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Your Travel Guide to the State Library of Queensland

Your Travel Guide to the State Library of Queensland

Did you know that the State Library of Queensland, founded in 1896 as the Queensland Museum, originally operated out of temporary locations until its current building opened in 1988? 

From its origins, the library now houses 1.7 million items, including rare books and historical documents, remaining Brisbane’s vibrant cultural hub.

Ready to uncover more intriguing facts and explore the wonders of the State Library of Queensland? Let’s dive deeper into its interesting history and diverse offerings here!

Getting to Know the State Library of Queensland

Getting to Know the State Library of Queensland

Back in the day, the State Library had humble beginnings as the Queensland Museum, founded way back in 1896. It started small, operating from different locations until it finally got its permanent home in 1988.

Fast forward to today, and it’s evolved into this incredible repository of knowledge, offering 1.7 million items in its collection! From rare books to historical documents, they’ve probably got it.

But it’s not just about the books and artifacts. The State Library has become this busy hive of activity, hosting interactive exhibitions that bring history to life and offering access to digital archives that make research a breeze. 

And let’s not forget its importance to Brisbane. This library is a cornerstone of the city’s cultural landscape. It’s where people discover Queensland’s rich history, explore its vibrant arts scene, and connect with their community.

So, whether you’re a bookworm, a history buff, or just curious about what this gem has to offer, the State Library of Queensland is waiting to be explored.

How to Go to the State Library of Queensland

How to Go to the State Library of Queensland

Getting to the State Library of Queensland is a breeze, with a variety of transportation options at your fingertips!

  • By car: If you’re driving, hop in your car and head on over. We’ll chat about parking options in just a bit, so stay tuned for that.
  • Taxi or ride-sharing: For those opting for a taxi or rideshare, you’re in luck! There are convenient drop-off points right outside Stanley Place.
  • By bike: Feeling eco-friendly and adventurous, then you should consider biking! This library has racks near reception on the first level—just remember to bring along your trusty bike lock for peace of mind.

Now, if public transport is more your style, we’ve got you covered. From buses to trains to CityCats, there’s something for everyone:

  • By bus: Catch a bus to the Cultural Centre Busway Station on Melbourne Street, just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the library. You may also check out the South Brisbane Loop (Route 86) for a free bus ride looping around the area.
  • By train: For train travelers, the South Brisbane Station is your go-to, located conveniently at the corner of Melbourne and Grey Streets.
  • CityCat: You can find CityCat and City Ferry terminals nearby at South Bank and North Quay.

The Best Time to Go to the State Library of Queensland

The best time to go to the State Library of Queensland largely depends on your preferences and schedule. However, here are some tips to help you plan your visit:

For a pleasant outdoor experience, consider visiting during the cooler months of autumn (March to May) or spring (September to November). The weather is mild, making it ideal for exploring the library and its surroundings.

The library tends to be less crowded during weekdays, especially in the mornings. If you prefer a quieter atmosphere for reading or studying, aim for mid-morning or early afternoon visits.

Moreover, Sundays are often quieter compared to Saturdays, offering a more relaxed environment to browse through collections or attend events.

As for holidays, the State Library of Queensland may have modified hours or closures on public holidays, so it’s a good idea to check their announcements on their social media accounts or contact them directly to confirm their schedule.

Things to Know About State Library of Queensland

For those of you who are planning to visit the State Library of Queensland, here are some important things to know before you go:

  • Entrance Fees: There’s no entry fee to explore the State Library.
  • Parking: Parking is available under the State Library and the Queensland Art Gallery, accessible via Stanley Place. There’s a flat fee of $17.60 per entry, per day, payable by credit card (Visa or MasterCard) upon entry.

And if you’re planning to park overnight, there’s an additional $17.60 fee per day or part thereof. Also, if you happen to exit after hours, expect a $40 fee.

You can enter via Stanley Place, accessible from Grey Street and Peel Street intersection or Montague Road.

  • Restrooms: The State Library of Queensland has restroom facilities at each level available for visitors.
  • Accessibility: The State Library of Queensland prioritises accessibility with raised tactile and braille signage, wheelchair-height desks, and courtesy wheelchairs for low-mobility visitors.

They also offer auditory assistance including induction loops and personal listening devices. Moreover, wheelchair-accessible amenities are conveniently located. Service animals are also warmly welcomed.

