Home > Visit > Helpful things to know

Helpful things to know

To help you get the most out of your visit, and to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all visitors, here are some helpful things to know when you come to the Library.

Please note that access to some facilities and services will be limited as part of providing a COVID-safe Library.

Food and drink

To protect our collection, food isn't allowed inside the Library, with the exception of the Swanston Street Welcome Zone, Russell Street Welcome Zone and Hansen Hall.

Bottled water is generally allowed in the main public areas, but not in the Heritage Collections Reading Room.

Visitors in the Pauline Gandel Children's Quarter are allowed to provide milk and formula for babies, and drinks and snacks for toddlers.

Facilities, services & amenities


Public toilets can be found in:

  • Russell Street Welcome Zone (Level 2)
  • Hansen Hall, next to Mr Tulk (Level 2)
  • Information Centre (Level 2)
  • Pauline Gandel Children's Quarter (Level 2)
  • The Ian Potter Queen's Hall (Level 3)
  • Dome (Level 1)

Baby change room

There are two baby change rooms on Level 2 (ground floor):

  • beside the lifts and stairs to the Gateway Zone
  • in the Pauline Gandel Children's Quarter you'll find a family room with baby change and breastfeeding facilities.

Public PCs

The Library has free computers with internet access for up to 1-hour sessions.

Public computers are located in the Information Centre, on the ground floor.

We encourage you to bring your own device if you have one, and use the Library's free wi-fi and power outlets.

Printing & scanning

The Library offers print, copy and scan services to all library users. Services include:

  • printing directly from USB
  • printing from a public PC
  • photocopying
  • web printing from personal devices and email
  • colour printing.

Printers are available at three locations:

  • Information Centre, Level 2
  • Newspapers and Family History Reading Room, Collections Zone, Level 2A
  • Heritage Collections Reading Room, the Gateway, Level 2A.

You can create an account, top up your account and release print jobs from a kiosk located in the Information Centre and the Newspapers and Family Reading Room.

Assistive technology

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.

Learn more about access and inclusion at the Library.


Lockers are available to use while visiting the library. Your items must fit the dimensions of 45 x 25 x 82cm.

Lockers are in high demand, so we ask that you only use one locker at a time, and that you take your belongings with you when leaving the Library.

Bringing bags into the Library

It can get quite busy in our public areas, so to protect our collection and make everyone's visit as comfortable as possible, we ask that large or cumbersome items – such as travel backpacks, suitcases and scooters – are not brought into the Library. Prams, strollers and bags with items for babies or young children can be brought in. Musical instruments up to the size of a guitar can be brought in, but larger instruments will require a valid recording studio booking.

Meeting rooms

Meeting rooms are available to book online.

Foundation Lounge

The private Cultural member Foundation Lounge is open; please visit our friendly staff to request your Lounge Pass.

Collection access

The open access collection is available for browsing. Accessing other collections must be requested in advance.

As we are a reference library we can’t lend you books to take home, however many of our collection items are available online.

Learn how to request collection items for use within the Library, and how to find and explore our online material.

Heritage collections need to be ordered ahead of your visit. Please make an appointment by contacting Ask a librarian or calling 03 8664 7002.


While we work hard to keep the Library a safe and secure space, you must not leave personal items unattended at any time. Mobile phones, laptops, tablets, textbooks, handbags, and wallets are especially vulnerable to theft.

To discourage theft (of your property as well as ours), security guards may ask to inspect your bag as you leave – this applies in particular to photography equipment bags.

Lost property

  • Call 03 8664 7000 during opening hours for lost property queries.
  • Found items are stored for 3 months before being disposed of, except for perishable items which are disposed of immediately.
  • Any found items of high value, excluding mobile phones, but including large amounts of cash (over $100) and dangerous or illegal items, are taken to the East Melbourne Police Station.

Child safety

State Library Victoria is a Child Safe Organisation.

Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Please stay with your child at all times.

This includes visitors to the Pauline Gandel Children's Quarter.

Please speak to staff if you have any questions or concerns about child safety.