Requesting, collecting and reserving

Where are the books and other items kept?

We keep our collections:

  • in ‘stack’ storage
  • on the Reference shelves
  • in offsite storage

Use our catalogues to find what you need.

   How can I request books and other items?

You will need our Library card to request. Requests need to be made one hour before we close to use that day, otherwise your requested items will be available an hour after we open the next day. See our opening hours.

Find out more about signing up for a Library card.

Books: request up to seven days in advance using our catalogue.

Newspapers, magazines, films and videos: complete a stack request slip and hand to staff at the Request desk on LG2 in the Governor Marie Bashir Reading Room. You can also request up to seven days in advance by calling us on (02) 9273 1414.

Manuscripts, pictures, oral history recordings, rare books and maps: complete a stack request slip and hand to staff at the Special Collections desk in the Mitchell Reading Room. You can also request up to seven days in advance by calling us on (02) 9273 1414.

Where do I collect books and other items?

Collect your items from the ‘Collect here’ shelves on LG2 near the Request desk. Our average retrieval time from onsite stack is 30 minutes. The stacks are extensive so it can sometimes take longer to retrieve material.

Clients collecting their items from the shelves

   Items requested from offsite storage will be available after 4 pm the next working day. There are no deliveries from offsite storage on weekends and public holidays.

Special Collections items, such as manuscripts and pictures, need be collected and used in the Special Collections area of the Mitchell Reading Room. Special Collections cardholders can also choose to collect all their Library materials, including printed books, from this area. Please speak to Library staff if you wish to explore the best collection pickup option for you.

Can I use the items again tomorrow?

Items placed on the open Collect Shelves will remain on the shelf for seven days. For all other items, please ask at the service desk if you would like to use it again.

Quick Links

The State Library provides a free Information Request Service.

Macquarie St, Sydney
NSW 2000, Australia
Tel: (02) 9273 1414

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