City of Sydney Library services now available

Most of our branches are open to study, work, access computers, browse and borrow. Reserve and collect is available for borrowing from our other branches.

With more of our branches open, increased services and hours, it’s a great time to reconnect with your local library.

From Monday 30 November, borrowing services are available at all our library locations. Most branches are also open to visit for up to 4 hours per day. At our other locations, including Town Hall Library Express, Ultimo and Waterloo libraries, borrowing is available using a contactless reserve and collect service.

Watch this video from our library team to learn about available services and what we're doing to keep you safe when visiting. For full details about library hours and the services available at each branch, please read below. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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Library hours and services from Monday 30 November

Scroll to see the full list of library locations and click or tap on a library for details of services available and opening hours.

Browse and borrow branches

All collection items on the shelves at each branch are available to borrow. You can also pick up reserves from these locations by selecting the branch in the online catalogue as normal.

Please use the self-checkout kiosks to borrow your items before leaving. Standard loan and renewal periods apply.

Restrictions and services unavailable at these browse and borrow branches

Each branch has a maximum number of people we can accommodate at the same time. Once this capacity is reached you will need to wait outside for people to leave before you’ll be allowed to enter.

  • Customs House Library – 120 people total (60 on each floor)
  • Darling Square Library – 120 people total
  • Green Square Library – 120 people total (no access available to the tower rooms)
  • Kings Cross Library – 50 people total (level 1 access only)
  • Newtown Library – 35 people total.
  • Surry Hills Library – 50 people total.

Other services and restrictions

  • Library visitors can spend up to 4 hours in the library per day.
  • Computer sessions are up to 3 hours and desk use up to 4 hours to ensure access for as many people as possible.
  • Only some of the study desks and casual seating for reading will be available for use.
  • Newspapers are not available.
  • Library venues, including meeting rooms are not available to hire or access.
  • Programs and events are not currently running in branches. We’re continuing our workshops and events program online.
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Study desks and wifi

A limited number of desks are available for use at Customs House, Darling Square, Green Square, Kings Cross, Newtown and Surry Hills libraries for up to 4 hours per person per day. The number of desks at each branch is dependent upon the maximum capacity and layout to maintain physical distancing between desks. Desks for individual use are available at all branches and for groups of up to 4 people at Darling Square and Green Square libraries.

Seating is on a first come, first served basis and those seated will receive a timed ticket. Free wifi is available in the libraries to connect your own laptop or device when using the study desks.

Reserve and collect

This contactless service is available at:

  • St Helen’s Community Centre Glebe: 11am to 3pm, Monday and Friday
  • Pyrmont Link: 10.30am to 2.30pm, Monday.
  • Town Hall Library Express: 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday
  • Ultimo Library: 10.30am to 2.30pm, Wednesday and Thursday
  • Waterloo Library: 2pm to 6pm, Wednesday and Thursday

How reserve and collect works

  • 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 receive an email or text message.
  • Collect your items within 5 working days of receiving this.
  • You’ll need to show your library card or other identification when you collect your items.
  • 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 in this system.
  • Any reservations made before 1 June 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.

Health and safety

When visiting a library we ask you to:

  • Sanitise your hands on arrival.
  • Register your contact details. To comply with public health orders, all visitors must register their contact details each time they enter a City of Sydney Library. The easiest way to register is to scan the QR code on the check-in sign at the entrance using your smartphone. Then click on the link and complete the short form. Read below for more details. If you don’t have a smartphone or need assistance, please see our library staff.
  • Consider wearing a face mask if you have one.
  • Follow the signs and floor markings and maintain 1.5m physical distance from all people including staff.
  • Follow directions from library staff.
  • Observe the lift limits and use the stairs if you can to give less mobile visitors priority to use the lifts first.
  • Visit individually or in a small family group.
  • Place any books you handle at the browse and borrow branches on the trolleys provided so they can be quarantined for 24 hours.

Please do not visit a branch if you:

  • you are experiencing even mild Covid-19 symptoms such as a cough or sore scratchy throat
  • have visited an area where NSW Health advises immediate self-isolation and testing
  • have been tested for Covid-19 and are waiting on results.

What we are doing:

  • Employees will be at the entrance of each branch to monitor and assist visitors.
  • Library computers and surrounding desk areas will be cleaned after each person and frequently touched areas will receive further cleaning.
  • Using only easy-to-clean seating for visitors.
  • Hand sanitisers are available at the entrance and throughout the library.
  • Returned items will be quarantined for 72 hours and remain on the borrower’s library card during this time.
  • A Covid-19 safety plan for each branch is in place.

Other library services and information


Returns can be made using the returns chutes at these branches:

  • Customs House Library: 8am to 10.30pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 10.30pm Saturday and 9am to 5pm Sunday
  • Darling Square Library: 7am to 10pm every day
  • Green Square, Newtown, Surry Hills, Ultimo and Waterloo libraries: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Returns can also be made at Kings Cross Library, Pyrmont Library Link, Town Library Express and St Helen’s Community Centre, Glebe during browse and borrow or reserve and collect hours.

Returned items will be quarantined for 72 hours and remain on the borrower’s library card during this time.


All reserve and collect loans will be automatically renewed until 18 January 2021 unless they have been reserved by another member. Standard loan and renewal periods apply for items borrowed at the browse and borrow branches.

Inter-library loan requests are suspended until further notice.

New memberships

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 valid until 6 January 2021.

To use the browse and borrow service, you’ll need to convert a temporary membership to a full 3-year membership or join as a new member. This can be done at any of the browse and borrow branches. You’ll need to show proof of your name and permanent residential address. This can be a driver’s licence, student card, passport, bank statement or City of Sydney rates notice.

Membership renewals

Memberships that expired or are due to expire in 2020 will be automatically extended for 12 months from their original date of expiry. If your membership expired before January 2020, please contact us by email or call 02 9265 9333.

Self-service computers

You no longer need to book the self-service computers. Free sessions of up to 3 hours, limited to 1 per person per day, are available during opening times at the browse and borrow branches above and Town Hall Library Express.

Fees apply for printing and photocopying.

Check in required at all libraries

To comply with public health orders, all visitors, employees, tenants and contractors must register their contact details each time they enter a City of Sydney Library.

The easiest way to register is to scan the QR code on the check in sign at the entrance using your smartphone. Then click on the link and complete the short form. If your smartphone runs on Android, such as Samsung, Huawei or Nokia phones, you may need to adjust your settings to use the reader or download a QR code reader app. If you don’t have a smartphone or need assistance, please see a member of our library team.

This information will help NSW Health trace any Covid-19 infections. Your information will not be shared with anyone else or used for any other reason.

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 and access many online resources for children.

Events and programs

Our regular library programs are not operating however we have a new program of online events and workshops available.

Booking a library venue

Our library venues for hire are not currently available for use. We hope to be able open bookings soon. 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.

Contact the library

If you need assistance or have any questions, contact our library team 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.

Posted . Last updated .

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