Library Lovers’ Day is celebrated internationally each year on 14 February. It is a day to honour libraries, librarians, and library lovers, and the valuable roles that libraries play in our lives.

Visitors to the National Library were recently asked to nominate what it is they love about the Library. Members of the community of all ages provided reflections. These love notes covered a range of aspects, from the collections, space, and various facilities on offer at the Library through to the expertise of the Library’s staff. Here is a selection of some of the comments received: 

‘I love the National Library because…’

  • ‘I can sit in silence with a pile of glorious books and read until my heart and head are full of delight.’ – Emma 
  • ‘It’s the best place to concentrate in the country!’ – Clare 
  • ‘It’s a great place to do family research, has a wonderful bookshop, and a lovely place to eat lunch. Not to mention the stained-glass windows.’ – Heather 
  • ‘The National Library provides a quiet desk with research facilities in a warm environment. Without this unique service, I would not have been able to write several books. These books are not of wide interest and amusement but provide useful and new information that has been of immeasurable benefit in Australia and throughout the world. Thus, the unique service of the National Library has benefitted Australia as a whole.’ – Tim 
  • ‘I can sit in peace and read some of my most favourite books!’ – Sophie 
  • ‘It is a beautiful building in a beautiful city. It is such a welcoming space where I love to work and study when I visit Canberra.’ – Michael 
  • ‘The Librarians are the most wonderful help. I have done all my writing here with endless free access to computers. Cafe, Bookshop are brilliant, along with meeting people, researching, and reading. Stained-glass windows. The lot!’ – Penelope  
  • ‘The design, the feel, the smell, the colour, and the atmosphere. A most important assessment and collection of Australiana.’ – Clive 
  • ‘Of what it represents - thinking, reflecting, learning - efforts of many to create an institution for our country that elevates us all.’ – Ishbel 
  • ‘Of the facilities, staff and resources, and because of the founding principle that all information should be free and accessible in a true and robust democracy.’ – Mike 
  • ‘Wonderful collection of books and a fantastic café!’ – Anne 
  • ‘It helps me research new books.’ – Stephen 
  • ‘It maintains the book and history of our life and lives.’ – Irene 
  • ‘The staff are so helpful.’ – Jokim 
  • ‘Of the beautiful interior of stained-glass windows, occasional exhibitions and the wonderful café and bookshop. It is such a wonderful library ❤️. Happy Valentine’s!!’ 

Our question also inspired a new poem: 

T’is both bastion and beacon for lovers of prose 

For poets and pedants and biblio-schmoes 

A fabled oasis for chasers of facts 

And well-trod nirvana for those in the stacks 

A lifeblood of learning for scholars et al 

Yet waylaid in praises so praise it we shall 

The foremost lair for printed fare, elusive and arcane 

And treasured nest for tomes and text 

Forever may it reign. – Shorn 

Thank you to everyone who submitted a response – it’s a pleasure to share the beautiful spaces and amazing collections of the National Library with you. 

If you would like to share your declaration of love for the National Library on social media, tag @nationallibraryaus on Instagram.