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Large Print and Talking Book FAQ

Frequently asked questions relating to the distribution of the State Library English large print and talking book collections

Frequently Asked Questions


Please note that these questions apply to the large print and talking book bulk loans collections in English only, and do not refer to the multicultural bulk loans collections.


What items are available on long term loan?

  • large print (adult non-fiction and fiction)
  • talking books (adult non-fiction and fiction)

What is the minimum number of items a library can request?
The State Library will work with public libraries to ensure equitable distribution of the collections. 

Will the entire alternate format bulk loans in English collection be distributed to libraries who express an interest in a long term loan?
The State Library would like as much of the collections as possible to be available in public libraries for direct access by local communities.

How will this collection be allocated to libraries?
The State Library’s bulk loans team will select material, subject to the limitations of each collection, with input from libraries. According to the latest NSW public library statistical return all NSW public libraries hold a large print and talking book collection in English. Some libraries however have larger and newer collections than others. Where possible, the State Library’s intention is to boost smaller library collections, in keeping with the current demand for the collection, and its purpose as a back-up collection.

Once the collection has been distributed, will it be possible to find out the location of the material in these collections?
The State Library catalogue will show where an item is at the library service level. For example Inner West Libraries or Riverina Regional Library.

Will these collections be available for ILL?
The collections will no longer be held at the State Library, therefore requests will need to be placed directly with the library where the item is held. Items will also need to be returned to the lending library, in accordance with that library’s existing ILL procedures. 

Can collection records be integrated into a library’s LMS (eg. Sirsidynix Symphony, Aurora, Libero, Spydus)?
Yes, MARC records can be integrated easily into the LMS of an individual library:

Search LibrariesAustralia
Z39.50 search of LibrariesAustralia using the settings at
the State Library’s catalogue using the settings at

Can a library place a barcode on an item?
Yes, however the State Library barcode must remain on the item as this is required in order to locate the item in the State Library’s system. 

Are items currently on loan to public libraries still owned by the State Library?
All items are provided to public libraries on long term loan. The State Library will retain ownership of the collections as per the Library’s audit requirements. This is seven years for the English large print and talking book collections.

What is the age of the material to be distributed to public libraries?
The State Library collections are a mix of older and recently published material. Libraries will receive a selection of these items.

Can material be weeded by the library if the items become damaged?
Yes, collection items can be weeded in accordance with the public library’s collection policy and State Library Collection Retention and Withdrawal Policy (i.e. damaged, old, content not relevant, lost etc). Please advise the State Library’s bulk loans team of the barcode and call number by email to 

Will libraries be offered funding instead of receiving new materials?
No, these items are purchased by the State Library from its annual collections budget. These funds are separate to the annual funding provided to NSW local councils in support of library services.

Will a library still be able to access their State Library account?
Items sent to a public library following the Expression of Interest will not be checked out to their account, rather the location on the catalogue will show where material is held. A list of items can be provided when the items are supplied. Libraries will still have access to their State Library account to keep track of interlibrary loan items from the other State Library collections, using their current login.

Can a library retain items currently on loan?
Yes, please contact the State Library bulk loans team to discuss.