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

Entrance to the Main Reading Room
The entrance to the Main Reading Room at the National Library of Australia.

The Main Reading Room on the Ground Floor is our largest reading room, and will most likely be your first stop. 

Here you can get a Library card and access our general collection of published material. 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.

In the Main Reading Room you can also:

  • ask our friendly staff for advice on your research
  • browse a selection of new books, journals and daily newspapers
  • access free computers and internet 
  • settle into our comfortable study areas, complete with powerpoints and free wifi
  • use our Optelec Clearview C enlarger to magnify images onto a computer screen
  • print, scan and photocopy
  • find a small selection of children's books for our youngest visitors.

Collection items are delivered to the Main Reading Room on weekdays, and generally take 45 minutes to arrive. Some material is held at our offsite storage facilities and will take longer to be delivered, so check our collection delivery times before you visit. Please note that delivery times vary between reading rooms. 

You are welcome to bring handbags or small day bags (under 300mm square) and water in a bottle with a tightly secured lid into the Main Reading Room. Food, large bags, coats, umbrellas and other large objects can be stored in our free self-service lockers on Lower Ground 1. Please do not leave personal possessions or bags unattended in the reading room. For the safety of our patrons unattended items may be inspected and removed by authorised officers of the Library.   

For Main Reading Room opening hours see our opening hours page