Public holiday: the Library will be open on 3 October. View opening hours

Welcome to the 2020 school year!

As you settle in with your classes and prepare for the year ahead, we would like to share with you the wealth of resources available at the State Library of NSW. Whether you visit us onsite, via video conference or through our website, we’ve got you covered, with a wide range of curriculum linked learning resources.

With six exhibitions, a beautiful building and state-of-the-art learning centre, there has never been a better time to visit us in Macquarie St. We can even help with the cost of the bus to bring you to the city  find out how!

Two girls in costume and a teacher looking at artworks

Don’t miss the opportunity to see:

Living Language: Country, Culture, Community until 3 May

This exhibition celebrates the richness and diversity of Aboriginal languages, recognised as among the oldest on Earth. We can offer a FREE 30-minute tour of the exhibition for school groups including a visit to the yarning circle where they will listen to a dreaming story told by language custodian Michael Jarrett.

We also have two new exhibitions with strong curriculum links, coming up later in the year.

Eight Days in Kamay 18 April to 18 October

This is an exhibition that explores the eight days that James Cook and the crew of the Endeavour spent at Kamay (Botany Bay) in 1770. Through a close investigation of original collection material and an introduction to the culture and science of the Gweagal people students will gain an understanding of this important event from both European and Aboriginal perspectives. This excursion can be tailored for all stages of learning.

Mapping the Pacific 11 July to 22 November

This exhibition features an amazing collection of maps, globes and atlases detailing the history of mapping the Pacific region. This is a perfect excursion for Stage 2 students as the study the journeys of European explorers.

We’re excited to let you know that we have expanded our excursions for secondary students with the addition of:

Picture Books Reimagined in this two-hour excursion student will use the original artwork and manuscript of a published picture book to explore how illustrations can bring a story to life. Teachers can choose between three focus options:

  • exploring the process of writing and illustrating children’s picture books
  • creating an illustrated story using original artworks
  • creating a drama piece based on the original manuscript and illustrations of a published children’s picture book.

Hands on WWI — this white glove experience provides an opportunity for students to learn how to handle, analyse and care for artefacts and manuscripts from the First World War. Students will develop skills of historical inquiry as they solve an intriguing history mystery. Why not make a day of it and organise a visit to the Anzac War Memorial to complement this experience?

You can find details of all our onsite excursions here. Four kids sitting in a seat reading books together

If you can’t make it into the building, there are still many opportunities to engage with us. We’ve covered all stages of learning and if you use our learning activities you can be confident that you are providing high quality learning experiences for your students without staying up half the night to design activities. We have done all the hard work for you!

Check out our amazing online resources all designed to support the NSW curriculum. We’ve added a number of new learning activities for Stage 5 History including:

New video conferences include:

And we’re pleased to let you know that we are now using ZOOM technology to connect with schools around the country and beyond.

I’m sure you’ve heard about our fabulous new Children’s Library, brimming with the best children’s literature available. As well as hundreds of casual visitors we’ve hosted many groups of library monitors since the space opened in October 2019. Why not kick-start the year for your library monitors at the State library? We offer a special Library Adventure tour designed specially for book nerds and it includes a visit to the beautiful Children’s Library. Our Children’s Library is also the perfect place to host a Book Club meeting and you can tag include a Library Adventure tour too.

There is so much to look forward to in 2020 — please sign up for our Learning eNews and be the first to find out about Learning programs at the State Library.