If you want to engage more deeply with the Library and receive benefits matching your interests and needs, our new Membership offerings are for you. Reward your curiosity and find answers to all your frequently asked questions here.
Absolutely and always. Our collection, programs, services and resources have always been offered at no cost and this won’t change.
Our Access membership is free and comes with these benefits:
- access to more than 5 million collection items
- access to book rooms and facilities at the Library
- online access to thousands of databases and eresources
- the ability to personalise online research tools
- the option to order digital copies and extracts of collection items.
We’re offering four packages with unique benefits for students, families and culture lovers. Each of these receives all the benefits of Access membership plus five core benefits and four tailored benefits.
We also have StartSpace membership, for people beginning their business journey.
If you don’t want to limit yourself to just one membership, don’t worry – you can hold multiple memberships and receive all the benefits of each.
Cultural membership is $119, Family membership is $96 and Student membership is $78. That’s less than the price of a cup of coffee per week! Access membership and StartSpace membership are both free.
All our paid memberships – Family, Cultural and Student – come with these five core benefits:
- Save 10% on food and beverage at Mr Tulk cafe (excluding happy hour)
- Save 10% on full-priced books at Readings State Library
- Early-bird booking access to select programs
- Member-only emails with exclusive offers
- Reciprocal rights at the National Library of Australia and other select libraries.
All our paid memberships – Family, Cultural and Student – include reciprocal rights at the National Library of Australia, State Library of NSW and Geelong Regional Library, as follows:
National Library of Australia
- 10% discount in the NLA Bookshop
- Members rates on Friends events
- Use of the exclusive Friends Lounge.
State Library of New South Wales
- 10% discount at the Library Shop
- Access to Friends Room (Mon-Fri 10am-5pm) on proof of membership.
Geelong Regional Library
- 20% discount on Word for Word: national non-fiction festival tickets
- 20% discount on paid ticketed events at Geelong Library & Heritage Centre
- 20% discount on Geelong Library & Heritage Centre merchandise (available from 31 March 2021).
At this stage concessions are not available, but our paid memberships have been priced with a range of budgets in mind, and cost less than a cup of coffee per week. Access membership, which provides access to a range of Library resources and services, remains completely free to everyone.
The new membership program will only offer one-year individual memberships. Yearly renewal is quick and easy, and you’ll be sent an automatic renewal reminder annually.
Members receive a monthly member-only email with everything you need to know about upcoming events, programs and offers.
How to join
Yes. While we encourage online payments through our website, you can also pay by cheque (if sent by post) or bank transfer. We’re happy to help you become a member in whatever way suits you best. Please call us on 03 8664 7000 or speak to a Library staff member next time you visit.
We recommend you sign up with an email address so we can email you your digital membership card, as well as information about special offers and exclusive invitations that might interest you. But if you don’t have an email address, please call us on 03 8664 7000. We’ll be happy to arrange a physical membership card for you.
Join online by visiting our Membership page and selecting the ‘Join now’ button for any and all memberships you wish to take up. Once we’ve received your payment, we’ll send you a welcome email that includes your digital membership card and tax receipt.
A Cultural membership gives you all the features of Access membership and the five core benefits, plus these four exclusive benefits:
- Priority entry to secure the best seats at select programs and events
- Exclusive behind-the-scenes experiences, including VIP tours
- Invitation to a special members’ exhibition preview, with bubbles
- Free three-month digital subscription to The Saturday Paper.
Only members may attend the annual member event.
Yes. You can book for yourself and one guest during the exclusive pre-sale period, and your guest can join you to receive priority entry to the event.
Family membership gives you all the features of Access membership and the five core benefits, plus these four exclusive benefits:
- Two complimentary tickets per year to school holiday programs
- Member pricing on kids’ lunch packs at Mr Tulk cafe
- Member-only experiences at family programs and events
- Special offers from Library partners.
For membership purposes, we define a family as up to two adults and an unlimited number of children up to 12 years old. The adult family members don’t have to live at the same address, but only the primary membership holder (the person whose email is linked to the account) will receive our emails about special offers and exclusive member events.
Children under 12 years old need to be accompanied by an adult parent or carer at all times inside the Library. We’re committed to being a child-safe organisation.
Family membership includes two complimentary tickets to school holiday programs. If more than two children are registered to the membership, you can buy extra tickets at member prices.
Yes, single-parent or single-child families can take up a Family membership.
Yes. A Family membership includes up to two adults and an unlimited number of children registered to the membership. However, only the primary membership holder whose email is attached to the account will receive emails with information about special offers or exclusive events.
Student membership gives you all the features of Access membership and the five core benefits, plus these four exclusive benefits:
- Dedicated Student member zone during swot vac periods
- Career-building speaker and networking events
- Guided Library 101 induction with Library experts
- Extended access to bookable meeting rooms.
