City of Sydney Library service changes

We’re welcoming more people safely back to our libraries with longer opening hours and more services and space now available.

Face masks required in City of Sydney venues

We require all visitors to our indoor venues, including libraries to wear a face mask from 5pm on Thursday 6 May until 12.01am on Monday 17 May.

This is in line with NSW Government restrictions following the recent cases of Covid-19 in the community.

Face masks are also required on public transport and in all public indoor venues across greater Sydney. Visit the NSW Government website for more information on the restrictions.

Library services

Most branches are now open to visit 7 days a week to browse and borrow, study, work, read and use the computers. At our other locations, borrowing is available using a contactless reserve and collect service.

Some of our much-loved events and programs have returned to branches and you can also now hire our library venues, including meeting rooms.

Watch this video from our library team to learn about available services. You can also read below for further details and important health and safety information.

Library services and hours

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.

Available services and restrictions at these browse and borrow branches

  • Time limits no longer apply to visits to our branches or desk use.
  • Most of our study desks and casual seating are available.
  • Newspapers are not available.
  • Library venues, including meeting rooms are available to hire for bookings starting 15 March.
  • Some programs and events will be available in our branches from mid-March as well as online.
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Study desks, self-service computers and wifi

More desks are now available for use without time limits at Customs House, Darling Square, Glebe, Green Square, Kings Cross, Newtown and Surry Hills. The number of desks at each branch depends on the maximum capacity and layout to maintain physical distancing between desks.

Seating is on a first come, first served basis.

Members can use the self-service computers free of charge for up to 3-hours per person per day. Bookings aren’t required and fees apply for non-members.

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:

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:

  • Wear a face mask if you can't stay 1.5m apart when visiting our libraries. Masks are mandatory from 5pm on Thursday 6 May until 12.01am on Monday 17 May at all indoor venues.
  • Sanitise your hands on arrival.
  • Check in on arrival. All visitors must register by scanning the QR code with their smartphone at the entrance. If you have the Service NSW app, your details will already be included to confirm. If you don't have the app, you'll be given the option to install the app, or to check in using an online form. If you don’t have a smartphone or need assistance, please see a member of our library team.
  • 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 priority to less mobile visitors.
  • Visit individually or in a small family group.

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 have been told to wait for results.

What we are doing:

  • Our library team is on hand to assist visitors.
  • 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.
  • Hand sanitisers are available at the entrance and throughout the library.
  • 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
  • Glebe, Green Square, Newtown, Surry Hills, Ultimo and Waterloo libraries: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Kings Cross Library: Returns can be made during opening hours.


Standard loan and renewal periods apply for items borrowed at the browse and borrow branches. Return dates for all reserve and collect loans will be advised on collection.

Inter-library loan requests are now available. Find out how to make a request

New memberships

City of Sydney Library membership is free for all New South Wales residents. To apply for a full 3-year membership, complete the online form or visit a staffed branch open for browsing and borrowing. To finalise your full membership and collect your library card, you’ll need to visit a staffed branch and show proof of identity and permanent residential address.

City of Sydney residents and ratepayers can also apply for a temporary online memberships without visiting a branch. New and existing temporary memberships are valid until 30 June 2021. To convert your temporary online membership to a full 3-year membership, visit a staffed branch open for browsing and borrowing.

Membership renewals

If your membership is due to expire within the next month, it will be automatically extended for 12 months from the original date of expiry. If you have overdue or lost items your membership cannot be automatically extended. Please contact us by email or call 02 9265 9333 for assistance.

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.

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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