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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.

Eating and drinking in the Library

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.

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 backpacks, suitcases, large handbags and instrument cases – are not brought into the Library. Prams, strollers and bags with items for babies or young children can be brought in.


Self-service lockers are conveniently located near both Library entrances:

  • in the Russell Street Welcome Zone
  • in the Quad, between the Swanston Street Welcome Zone and the Pauline Gandel Children's Quarter. 

Please limit usage to one locker per visitor.


Public toilets can be found:

  • in the Russell Street Welcome Zone
  • in Hansen Hall, next to Mr Tulk
  • on Level 2: take the lift or stairs from the Gateway Zone
  • in the Pauline Gandel Children's Quarter on Level 2 – here you'll find toilets for both children and adults.

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.


While we work hard to keep the Library a safe and secure space, we recommend that you don't 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.

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.