all promoters of the survey, please do contact us if we have missed you so we can update this page.


Softlink is proud to continue to sponsor and grow this initiative. We are always looking for ways to improve and refine the School Library Survey and associated reports and whitepapers. If you would like to offer feedback, please email communications@softlinkint.com