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South Rotunda and the Heritage Collections Reading Room will be closed 22 July - 8 Sept. Find out more.

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Access & inclusion

The Library provides facilities and services for people with a temporary or permanent disability.

To read more about the Library's commitment to ensuring we're accessible by all, go to our page on Inclusion, Diversity and Access. You can also view our Disability Action Plan

Parking

There are three two-hour disability-permit parking spaces in La Trobe Street, outside Mr Tulk.

There are two two-hour disability-permit parking spaces in Little Lonsdale Street, between Swanston and Russell streets (outside the Wheeler Centre).

Wheelchair access

Swanston Street Welcome Zone: use the ramp at La Trobe Street, near the corner of Swanston Street.
Russell Street Welcome Zone: use Entry 5 via La Trobe Street, near the corner of Russell Street.
Conference Centre and State Library Victoria Theatrette: access via Entry 3 on La Trobe Street.
Cafes: visit our pop-up cafe via Entry 5, La Trobe Street. Enter Mr Tulk via the ramp at La Trobe Street, Entry 2.

Courtesy wheelchair

A courtesy wheelchair is available for visitors attending Library events and exhibitions. Please note that we are unable to provide staff to push wheelchairs. To book or make further inquiries, contact the Access and Inclusion Librarian on 8664 7005 or email [email protected].

Moving within the Library

Lifts provide access to the Gateway Zone and Cowen Gallery, The Ian Potter Queen's Hall, Dome Galleries, Redmond Barry Reading Room (except the mezzanine – please ask staff for assistance), La Trobe Reading Room and Heritage Collections Reading Room.

To see the layout of the Library, download a map in the 'More to explore' section at the bottom of this page.

Accessible toilets

There are separate male and female accessible toilets in these Library spaces:

  • Hansen Hall, just near the entrance to Mr Tulk, in the Swanston Street Welcome Zone on Level 2 (ground floor)
  • Gateway, Level 2 (ground floor), adjacent to the lifts
  • Russell Street Welcome Zone, via Entry 5 on La Trobe Street
  • The Ian Potter Queen's Hall
  • The Children's Quarter, Level 2 (ground floor), has joint facilities for carers and children.

Assistive technology workstations

The Library has two dedicated assistive technology workstation zones for visitors with vision, mobility, literacy or cognitive requirements. 

These are located in the Quad Information Centre on Level 2 (ground floor), and the Redmond Barry Reading Room, Level 2A.

For more information, call the Access and Inclusion Librarian on 8664 7005 or speak to staff in the Redmond Barry Reading Room or Quad Information Centre when you arrive. 

Learn more about assistive technology at the Library through our disability research guide.

Assistive Technology Zone in the Quad

Two large-screen computers on height-adjustable workstations offer assistive software:

  • screenreading: NVDA and Jaws (as part of Zoomtext Fusion)
  • text to speech: Zoomtext Fusion
  • literacy: Read and Write
  • voice recognition: Read and Write
  • magnification: Zoomtext fusion
  • scanning text to speech: Pearl camera and OpenBook software.

You can choose an alternative keyboard option such as Large Keys (black on yellow) and an alternative mouse option, including track-ball or joystick.

There is also a desktop video magnifier for reading books and documents.

Assistive Technology Zone in Redmond Barry Reading Room

One large-screen computer on a height-adjustable workstation. There are alternative keyboard options like Large Keys (black on white) and an alternative mouse option, including track-ball or joystick.

  • screenreading: NVDA and Jaws
  • text to speech: Zoomtext Fusion
  • literacy: Read and Write
  • magnification: Zoomtext Fusion
  • scanning text to speech: Pearl Camera and OpenBook software.

There is also a desktop magnifier for reading books and documents. 

Reading assistance tools

Book rests, magnifying sheets, illuminated magnifiers and magnifying glasses for readers with low vision are available in the Redmond Barry Reading Room and Quad Information Centre.

Please ask staff in the area for assistance if required.  

Free wi-fi and PCs

Wi-fi is freely available throughout the Library. Simply choose the State Library Victoria network to connect.

Computers for general use, including internet browsing, are available in the Quad Information Centre on Level 2 (ground floor). Bookings for these may be made on the PC reservation computer nearby.

Extended access may be available for Library users with disability, where necessary. Please see staff in the Quad Information Centre or the Redmond Barry Reading Room for assistance.

For more information, visit Wi-fi & PCs.

Library events & tours

The Library offers free guided tours of permanent and temporary exhibitions. Portable hearing loop units are available for visitors attending tours who are hard of hearing. To borrow a unit, please inquire in the Welcome Zone, or at the tour meeting point.

Venues & spaces with permanent audio hearing loops

  • State Library Victoria Theatrette
  • Ian Potter Queen’s Hall
  • Hansen Hall
  • Digital lab and Study room – both in Create Quarter
  • Pauline Gandel Children’s Quarter
  • Ideas Quarter mezzanine
  • Create Quarter.

We can provide temporary hearing loops for our other event venues. For unbooked events, inquire, as above.

