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Home > Membership FAQ
Reward your curiosity

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. 

General queries

Is free membership on offer?

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.

Find out more about Access membership

What are the new membership packages?

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.

What do the new memberships cost per year?

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. 

What are the core benefits available with each paid membership?

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.
What reciprocal library benefits do I receive with each paid membership?

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).
I have a concession card. Will my membership be discounted?

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.

Are there couples and/or two-year membership options?

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.

How do members find out about programs and offers?

Members receive a monthly member-only email with everything you need to know about upcoming events, programs and offers.

Is there an age limit on membership?

You need to be at least 12 years old to register for a membership, and there is no upper age limit.

Individuals under 16 years of age applying for membership will need a parent or guardian to countersign their application.

How do I update my contact details?

All members can let us know when their contact details have changed by sending an online inquiry.

Select ‘change of details’ in the ‘query relates to’ section, and let us know what needs to be updated.

How to join

If I don’t have a credit card, can I still become a member?

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.

If I don’t have an email account, can I still become a member?

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 and we can arrange a physical membership card for Cultural, Student and Family members.

How do I become a member?

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.

Cultural membership

What benefits does a Cultural membership offer?

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.

Discover the benefits of a Cultural membership

Can I bring a non-member as my guest to the annual member event?

Only members may attend the annual member event.

Can non-member guests sit with me at events where I have priority access to the best seats?

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

What benefits does a Family membership offer?

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.

Discover the benefits of a Family membership

How is a ‘family’ defined?

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.

Must kids be accompanied by adults at school holiday 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.

Read our Child Safe Code of Conduct 

If I have more than two kids, how many complimentary school holiday tickets am I eligible for?

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.

What about single-parent families, or families with one child?

Yes, single-parent or single-child families can take up a Family membership.

Can two friends with children join as a ‘family’ even though they don’t live in the same household?

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

What benefits does a Student membership offer?

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 SWOTVAC periods
  • Career-building speaker and networking events
  • Guided Library 101 induction with Library experts
  • Extended access to bookable meeting rooms.

Discover the benefits of a Student membership

I’m not a student but I’m interested in the benefits of this membership – can I still join?

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.

Is there an age limit on Student membership?

You need to be at least 12 years old to register for a Student membership, and there is no upper age limit.

Can non-members join me in a meeting room that I’ve booked?

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.

How do I book a meeting room or induction with a librarian?

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.

How do I access the Student member SWOTVAC pop-up zone?

The Student member SWOTVAC pop-up zone will take over the Create Quarter mezzanine (at the entrance to the La Trobe Reading Room) from 18 – 31 October. Student members can enter the zone during Library opening hours (10am to 6pm, seven days a week) without booking ahead – just provide your membership details to a staff member as you enter.

The SWOTVAC zone provides easy access to the Librarians in Cowen Gallery, is well-equipped with power points and seating, and offers a cloak service for storing personal items.

StartSpace membership

What memberships are offered through StartSpace?

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. 

Discover the benefits of a StartSpace or Loft membership

Digital membership card

How do I access my 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.

I’ve lost my smartphone or can’t get access to my card – what should I do?

Use our Member inquiry form to request a new card, and we’ll help you out.

I’d prefer a physical membership card, is that possible?

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.

What happens if my digital card doesn’t work with your partner offerings?

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.

I was already a Library card holder. Do I use my old membership number or the new one?

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

How do I access my benefits at the Library’s cafe and bookshop?

Simple! Just show your digital membership card to a staff member, who will scan it at the register.

How do I book in advance for programs?

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.

Can I book for myself and a guest?

Yes, you can use your membership benefit to book for yourself and one guest, who will also receive priority entry.

Friends of the Library

What’s happening to the Friends of the Library membership?

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.

What if I’m a Friend and I’d prefer a Family or Student membership instead of Cultural membership?

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.

Will there be a price increase?

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.

I’m a Friend of the Library but I'm not interested in the new membership – can I get a refund?

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.

Will I still have access to the Friends lounge and The La Trobe Journal?

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. 

Can I use my current Friends of the Library card to access Cultural member benefits?

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.

I have a lifelong Friends membership – what happens now?

You will automatically be transferred to a lifelong Cultural membership.

I donated to the Library collection, will I still be invited to Library events?

Yes, we are incredibly grateful to our Library donors and will have a calendar of events especially for you.

Will the Friends’ ‘end-of-year’ event still be offered to Cultural members?

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.

Does the Moat cafe still offer a 10% discount to Friends who become Cultural members?

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.

I’m a Cultural member but I wasn’t a Friend. Do I get access to the Lounge or La Trobe Journal?

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.

Who can I contact for more information?

Please use our online inquiry form, email or call 03 8664 7000.