At present, access into and around the State Library is difficult, especially for those with restricted mobility, as well as school and tourist groups. The Library has been working with expert heritage consultants and architects to find solutions that meet the needs of all of our visitors.
Key stages of the Library’s plan include:
1. Accessible entry, Mitchell building (January - December 2022)
There is no satisfactory access to the entrance of the State Library’s historic Mitchell building for people with mobility issues. We have consulted with heritage experts and architects to come up with an elegant design for lift access next to the external Mitchell stairs. It will involve very minor alterations to one small part of the building’s façade. The proposed lift will open directly into the Mitchell building foyer through an existing room.
A very small ramp will also be installed next to the garden bed, near the State Library sign, to provide easy access to the Mitchell forecourt.
2. New accessible link between the Mitchell and Macquarie St buildings (January - April 2023)
A new internal gallery will be created through a currently unused area of the Library’s basement, in order to provide level access, connecting the Library’s Mitchell and Macquarie St buildings. This spacious area will be used as an additional, permanent gallery which will allow us to show highlights from the Library’s vast photographic collection.
As part of this work, the staircase in the floor of the Mitchell Library Reading Room, which was installed in the late 1980s, will be removed. The floor of the Reading Room will then be restored to its original 1940s glory, at the same time providing much-needed additional space for readers.
3. Improved access to the Macquarie St building (complete)
The entrance ramp leading from Macquarie Street into the Library’s Macquarie St building is steep and does not comply with current standards for disability access.
A new, ramped access route has been created to rectify this issue.