Due to major building activity some of our collections are temporarily unavailable. This means that some requests for deliveries of Library material to the Reading Rooms will not be fulfilled. Please check the catalogue carefully to find out if your selection is impacted.  Learn more

Access the Library’s world-class collections and services through our modern and comfortable reading rooms.

Please note that there are no collection deliveries in evenings or on weekends and that delivery times vary throughout the week. Check delivery times before you visit.

Within the reading rooms you can:

  • request and access collection items
  • speak to expert staff
  • search and access electronic resources including journals, ebooks, indexes and databases
  • use our computers and internet for free
  • browse our reference collection
  • photocopy, scan and print

As we are a reference library you can use collection items in our reading rooms but not take them home. We are also a closed stack library, meaning our collection storage areas cannot be visited by the public except on our behind the scenes tour.

Man holding book at desk in Special Collections Reading Room

Instead, you can conveniently request items through our online catalogue, and we will deliver them to one of our reading rooms for you to use:

The time it takes for items to be delivered varies between rooms, so be sure to check our collection delivery times and login to your account with your Library card before you visit. Don't have a Library card? Apply for one online

The Main Reading Room at the National Library of Australia

Using the reading rooms

Our reading rooms offer a comfortable and modern space for you to research and study.

Main Reading Room

Access a range of services and the Library's general collection in our Main Reading Room

Special Collections Reading Room

Visit our Special Collections Reading Room on Level 1 to view material from the Asian, pictures, manuscripts, maps, oral history, music, ephemera and rare printed collections.

Petherick Reading Room

The Petherick Reading Room provides facilities and privileges for a select group of readers who are undertaking advanced research and require intensive access to the National Library’s collections.

Acceptable use of information and communication technology