NSW State Library explores greater access for all

Tuesday 29 January 2019

The State Library of NSW is currently exploring plans to further expand public access to the historic Mitchell Library Building.

The State Library recently completed its first major building project in the Mitchell Building in over 50 years, with the opening of the Michael Crouch Family Galleries and the John B Fairfax Learning Centre.

According to State Librarian Dr John Vallance: “In October last year the State Library doubled the amount of space in the Mitchell Building open to the public, and new galleries and public areas are giving people unprecedented access to the riches of the Library’s collections.”

“Our current plans involve building a public auditorium to allow for expansion of our education and other public programmes, together with more exhibition space,” said Dr Vallance.

“Protecting the heritage fabric of the much-loved Mitchell is front and centre of any proposed work and will be done in consultation with heritage experts and the Heritage Council of NSW. There is no suggestion that an external elevator is to be built.”

The State Library’s Mitchell building has been a prominent Sydney icon since 1910. It is vital that it be open and accessible to all visitors, including those with restricted mobility.

A rooftop restaurant was considered in 2016 but is no longer on the agenda at the State Library. The proposal noted on the Library’s website is out of date and has been removed.