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.
The Library has free computers with internet access for up to 1-hour sessions.
Public computers are located in the Information Centre and Create Quarter, on the ground floor.
Visitors must clean equipment before and after their session, using the provided sanitising wipes.
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
Printing, scanning and photocopying is available. You will need a 'copy, print and scan' card to:
- print from your own device
- print from a public PC
- scan material to email or a USB device.
'Copy, print and scan' cards are available to buy for $1 from the two self-service kiosks located in:
- Information Centre, (Level 2)
- Newspapers and Family History Reading Room, (Level 2A)
Two computers with assistive technology are available in the ground floor Information Centre.
Their features include screen readers, text-to-speech software, magnification and an alternative mouse or keyboard.
Lockers are available for public use.
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 instrument cases – are not brought into the Library. Prams, strollers and bags with items for babies or young children can be brought in.
Meeting rooms are available to book online.
Friends of the Library Lounge
The private Friends of the Library Lounge is open with current COVID-safe practices in place.
The open access collection is available for browsing. Accessing other collections must be requested in advance with retrieval times outlined below.
For same day retrieval of collection items in onsite storage, order by:
- 10am for pick up after 11am
- 12pm for pick up after 1pm
- 4pm for pick-up after 5pm
Please note: orders placed after 4pm will be available from 11am the next day.
For offsite collection items, order by 4pm:
- Sunday for pick-up from 10am Tuesday
- Monday for pick-up from 10am Wednesday
- Tuesday for pick-up from 10am Thursday
- Wednesday for pick-up from 10am Friday
- Thursday for pick-up from 10am Saturday
- Friday, Saturday or Sunday for pick-up from 10am Tuesday.
Please search our catalogue to request items.
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.
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.