Companion card

If you require support from a companion, and qualify for a Companion card, that person will receive free entry to any paid Library events on presentation of that card.

If you book a ticket over the phone, please let us know that you require a Companion ticket.

More information

Access and Inclusion Librarian

The Access and Inclusion Librarian is available to assist visitors with disability and their carers. In addition, the Access and Inclusion Librarian can provide information and referrals to other agencies that may be of assistance to people with accessibility needs.

If you need further assistance or information, please contact our Access and Inclusion Librarian on 03 8664 7005 or email [email protected]

National Relay Service

Contact us through the National Relay Service:

  • for accessibility inquiries, ask for 8664 7005 to speak to the Access and Inclusion Librarian
  • for all other inquiries, ask for 8664 7002.

For more information, visit the National Relay Service website.

Universal Access Symbols

Access support worker

Access support worker symbol

Indicates Access Support Workers are available.

Accessible toilet

Accessible toilet symbol

Designed for people with physical impairments and as a safe space for everyone who uses the bathroom.

Assistance Animal Facilities

Assistance Animal Facilities symbol

Indicates facilities for assistance animals. Can include seating, water, grass area or that the animal can be left with staff.

Assistive listening

Assistive listening symbol

Assistive listening systems (augmented hearing, or hearing loop) are installed in many venues and are used to amplify or enhance sound quality via hearing aids, headsets or other devices. They include infrared, loop and FM systems. Portable systems may be available from the same audiovisual equipment suppliers that service conferences and meetings.

Audio description

Audio description symbol

Audio description enhances live performance, film and visual art for people who are Blind or have low vision. Using a small radio receiver, the person receives a spoken description of visual elements by an audio describer.

Auslan

Auslan symbol

Using the Sign Language Interpreting symbol tells Deaf Australian Sign Language (Auslan) users that Auslan interpreting is provided for a performance, film, guided exhibitions tour, forum, workshop or event. Interpreting makes sure Deaf Auslan users can engage with the performance or event using their first language.

Blind or Low Vision

Blind or Low Vision symbol

This symbol can be used to indicate access for people who are blind or have low vision, including: a guided tour, a path to a nature trail or a scent garden in a park; and a touch/tactile tour or a museum exhibition that may be touched.

Braille

Braille symbol

Braille indicates that written materials are available in Braille. This could include labelling, marketing, publications and signage at the venue.

Companion card

Companion card symbol

Indicates that the provider is a Companion Card Affiliate. The Companion Card is issued to people with disability who require lifelong attendant care support, to enable participation at events, activities and venues without incurring the price of a second ticket for their companion. www.companioncard.gov.au

Closed caption

Closed caption symbol

Closed captioning can be activated or deactivated by the viewer.  

Easy read

Easy read symbol

Indicates Easy Read is available. Easy Read documents have short, simple sentences with pictures.

Guide dog

Guide dog symbol

Guide dogs assist people who are blind or vision impaired. This symbol also refers to assistance animal.

Large print

Large print symbol

Large Print is printed in 18 point or larger text. As well as indicating that large print versions of books, pamphlets, museum guides and theatre programs are available, you can use the symbol on conference or membership forms to indicate that print materials can be provided in large print. Sans serif with good contrast is highly recommended as well as following clear print guidelines for readability.

Open caption

Open caption symbol

Open captioning is always in view, and cannot be turned off. 

Quiet space

Quiet space symbol

A space to facilitate the calming or alerting of senses as needed. Quiet spaces are used to avoid or recover from sensory overload or to provide sensory input to meet a sensory need (e.g. tactile, auditory or visual stimulation). Also known as a chill out area or zone.

Registered Assistance Animals welcome

Registered Assistance Animals welcome symbol

Indicates that only registered assistance dogs are welcome. This symbol also refers to Guide dogs.

Relaxed event

Relaxed event symbol

Relaxed performances, screenings or events are designed to reduce anxiety and create a supportive atmosphere for people with autism spectrum conditions, learning disability and other sensory and communication disorders. There is a relaxed attitude to noise and movement among the audience and some small changes made to the light and sound effects. Audience members can enter and exit the venue throughout the show.

Visual story

Visual story symbol

Using both words and pictures, a visual story introduces people on what to expect during an outing to the theatre, cinema or other activities. They should be short, factual, offer positive options to help with fears about triggers such as loud sounds, tell the story briefly, and share any big surprises.

Visual eye 50

Visual eye 50 symbol

May have music or sounds in the background, or may be partly open captioned or scripts and descriptions are given to the audience before the event on request.

Visual eye 75

Visual eye 75 symbol

Fully open captioned providing access to spoken word but no background music or sounds.

Visual eye 100

Visual eye 100 symbol

No music or dialogue or all dialogue is open captioned.

Wheelchair

Wheelchair symbol

Indicates access for people with limited mobility, including wheelchair users. For example, the symbol is used to indicate an accessible entrance, bathroom or that a phone is lowered for wheelchair users. Remember that a ramped entrance is not complete access if there are no curb cuts, and an elevator is not accessible if it can only be reached via steps.