THE Greens promised to push whichever party wins Saturday's election to increase funding for public libraries.
The Greens candidate for Oatley Philippa Clark said funding for libraries in NSW was lower than other states.
Ms Clark said funding had been in decline since the 1980s under both Labor and Liberal governments, leaving councils to pick up the bill.
"The Greens will advocate for increased per capita funding to local government for libraries and promote equal and free-of-charge access to all public cultural and education institutions, including libraries," she said.
The Greens upper house candidate Justin Field said state investment in public libraries paid dividends for the community.
"Libraries are an essential community hub that contribute to life, learning and social inclusion," he said.
"In particular, young people without access to computers at home find libraries invaluable for being able to communicate with family and friends, or use library resources to search for and apply for jobs.
"Cost shifting from the state government to local councils is putting pressure on limited council resources and seeing library services reduced."