Throughout 2024, our much-loved heritage building is undergoing some necessary improvements. During this time, venue hire availability will be limited.

Learn more about major building activity.

Understanding these guidelines enables both parties to produce a successful event. These guidelines are not comprehensive but are intended to provide you with an overview of our terms and conditions, prior to confirming a booking. Please contact the venue hire team if you have any questions.

Preservation of building heritage

The National Library of Australia is located in a heritage-listed building. In order to ensure the building’s longevity, hirers are asked to keep the venue and equipment in good condition and repair, and to make no alterations to the Library building.

Booking times

The minimum booking time for a venue is 4 hours, including set up and pack down. Booking times are either 4 hours or full day hire. Bookings that extend past the full day, e.g. into the evening, will be charged at an hourly rate. See the full venue hire rates and fees for more information.

Reduced fee applications

Community groups may apply for a 50% reduction on venue hire charges. Community groups are defined as not-for-profit organisations, such as charities, established to provide a community benefit. Application forms can be obtained from the Library’s venue hire office.

Government and education organisations will be granted (without application) a 20% reduction on venue hire charges. Government organisations are defined as National, State, Territory government departments/agencies. Education organisations are defined as universities and TAFEs, primary and secondary schools, and preschools.

These reductions apply only to venue charges, and not additional services such as audio visual, security, cleaning or labouring.

Exhibition viewings

A private viewing of the Library’s exhibitions may be arranged with four weeks notice prior to the event date. Private viewings generally run for one hour. The Treasures Gallery private viewing with a curator has a $500 fee. Temporary exhibition private viewings with a curator have a $500 fee, and may require additional security. Self-guided access to the galleries for one hour can also be arranged for a $250 fee. The hirer must pay to the Library all private viewing costs including security. All private viewings are subject to the availability of staff. Private viewings cannot be held between 10am and 5pm daily.

Catered events

Catering is available in selected areas of the Library. The Library’s contracted caterer is Bookplate. You can speak to Bookplate directly to organise catering for your event. The usual venue charges will apply if an additional venue is needed to supply the catering. Bookplate will invoice you directly for catering. Additional cleaning charges may also apply.

If you wish to use an alternative caterer to Bookplate, including self-catering, written permission is required from Library management. Venue hire customers using alternative caterers are responsible for ensuring that food is prepared and stored safely, and that venues are left in a reasonable condition. Additional cleaning fees may be attached to these bookings.


All events outside the Library’s opening hours will require security. Larger events, high-profile events, or events attended by VIPs and dignitaries may also require security. This is an additional charge to the hirer.

Audio visual (AV)

All events in the Theatre are required to have the Library’s contracted AV technician. The AV technician may also be hired for events in other venues, particularly those requiring complex AV. If the AV technician is not booked for an event, the Library is only able to provide limited AV support during operating hours.

The AV equipment available in each Library venue varies. Information on the equipment available in each venue can be found on the setup sheets. Some additional equipment can be hired for an extra fee. General AV equipment, including cables, adapters and charging devices, is not supplied as standard. If you require specific AV setup, please ensure this is identified early in the planning process and tested prior to the event. Please contact Venue Hire at the Library to discuss your requirements.


Standard cleaning costs are included in the venue hire cost. Larger events (more than 200 people), events with alternative caterers, and events with non-standard requirements, e.g. performances, may incur additional cleaning costs for the hirer. Please contact Venue Hire at the Library for further information.

Set ups

Set up costs, including labourers, for standard set ups are included in the venue hire cost. Non-standard set ups will incur additional labouring costs for the hirer. Please contact Venue Hire to find out more about standard set up options.


Paid parking is available in public car parks in the Parliamentary zone. Information on fees and hours of operation can be found on the National Capital Authority's website. Free parking cannot be provided by the Library, including for event organisers and guests.

Disabled access and services

Wheelchairs are available at the Foyer Information Desk on the Ground Floor. Wheelchair-accessible toilets are situated on Level 1 (follow the signage) and on the Lower Ground 1 floor to the left of the lifts. The Library building can be accessed by ramp or by making arrangements to enter on Lower Ground 2 by telephoning security on 02 6262 1376. Car parks for disabled access are the south (Treasury) side of the building. Signage and road markers will show these areas.

The Theatre has space for three wheelchairs in the back row of the Theatre. Wheelchair access to the stage in the Theatre can be organised through the venue hire team.

The Theatre, Conference Room and Ferguson are fitted with a hearing induction loop for improved sound quality for visitors with hearing aids.


Smoking is prohibited in the Library building.


Advertising and promotional material should not state or imply that the Library is the host, sponsor or organiser of the event. Any signage or promotional material in the venue must have prior written approval by the Library.

Public areas

Where an event is held during the Library’s opening hours, exclusive access to some venues is not possible. Where events are held in areas normally open to the public, the hirer is asked to clear all temporary installations following the event as soon as possible, so as to allow public access to be restored.


Access to the Library building by the hirer is limited to those areas approved for the event. A Library representative can have access at all times to any areas being used for an approved event. The Library reserves the right to refuse entry to the Library to any individual attending the event. Access to the Library before and after opening hours will incur additional security costs.

Conduct of events

Hirers are asked to conduct themselves and the event in a way which does not interfere with the operations of the Library. The hirer must use the venue and equipment only for the agreed event.

Collection of monies

If you intend to collect money, have items for sale, or conduct fundraising activities, including membership fees, donations and raffles, as part of you event, please contact the venue hire team to discuss prior to booking. Written approval is required for these activities. The sale of books and merchandise may be possible through the National Library bookshop. Please discuss with the venue hire team.


On the initial inquiry, a tentative booking of the venue can be held for seven days. If the hirer decides to go ahead with the booking, a license for hire will be issued. To secure the booking, the license for hire must be signed and returned to the Library within seven days. A deposit is not required to confirm your booking. Confirmation of event details, including setups, must be received 14 days prior to the event. The Library reserves the right to cancel or replace the booking if these timelines are not adhered to.

Changes to bookings

Extending a booking past the original booking time is subject to venue availability.

Events that are postponed and rescheduled with less than 30 days notice will incur a $250 administrative fee. Rescheduling is subject to venue availability.

Significant changes to setups or other event details within 72 hours of an event will incur a $150 administrative fee. It may not be possible to implement all requested changes.

Events that run over time will be charged in accordance with the Library’s pricing schedule.


All cancellations must be made in writing. The following cancellation policy applies to all bookings:

Notice Provided Cancellation Fee

30 days or more

No fee

7-29 days

50% of venue hire charges as set out in the license

Less than 7 days

100% of venue hire charges as set out in the license

Settlement of the account

Deposits are generally not required. An invoice will be sent to the hirer within 14 days of the event. Accounts are to be settled within 14 days of invoice.

Bookings and enquires should be directed to:

Manager, Venue Administration
National Library of Australia
Canberra ACT 2600
phone (02) 6262 1234
fax (02) 6262 1274