Before you visit, please read Visiting the Library to find what onsite services will be available and how to book a session in one of the reading rooms.
The Governor Marie Bashir Reading Room spans across two levels of the Macquarie Street building. You'll find spaces for study and research, zones for learning and collaboration, and quiet spots to sit back and relax with a newspaper. We also have dedicated spaces where you can research your family history or study for the HSC.
We have computers throughout the reading room that you can use to access the internet, catalogues, eresources and MS Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint). The computers are free to use - you just need a Library card. Or you can connect to the Library's free wi-fi if you prefer to use your own device.
Visit the reading room to:
- get help with your research
- collect and use requested material
- book and use a study room
- find a quiet space to study
- browse the shelves for books, journals, newspapers and magazines
- use adaptive technology
- access all of the Library's eresources.
Things to know when you visit
Food and drinks including bottled water are not allowed in the reading room.
You can bring in a small bag if it's no larger than 30 × 35 × 30 cm when at full size. If your bag is larger than this, you will need to store it in a locker.
You may be able to bring in your laptop bag if it’s larger than 30 × 35 × 30 cm. Security will need to approve your bag. Speak to security at the reading room entrance about getting your bag approved.
Complete a form at the reading room entrance to bring in your own books, magazines and other materials. Security at the entrance can help you if you have any questions about bringing in your own material.
The Governor Marie Bashir Reading Room is on Lower Ground 1 and 2 in the Macquarie Street building.
The stairs or lift in the Macquarie Street foyer can be used to access the Governor Marie Bashir Reading Room.
The Governor Marie Bashir Reading Room - then known as the General Reference Library Reading Room - was originally located in the Mitchell Library. As the Library grew so did the need for a larger space to house the reading room.
After years of planning, interim solutions, delays and controversies, the reading room relocated to the new Macquarie Street building. In 1988 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II opened the building and reading room. The General Reference Library Reading Room was renamed the State Reference Library Reading Room in 1997.
In 2011 the State Reference Library Reading Room underwent a major refurbishment. The space was redesigned in response to the changing needs of the Library's clients.
The new design includes:
- easier access to the Library's services and collections
- dedicated study rooms
- more informal work spaces
- spaces for HSC students and family historians
- casual seating
- more computers.
State Reference Library Reading Room reopened to the public on 19 September 2011. With the increased use of natural light, the whitewash walls, neutral colour palette and the exposed atrium on Lower Ground 2, the reading room was completely transformed.
To pay tribute to Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO, the State Reference Library Reading Room was renamed to the Governor Marie Bashir Reading Room on 20 October 2014.