State Library of Queensland Reminders

Here are some helpful reminders to keep in mind when you’re at the State Library of Queensland:

  • Respect quiet zones: Be mindful of noise levels, especially in designated quiet areas. Keep conversations low and consider using headphones if you’re listening to audio.
  • Handle materials with care: The library’s collections include valuable and delicate items. When browsing books, manuscripts, or artifacts, handle them with care to preserve them for future visitors.
  • Follow library policies: Familiarise yourself with the library’s policies regarding photography, food and drink, and other guidelines. These rules help maintain a clean, safe, and welcoming environment for all visitors.
  • Stay connected: Take advantage of the library’s free Wi-Fi and power outlets to stay connected and recharge your devices. You can also ask staff for assistance with accessing online resources or using library technology.
  • Attend events and workshops: Keep an eye out for events, workshops, and exhibitions happening at the library. These programs offer opportunities to engage with the community, learn new skills, and explore diverse topics.

Accessing the State Library of Queensland

Accessing the State Library of Queensland is straightforward for both residents and non-residents. Whether you call Queensland home or are just visiting, discover the various entry procedures that make exploring this library easy.

Let’s dive into it!

First things first, become a member! Access several online and onsite benefits by becoming a State Library of Queensland member.

The best part? It’s free, and you can sign up right here, right now. Once you’re a member, a world of resources opens up to you.

As a member, you gain access to the State Library’s e-resources. Dive into your family history, explore genealogical research, and use online learning courses to expand your horizons.

Plus, get your hands on online newspaper services to stay up-to-date with current affairs and historical happenings.

Feeling a bit lost? Just check out the library’s how-to videos. These handy tutorials cover everything from becoming a member to navigating the catalogue like a pro.

In terms of borrowing, if you’re a Queensland resident, then doing so is relatively easy.

Simply become a State Library of Queensland member and present your Queensland driver’s license with your current address or two forms of identification (at least one with your name and Queensland address).

For younger members, a signed parent/guardian consent form is needed. If you’re already a member of a Queensland public library, requesting loans from the Information Collection is a snap via One Search.

If you need more information about what you can borrow, how long you can loan items for, where to collect them, and even additional identification details, refer to the data below.

These guidelines outline borrowing policies, loan durations, pickup locations, and any required identification, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free borrowing experience for all patrons.

Other forms of identificationBank statementContract of purchase

Current lease or rental document

Mortgage or land ownership certificate

Electricity, gas, or telephone account

Learners permit

Local government rates notice

Renewal notice for Queensland driver’s licence

Vehicle registrationStudent identification card

Vehicle registration certificate

Educational institution certificate with name of student and residential address
Items that can be borrowedBooksMagazinesMusic scores

Performance sets

Asia Pacific Design Library (APDL)Business and law titles
Loan detailsLoan Limit: Maximum of 10 itemsLoan Period: 4 – 12 weeks*

*Music performance sets can be loaned for a longer period to accommodate the performance date.

It’s recommended to inform the staff about this.
Placing a requestRequest an item with your State Library membership through One Search.
An email will be sent once an item is ready to be collected, complete with pickup location details.
Collection areaInformation Collection: Level 3 Collection PointJohn Oxley Library: Level 4 Collection Point

Remember, all requested collections or items can be put on hold for only five days.

Hence, items that are not collected during the holding period will be returned to the shelves.
Loan renewalLoans can be renewed by logging into One Search or in-person by visiting the state library.

Loans can be renewed for up to 12 weeks. However, loans may not be renewed due to the following circumstances:

The item you wish to borrow has already reached its maximum loan periodThe item has already been borrowed/requested by another borrower

The item has been lost/damaged

Them item is claimed as returned
Returning of loansRemember to return your loans in good condition on or before the due date.

You can choose to return them in person or via mail.

In-person: Level 1, Reception or Level 3, Information Desk

Mail: Access Services, State Library of Queensland PO Box 3488, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia
Paying an invoiceYou can pay an invoice via a secure portal using BPOINT.

If you’re not a Queensland resident, no worries! You can still enjoy the treasures of the State Library through their interlibrary loan service.

Simply reach out to your local public, state, or university library, and they can help facilitate your access to the resources available at the State Library.

While you might not have direct membership access like residents, this interlibrary loan service ensures that everyone, regardless of residency, can benefit from the wealth of knowledge housed within the State Library of Queensland. 

Rooms and Resources at the State Library of Queensland

1. Level 1

The State Library of Queensland’s first level is all about that chill and community vibe. Here, you are also allowed to bring your own food and drinks, so you can chow on them while browsing the library.

