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City of Sydney Library services now available

While we work towards the opening of our library branches in a safe way, we’re pleased to provide our members with these new services.

To protect visitors and our employees and safely manage physical distancing and hygiene requirements, we’re gradually transitioning to re-opening our library branches and services.

The safety of our communities, customers and staff is our top priority.

A number of City of Sydney libraries and customer service centres are currently opening their doors to pre-booked customers only.

Last updated 28 July 2020

Update on Kings Cross Library

The Kings Cross Library and Kings Cross Customer Service Centre are currently closed. This is a precautionary measure following the closure of two nearby restaurants linked to Covid-19 cases.

These City of Sydney venues have no known links to any Covid-19 cases.

Reserve and collect

Members can now place reservations in the online catalogue to be collected from some of our branches as a contactless service.

Collection is available at the following branches and times:

  • Customs House, Green Square and Surry Hills libraries: 11am to 3pm, Monday to Friday
  • Glebe Library: 11am to 3pm, Monday and Friday
  • Pyrmont Link: 10.30am to 2.30pm, Monday, from Monday 6 July

How does reserve and collect work?

  • Reserve your items in the online catalogue and select collection from one of the available branches
  • When your item is available for collection, you’ll be notified by email or SMS
  • Items need to be collected within 5 working days of the notification during the times listed above
  • Your items will already be issued to your library card, however you’ll need to show your library card or other identification to staff at collection
  • Only books, magazines, DVDs and music, language and audiobook CDs are available for reserve and collect. Makerspace kits, toys, musical instruments and video game consoles are not available
  • You can return loans in the chute or box when collecting your reserved items
  • Returned items will be quarantined for 72 hours and remain on the borrower’s library card during this time
  • Any reservations you’ve made prior to 1 June 2020 have been suspended. If you’d still like to borrow these items, you’ll need to reactivate them in your online account.

Find out more about how to make reservations in the online catalogue and reactivate reserved items that have been suspended.

Computer bookings

To provide our communities with online access, we’re making the self-service computers some of our libraries available to book free of charge. The branch locations are Customs House, Green Square, Surry Hills and Glebe.

Fees apply for printing and photocopying. Bookings can be made for 45 minutes and are limited to 1 session per person per day.

Find out more and how to book.

Do not attend if you are unwell

Please do not attend these services if you are unwell or have any signs of cold of flu including a cough, sore/scratchy throat, runny nose, shortness of breath or a fever. If staff observe any of these symptoms you will be asked to leave.

While at our libraries:

  • notify staff if you start to feel unwell
  • maintain 1.5m physical distance from all people including staff
  • wash or sanitise your hands on entry
  • follow the library’s signage and conditions of entry along with staff directions.

When will City of Sydney libraries reopen?

No other in-branch services will be available at the branches as part of the reserve and collect service or pre-booked computer sessions.

Our other branches and links remain closed at this time.

We continue to prepare for easing restrictions across the libraries network and expect to resume other operations soon.

Online library services

The library’s digital collections can be accessed from home and include ebooks, eaudiobooks, emagazines and enewspapers. You can also stream films and music. See below for details.

We’ve introduced temporary online memberships for City of Sydney residents and ratepayers, allowing you to join our library without visiting a branch. New and existing temporary memberships are now valid until 6 January 2021.

Our regular library programs are not operating however we have a new program of online events and workshops available. Young children can watch our popular storytime and rhymetime online anytime.

Contact our library team with any questions by emailing or calling 02 9265 9333.

We’ll continue to provide updates about changes to our library services.

Find out more about changes to other City services and facilities.

More information

Library closures

Our library branches and links are currently closed except for our reserve and collect service. We’re gradually transitioning to re-opening our library branches and services to continue to protect visitors and our employees.

Loans and returns

All existing loans will be automatically renewed until 30 September 2020. If you wish to return any items on loan, return chutes are open at branches during the reserve and collect times listed above. All returns chutes at other branches are closed.

If you're moving away from Sydney, please ask family or a friend to return your loans when we reopen.

Membership renewals

Memberships that expired between January and June this year or are due to expire before February 2021 will be automatically extended until 28 February 2021.

If your membership expired prior to January 2020, please contact us by email or phone 02 9265 9333.

Inter-library loans

Inter-library loan requests are suspended until further notice.

Booking a library venue

Our library venues for hire are closed and we are not currently taking bookings for future dates. Our venue hire team has contacted people who had an existing booking. To be notified when our venues become available to book, email

Home library service

The home library service continues to operate for existing home library members. Eligible City of Sydney residents can also apply to join the service.

Justices of the Peace

The NSW Justices Association has temporarily closed its JP service at our library branches and customer service centres. Visit Department of Communities and Justice to find other JP services that may be available.

ebooks Indyreads is a recently added resource that gives members access to a collection of ebooks from major and independent publishers, self-published authors and local writers. Log in using your library membership number and pin. This service also has an app for mobile devices.

Fiction and non-fiction ebooks Over 11,000 ebooks for adults and children are available for loan to download straight to your device. Search the catalogue now or read our how to guide for ebooks.

eaudiobooks Members can download over 2,300 eaudiobooks including classics like The Godfather by Mario Puzo, blockbusters like Lion by Saroo Brierley and Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. Search the catalogue now or read our how to guide for eaudiobooks.

emagazines Released at the same time as the print editions, access titles ranging from The New Yorker and The Economist to Gourmet Traveller, National Geographic, Vogue and Hello! magazine.

emagazines are available on RB Digital and Library PressReader by creating an account with your library membership number. These services also have apps for mobile devices.

Over 2,000 popular Chinese language magazines are also available via Dragonsource. Login using your library membership number. Find out how to set up a new account.

enewspapers Many Australian and international newspapers are available online through the Library PressReader website or app by creating an account with your library membership number. You can also search through newspaper databases available remotely using your library login details.

Freegal music steaming From Khalid and Tones and I to David Bowie and Frank Sinatra, access over 15 million songs from 40,000 labels, including Sony Music. There's also playlists for yoga, workouts and reading. With no software to download, start browsing and listening now.

ecomics Popular comics, graphic novels and manga titles for kids and adults are available on RB Digital by creating an account with your library membership number. This service also has an app for mobile devices.

emovies Stream award winning documentaries, independent features and festival favourites directly from Beamafilm. Login using your library membership number.

Mango Languages This interactive program has 70 different languages to choose from including English. Create an account with your library membership number.

Resources for children

Are you and your little ones missing our regular early literacy sessions? You can now watch these popular sessions online anytime from home. New videos in English, Mandarin and Auslan are regularly added, with storytime for pre-schoolers and rhymetime for younger kids aged up to 2 years.

Story Box Library is a recently added resource that gives members access to an online reading room. Listen and watch stories read by well-known Australian storytellers including actors, comedians, musicians, artists, authors and children. Login using your library membership number.

Storyline Online, an award-winning children's literacy website streams free videos featuring well- known actors reading children's books. You don’t need to be library member to access this website.

Junior and young adult ebooks are available for loan to download straight to your device. Search the catalogue now or read our how to guide for ebooks.

In addition to the library’s eaudiobooks for children, Audible is currently providing free streaming of a collection of kids stories in 6 languages.

Our Beamafilm streaming service has a selection of Children and Family films

PK magazine for primary school children includes stories, poems, art, craft, reviews, musical performances, science projects, competitions, sporting heroes and interviews with authors.

Spine Out is an online magazine for young adults to express their ideas and thoughts and to share their creativity in words, art, film or music.

Members can access research databases including Encyclopaedia Britannica which has different versions for kids and teens.