Enjoy a COVIDSafe visit

For up-to-date information, check our COVID Safe visit page.

While there have not been any recent COVID-19 cases in the ACT, there are restrictions still in effect regarding people who have travelled to COVID-19 hotspots. Please check ACT Government travel advice and do not enter the Library if you have recently been in an area with active COVID-19 cases or if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

To help us keep you safe, when visiting the Library, please:

  • register your presence using the Check in CBR app or the visitors' book at the foyer information desk
  • practise good hand hygiene and social distancing
  • follow all ACT Government health advice.

Visitors exhibiting symptoms of illness may be asked to leave.

Social distancing restrictions still apply across the Library. 

Seating is available for up to 270 readers in the Main Reading Room, 40 readers in the Special Collections Reading Room (including the Petherick Reading Room). We will be welcoming up to 75 visitors in each of the Treasures Gallery and Exhibitions Gallery spaces (no bookings are required).

  • If visitor numbers in each area reach maximum capacity, you may be asked to delay your entry to a particular area.
  • We encourage you to bring and use your own devices when visiting the Library. Lockers are available for storing your belongings while in the reading rooms.
  • Contactless payment is preferred for all transactions throughout the Library, including for printing credit, cafe and bookshop purchases.

Exhibition galleries

Our exhibition galleries are open daily.

Uncover a lesser-known selection of paintings by Ellis Rowan in our Birds of Paradise: Ellis Rowan in New Guinea exhibition, showcasing 13 Birds of Paradise and providing a glimpse into their complex mating rituals and elaborate courtship dances.

Make time to visit our Treasures Gallery, featuring some of the extraordinary items the National Library has the privilege of holding in our collections.

Entry to our galleries is free and you do not need to book a ticket. Please observe maximum capacity restrictions and social distancing, and peruse the galleries in a clockwise direction.

Reading rooms

The Main Reading Room is open every day.

The Special Collections Reading Room and Petherick Reading Room are open Monday to Saturday.

Please check the opening hours before your visit, as the hours vary for each room.

Please note that there are no collection deliveries on weekends.

For material kept offsite, you must submit your request by 8am on Fridays for it to be available over the weekend. Most collection requests will be delivered according to our collection delivery times schedule.

Log in to the National Library Catalogue to see the status of your requests and to check where your requested items will be available prior to your visit. Standard access conditions and restrictions apply.


Bookplate is open 8.30am to 3.30pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 3pm weekends and public holidays. Reservations are required.

Paperplate is open 8.30am to 3.30pm Monday to Friday, closed on weekends and public holidays.

Toilets and parent room

The toilets on Lower Ground 1, the Ground Floor and Level 1 are open (accessible toilets are located on all these floors). There is a parents room on Lower Ground 1 that is also open. 

Please keep an eye on our website or follow our social media channels for the latest updates and news. 

We’re always open online 

Explore the Library from home via Trove, our website, the National Library Catalogue and eResources.

  • Discover free learning resources for primary and secondary students in our Digital Classroom.
  • Enjoy our online events program, which includes learning webinars, videos, podcasts and blogs.
  • Ask a Librarian for help with research questions and navigating our collections.
  • Visit our online bookshop, home to the best in Australian writing.