Two library cards stand up on a stone step, with part of the National Library building visible in the background

A National Library card is your ticket to access millions of items from our collections, onsite or online, wherever you are. Getting a Library card is free to all Australian residents and signing up is simple.

Get a Library card

With your Library card, you can:

Learn more about your Library card

How can I get a Library card?

It’s easy to sign-up online, and it’s free. Please note that you need to be an Australian resident and have an Australian street address to get a card (post office boxes are not accepted).

Your card is ready to use as soon as you receive it in the mail. You can also choose to collect your card from our reading room staff. Make sure you have current ID, such as a driver's licence or student ID card.

Remember to read the terms and conditions for having a Library card – with great power comes great responsibility!

Get a Library card

What can I do with my Library card?

Use your Library card to request physical collection material for use in our reading rooms, and to access books, newspapers and periodicals from anywhere in Australia using our eResources service. Learn more about eResources.

To request items to use at the Library, login to our catalogue. Once you have logged in, you can request items, track your requests, mark favourites and create lists for future research. You can request up to 15 items at a time.

Get started with the catalogue

Will my Library card expire?

Library cards are valid for two years but you can renew yours easily. Login to your account on the renewals page and follow the instructions.

I've lost my Library card. What should I do?

Our team of librarians can help you get a new one online, over the phone or in person in our Main Reading Room.

Ask a Librarian

I found something in the catalogue that I want to look at in person. How do I get it?

To look at things in our collection, request them through our catalogue and they will be delivered to one of our reading rooms – either the Main Reading Room on the Ground Floor or the Special Collections Reading Room on Level 1 (check where your items have been delivered to by looking at your catalogue account).

Collection material can only be used in the reading room it is delivered to. It can't be taken to other areas of the Library or outside the building. To make the most of your visit, order items in advance so that they're waiting for you when you arrive.

Collection delivery times vary according to the type of material you need. Check our detailed collection delivery information to confirm the applicable timeframe.

How do I find online journal articles and resources?

Your Library card provides access to online journals and resources through our eResources portal. Login with your Library card details to browse full-text electronic journals, newspapers, academic papers and more. NewsBank (a collection of newspapers from over 200 countries) and PressReader (which has 7,000 newspapers and magazines) are two of our most popular eResources.

When you're looking at eResources, keep an eye out for the yellow key symbol. If you see it next to a resource, you'll know you can access it from wherever you are. Some resources can only be accessed when you're in the Library building in Canberra, and these are marked with a small building symbol.

Want to know more about how to use the eResources? Our research guides on eResources at the National Library and eBooks might help.

I'm visiting the Library from outside Australia. Can I get a Library card?

Yes! You can apply online or in our reading rooms for a temporary card so you can use collection items in our reading rooms. You will not be able to access our licensed eResources while offsite.

Further questions? Ask a Librarian

Not sure where to start your research? Stuck somewhere along the way? Ask a Librarian. Our librarians are here to provide suggestions, research tips, resources and strategies to all Australians, as well as anyone looking for information relating to Australia or the Library's collections. If we can't help we will recommend someone who can.

Ask a Librarian