Yes, absolutely! You don’t need to be enrolled as a student at an institution – our Student membership is open to anyone with a passion for learning.
You need to be at least 12 years old to register for a Student membership, and there is no upper age limit.
Yes, you can bring guests with you into meeting rooms even if they aren’t members, up to the maximum number of occupants per room.
You can book meeting rooms through the Library website, entering your membership number to access extended time. At the start of each semester, Student members will receive an email with a link to book available induction sessions.
There are two StartSpace memberships for people with an early-stage small business or startup idea: StartSpace and StartSpace Loft.
StartSpace is a free membership that includes access to a coworking area, an exclusive meeting room, programming, networking and more.
StartSpace Loft is a paid membership suitable for people further along in their business journey, and offers a greater range of spaces and facilities.
Please note that due to social distancing requirements, the Loft membership is currently unavailable and some spaces (like meeting rooms) are also temporarily unavailable for StartSpace free members.
Digital membership card
When you sign up to a membership, you’ll receive a welcome email that includes your digital membership card. Store the card in your smartphone’s digital wallet, just as you do with your digital bank cards and loyalty program cards.
Use our Member inquiry form to request a new card, and we’ll help you out.
In most instances we’re offering digital cards, but you’re welcome to request a physical card if that’s your preference. Please contact us on 03 8664 7000 or speak to a staff member at the Library to arrange this.
If there’s a technical issue with your card that affects your member discounts at Mr Tulk cafe, Readings bookstore or any of our partners, staff at those sites can help. If the problem persists, please send a Member inquiry form and we’ll get on the case.
Now that you have signed up to the Library’s tailored membership program, your new membership number is all you need to access both your benefits and the Library’s catalogue.
The only time you may want to use your old Library card number is to access your own search history from past research in the catalogue. Please contact us using our Member inquiry form if you would like to continue accessing the search history of your old membership number.
Accessing member benefits
Simple! Just show your digital membership card to a staff member, who will scan it at the register.
You’ll be emailed a special alert at the start of each program season to let you know that your exclusive pre-sale period is open for a set time before tickets are released to the general public.
Yes, you can use your membership benefit to book for yourself and one guest, who will also receive priority entry.
Friends of the Library
The Friends of the Library membership is replaced with the new Cultural membership. The Cultural membership includes many of the existing Friends benefits, plus a range of new ones. All current Friends of the Library will automatically be upgraded to a Cultural membership on 9 March 2021.
Friends will be automatically upgraded to a Cultural membership, as this is the offering most closely aligned with the benefits of a Friends membership. However, you’re not limited to taking out a single membership so if you’re interested in our Family or Student memberships, you’re welcome to purchase these, too.
If you’re a current Friend of the Library, we’ll automatically upgrade you to a Cultural membership for the duration of your existing membership. When it expires, we’ll send you a special invitation to renew your Cultural membership at the same price as an original individual Friends membership ($85). Subsequent renewals will be at the Cultural membership full price of $119 per year.
Your Friends of the Library membership will automatically transition to the new Cultural membership for the duration of your existing membership, and your benefits will continue to be honoured. It’s not possible to offer refunds. You may choose not to renew once your membership expires, but we hope you’ll continue supporting the Library and remain part of our member community.
Our research shows that while the lounge and the La Trobe Journal are valued by our Friends, they’re not as highly desired as other benefits. For this reason they won’t be included in our Cultural membership, but we’re pleased to continue offering them as exclusive legacy benefits to existing Friends who transition to Cultural membership.
On 9 March 2021 all current Friends of the Library memberships will be automatically upgraded to the new Cultural membership. You’ll be sent a new digital membership card that you can use to redeem benefits.
You will automatically be transferred to a lifelong Cultural membership.
Yes, we are incredibly grateful to our Library donors and will have a calendar of events especially for you.
As part of your Cultural membership you’ll be invited to attend one special event each year, with bubbles. These will occur at different times to align with the Library’s programming calendar.
Our onsite membership partners are Mr Tulk cafe, where members save 10% on food and beverage (excluding happy hour), and Readings State Library bookshop, where members save 10% on full-priced books.
Friends of the Library membership historically included access to the Lounge and subscription to the La Trobe Journal. In developing our new membership program, our research showed that access to these benefits was not as highly valued as other benefits that are included in the new Cultural membership, so they were not included in the new program.
When the new membership program launched, Friends of the Library were transitioned to Cultural members, and began to receive the new list of benefits. However, as a courtesy to our previous Friends of the Library, we have continued to offer access to the legacy benefits of the Lounge and the La Trobe Journal.