To assist readers in accessing our galleries, unique collections and eResources, we have provided questions and answers relating to: 

Your visit to the Library 

Do I need to book a ticket? 

No. Visitors do not need to pre-book a ticket to visit the Library. 

However, you must make a reservation if you wish to visit Bookplate. More information and an online booking form is available on the Bookplate website

What services will be available?   

During your visit you can access: 

  • Your requested collection material – from either the Main Reading Room or the Special Collections Reading Room. 

  • A desk. 

  • The Library’s free wifi to use to search the collections on your own device. 

  • Limited printing, photocopying and scanning facilities. Note that, printing credit can be added to your library card through cashless payments only. 

  • Our exhibition galleries 

  • Our bookshop 

  • Free lockers 

Bookplate Café is open from 9am to 2:30pm everyday – reservations are required. 

Visitors are asked to limit their time on Library equipment and be mindful of others waiting.  Sanitising wipes are available for use on equipment before and after it is used. 

The Friends Lounge is open from 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday in the Nan Kivell Room on Level 2.

What collections are accessible? 

All collections are available for request with most delivered according to our standard collection delivery times.    

Remember to log-in to the National Library Catalogue to see the status of your requests and to check which reading room it will be available in prior to your visit. 

At this time stack passes and reading room display material (including new books, journals and daily newspapers) are not available. Please speak with staff regarding alternative ways to access this material. 

Please Note: Due to access conditions and other restrictions not all material will be able to be supplied during this timeframe. Standard access conditions and restrictions apply.  

Can I use the open access microform or reference material in the reading rooms? 

Yes. This material remains on open access in the reading rooms and is available for use. As it is high use, we ask you to be extra vigilant with your own personal hygiene to protect yourself and others. 

Can I print and copy documents? 

Yes, limited print, scan and copy services are available in the reading rooms. However, we recommend visitors bring their own cameras and make photographic copies if possible. 

Printing credits can be added to your library card through cashless payments only.   

Can I place collections on hold for another visit? 

Yes, our standard reserve period of seven days still applies.  


Health and safety of visitors and staff 

What safety and hygiene measures are in place?  

The health and safety of our visitors and staff is always our top priority and we are fully complying with the ACT Health guidelines to protect everyone who visits.  

  • Hand hygiene facilities will be available at the entrance to the Library, entrance to the reading rooms and in other key locations.   

  • Bathrooms will be stocked with hand soap and paper towels, and instructions on how to wash hands properly will be provided.  

  • All hard surfaces will be thoroughly cleaned daily. High touch points will be cleaned throughout the day.  

  • Anti-bacterial wipes are available for readers to wipe down equipment such as the computer keyboards and mice before and after use.  

  • Physical distancing measures will be implemented, with queuing systems in place and signage clearly displayed.  

  • Shared stationery items have been removed (including USBs, headphones, pencils and staplers). 

  • Collection returns will be quarantined for 24 hours before being made available to request again.   

  • Access to the Main Reading Room will be limited to 200 readers and 30 readers in the Special Collections Reading Room (i.e.: 1 person per 4 square metres) at any one time. Readers are requested to limit their movement around the reading rooms, refrain from moving chairs and to follow physical distancing guidelines. 

  • Access to the Treasures Gallery will be for 50 visitors in the Treasures Gallery and 75 visitors in the Exhibitions Gallery to view our new exhibition, Australian Dreams: Picturing our Built World

Please stay home if you’re unwell - visitors exhibiting symptoms of illness may be asked to leave

Visitors are asked to comply with health and hygiene measures including physical distancing and using the hand sanitiser provided. If areas have reached maximum capacity under the ACT Government’s guidelines, you may be asked to delay your entry. 

Facilities and services yet to resume 

Is Paperplate open? 

Paperplate café remains closed. 

Can I book a venue for a meeting, training course or event?  

Our venues remain closed at this stage. Please keep an eye on our website or follow our social media channels for the latest updates and news. 

Are tours running? 

No. While our galleries have reopened, for the safety of our visitors, volunteers and staff, tours have not resumed yet. Please keep an eye on our website or follow our social media channels for the latest updates and news.