Due to major building activity, some collections are unavailable. Please check your requests before visiting. Learn more.
A National Library card is your ticket to access millions of items from our collections, onsite or online, wherever you are.
It's easy to sign-up online, and it's free for all Australian residents.
Once you’ve got your card, it’s ready to use, is valid for two years, and is easy to renew.
Remember to read the Library card terms and conditions – with great power comes great responsibility!
What can I do with my Library card?
With your Library card, you can:
- select books and other collection items and use them in our reading rooms
- access online databases through our eResources portal, from anywhere in Australia
- top up your balance to print, photocopy and scan in our reading rooms.
Learn more about your Library card
- How can I get a Library card?
- I'm an overseas visitor. Can I get a Library card?
- Will my Library card expire?
- I've lost my Library card. What should I do?
- I found something in the catalogue that I want to look at it person. How do I get it?
- How do I find online journals and resources?
- Further questions
- Quick links
How can I get a Library card?
It's easy to sign-up online, and it's free.
You need to be an Australian resident and have an Australian street address to get a card (post office boxes are not accepted).
You can choose to receive your card by mail or collect it in person from our reading rooms. If you wish to collect it, please remember to have current ID with you, such as a driver's licence or student ID card.
Your card is ready to use as soon as you receive it.
Remember to read the Library card terms and conditions.
I'm an overseas visitor. Can I get a Library card?
Yes! You can apply onsite for a temporary card to use collection items in our reading rooms. You will not be able to access our licensed eResources while offsite.
Will my Library card expire?
Library cards are valid for two years and are easily renewed. Login to your account on the renewals page and follow the instructions.
I've lost my Library card. What should I do?
Our team of librarians can help you get a new one online, over the phone or in person in our Main Reading Room.
I found something in the catalogue that I want to look at in person. How do I get it?
Login to the Library catalogue to request items.
Once you’re logged in, you can request items, track your requests, mark favourites and create lists for future research. You can request up to 15 items at a time.
To make the most of your visit, order items in advance so that they're waiting for you when you arrive.
Your catalogue account will tell you whether your items have been delivered to:
- the Main Reading Room on the Ground Floor, or
- the Special Collections Reading Room on Level 1.
Collection material can only be used in the reading room it is delivered to. It can't be taken to other areas of the Library or outside the building.
Collection delivery times vary according to the type of material you need. Check our detailed collection delivery information to confirm the timeframe for your request.
Get started with the catalogue
How do I find online journal articles and resources?
Your Library card allows you to access online journals and resources through our eResources portal.
Login with your Library card details to browse full-text electronic journals, newspapers, academic papers and more.
Two of our most popular eResources are:
- NewsBank, a collection of newspapers from over 200 countries, and
- PressReader, which has 7,000 newspapers and magazines.
When you're looking at eResources, keep an eye out for the yellow key symbol. If you see it next to a resource, you'll know you can access it from anywhere. If you see a small building symbol, it means that resource can only be accessed when you're in the Library building in Canberra.
Want to know more about how to use the eResources? Our research guides on eResources at the National Library and eBooks might help.
Not sure where to start your research? Stuck somewhere along the way?
Our librarians are here to provide suggestions, research tips, resources and strategies to you.
If we can't help, we will recommend someone who can.