Finding, requesting & deliveries

The Library has over two million items and counting – so we need to store them in different places. The catalogue shows storage locations for every item, and tells you how to request items for use at the Library. This location information is underneath the title and publication details in your search results.

On this page we explain the most common location information statements in the Library’s catalogue.

Available online

Click the link to access the item. Many items are freely available, others require you to sign in with your State Library card for access. For more information, see accessing eresources from home 

Find on shelf in [name of reading room]

Note the reading room and the call number (including the code in capital letters). Go to the reading room to check the shelves. (Sometimes you'll see 'Find in microfilm cabinets' instead of 'on shelf' – just look in the brown cabinets instead of on the shelves.) In the example below, you’ll see this book can be found on the larger book shelves in the Arts reading room.

Request from onsite storage

Use your Library card to sign in and ‘request' the item for today or for another day.

  • Click on the title or on the ‘Available’ statement (circled above) to go to the full record view.
  • Sign in, if you haven’t already, and open each ‘Available’ statement to check which copies, volumes or issues the Library stores at each location.
  • Choose a volume or issue by selecting either ‘Request for today’ or ‘Request for another day’.
  • To get an item on the same day, send your request by 5.30pm.
  • You can request six items at a time for either the same or another day. You'll be able to request more items after the first six are delivered.
  • Requests for the same day are usually available within 30 minutes on the ‘Collect books and reserves’ shelves in the Information Centre, Level 2 (ground floor).
  • Requests for another day will be available on the same shelves from 10am on the day you requested.
  • You may keep items on hold for up to a week by returning them to the ‘Collect books and reserves’ shelves.

Phone 03 8664 7002 to arrange delivery from Offsite Store

Some items, usually older material, are stored offsite. We will order this material for you.

  • You can ring us on the number listed – have your Library card ready, or if you're at the Library, ask at our Information Desk.
  • Offsite material must be requested in advance. Make your request by 5.30pm Sunday to Thursday for 10am the next day. Requests made on Friday or Saturday will be ready at 10am Monday.
  • Offsite material is delivered to either the Information Centre or to the Heritage Collections Reading Room – we will let you know.

Phone 03 8664 7002 to arrange delivery from [name of collection]

Some items are in a special collection such as Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps or Pictures. We will order this material for you and requests must be made in advance.

  • You can ring us on the number listed – have your Library card ready, or if you're at the Library, ask at our Information Desk.
  • We'll advise you of the next delivery time. It’s best to ring well in advance or at least by 4pm the day before, or by 3pm on Thursday, if you want to use the item over the weekend.
  • This material is delivered to the Heritage Collections Reading Room, Level 2A.

Check other locations

This may apply to items of which we have multiple copies, or to journals with volumes stored in several different places. For more information, first open the full record view and then check the ‘Available’ statement.

For journals and newspapers, click each location in turn to find out more about our holdings – we don't always have every issue of a title. See screenshot below.

In the screenshot below, you can see the ‘YA’ location for this item expanded to display the issues and volumes located at the Offsite Store.

Ask at desk

If you see this message, ask a librarian and we'll help you work out what to do next.