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Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Library able to value an object such as an old book?


We do not offer a valuation service. Visit the Australian Government Cultural Gifts Program for a list of approved valuers.

The Library does not accept responsibility for any aspect of their work or for any fees incurred.

Can the Library do extensive or ongoing research for me?


We're not able to do extensive or ongoing research. You can employ a professional researcher from organisations such as:

Professional Historians Association NSW

Society of Australian Genealogists

The Library does not accept responsibility for any aspect of their work or for any fees incurred. See the Ask a Librarian Service Policy for ways which we can help with your research.

Can I use Ancestry Library Edition from home?


Ancestry Library Edition is only accessible at the Library. You can access Ancestry on a Library computer in the Governor Marie Bashir Reading Room or your own device using the Library's free wi-fi.

Can I request a book if it's checked out to someone else?

Yes, you can request a book that's checked out in the catalogue. We will check the book out to you when it becomes available.​

See Using the Library's collections for more information.

How much does it cost to photocopy?

Prices for photocopying your own or Library material range from $0.20 to $3. Library material that’s too fragile or large will need to copied by staff. Prices range from $1 to $3.

See printing and copying for more information.

Do you offer scanning services?

Yes, we can scan some Library material, such as articles, chapters from books and fragile material, for you. You can order online or at the Library.

We don't offer self-service scanning but you can use your own hand-held scanner to scan Library material. Speak to staff before you scan Library material. Scanners are not allowed in the Special Collections area.

See printing and copying for more information including pricing.

I’ve requested a book but I won’t be able to come in today. Do I need to re-request?

The book that you've requested will be available to collect and use for seven days. After seven days, you will need to request the book again.

See Using the Library’s collections for more information.

Can I borrow books from the Library through my public library?

Yes, you can borrow books from the Library’s collections through your public, academic or work library. Other items such as DVDs can also be borrowed but only through your public library. Some books and other collection material are not able to be borrowed.

See the Interlibrary Lending Policy for more information.

I’ve requested some books from offsite storage. When will the books be ready to collect?

Books and other collection material requested from offsite storage are available after 4 pm the next working day.

Offsite material is not delivered to the Library on weekends and public holidays.

The book's location is listed as offsite storage. What does this mean?

We also keep books and other collection material in storage that's located away from the Library. We’ve listed the location this material as offsite storage in the catalogue.

See Using the Library's collections for more information about requesting offsite material.

I would like to view some manuscripts. Are you able to set them aside for me?

Yes, complete the Access to collections form to request the manuscripts you would like to use. We will get back to you within 4 working days.

I’m having trouble accessing an eresource at home. What can I do?

Most eresources can be used at home but some are only accessible in the Library. Look for the library building with a card icon to see if the eresources is accessible from home.

Try clearing your cookies and cache then restart your browser.

Still not able to get access? Contact Ask a Librarian with your Library card number and the name of the eresource and we’ll do our best to help.

Remember you need to be a New South Wales resident and have a Library card or a registered NSW public library card to use eresources at home.