Here are the different rooms located on the first floor:

  • kuril dhagun: This spot is all about celebrating First Nations communities and their stories. It’s warm, welcoming, and full of respect.
  • The River Decks: If you ever need some fresh air, you can head here for a killer view of the Brisbane River. Perfect for a coffee break or a peaceful read.
  • Infozone: Here, you can use the computers, Wi-Fi, and even the printing facilities! There’s also a special room for carers in this area. 
  • The Parlour: This cosy spot is perfect for games and relaxation—perfect for families!
  • The Corner: Calling all kiddos under 8! This space is your creative wonderland. Your kids can get ideas that they can try at home. You can also get to meet with other parents and carers in this space.
  • The Library Shop: Don’t forget to check out the cool Queensland-themed books and gifts here!
  • The Library Cafe: You can get your caffeine fix here and choose from a wide range of coffee and tea. You can also enjoy some snacks such as sandwiches while you’re on a break.
  • Business Studio: For the business-minded people out there, this is your nook! Here, you’ll find online materials, checklists, and even government toolkits in this area.
  • Loris Williams Room: This is an exclusive and intimate space perfect for workshops, seminars, and community meetings.

2. Level 2

Aside from more meeting rooms on this floor, you better get ready for some serious research and events here at the State Library of Queensland’s second level.

Let’s check out these areas:

  • Information Collections: Browsing, researching, and learning – it’s all happening here.*
  • The Red Box: This space is iconic, offering killer river views and hosting cool events. Study tables are available here, which can also be found at Level 3.
  • Asia Pacific Design Library: Let your creativity flow as you explore design books and magazines in this area.
  • slq Auditorium 2: Talks, workshops, and more – keep your eyes peeled for exciting events!
  • Queensland Terrace: This area is one of the city’s most in-demand wedding venues. Here, you can also check out displays of tea cups and learn about the Tea & Me project.
  • Queensland Writers Centre: For the writers out there, this is your spot! This area will help you develop your writing skills, connect with readers, and even find a good career.

3. Level 3

More areas to discover and learn at Level 3. Let’s check them out!

  • Information and Family History Service: Here, you can dig into family history or cosy up with some newspapers in the Tim Fairfax Reading Room.
  • Music Collection: Music buffs, this one’s for you! Explore sheet music and scores to your heart’s content.
  • slq Auditorium 1: Another spot for talks and events – enter through Level 2!
  • Music Practice Room: Book a piano session and let the music flow!

4. Level 4

More to uncover about Queensland’s rich history and treasures here at the State Library of Queensland’s fourth level.

  • Silent study area: For those of you who crave quieter spaces, this area is for you! Here, you can focus or even work with fewer distractions. Note that this area is not intended for those who prefer group studies.
  • John Oxley Library: Get ready for some serious history lessons in this area. Here, you will get a chance to dive into diaries, manuscripts, photographs, maps, and artworks.
  • Philip Bacon Heritage Gallery: Dive into the rich heritage of Queensland through fascinating exhibitions sponsored by the art dealer, Philip Bacon.
  • Black Opium: These are rooms intended for exploring artwork history by Brisbane-based artist, Fiona Foley.
  • The Talbot Family Treasures Wall: This area showcases the library’s rare and unique collections.
  • White Gloves Room: For those of you who are interested in performing specialised research on certain treasures, this area is for you! 
  • Heritage Collections Learning Room: This is a corner for groups who would love to explore the heritage collections through workshops, talks, and meetings.

5. Level 5 

The fifth level of the State Library of Queensland offers a peek behind the curtain. 

Enjoy exploring preservation in this area. Let’s check them out!

  • Preservation wall: Ever wondered how they care for all those treasures? Get a sneak peek here!
  • Slq boardroom: Another meeting room, now with fantastic views of the city skyline and Brisbane River.

6. The Edge

Now, let’s dive into what’s happening at The Edge in the State Library of Queensland:

  • Food and Drinks: You can enjoy your snacks and drinks pretty much everywhere here, except in the Innovation Lab and Digital Media Lab. So keep those energy levels up!
  • The Edge Auditorium: This place is a hub of activity! With its wooden flooring, lighting rig, and big screen, it’s perfect for talks, conferences, and performances. 

Plus, you can even hire it out for your own events.

  • Window Bays: Picture yourself with sweeping city views! These cosy spots are perfect for meetings, study sessions, or small presentations.

These rooms are free to book with your membership!

  • Digital Media Lab: Get your creative juices flowing here! Whether you’re into design, 3D modeling, or video editing, this lab is fully decked out with all the gear you need. And yes, it’s free to book with your membership!
  • Innovation Lab: Are you a maker or a hacker? This flexible space is ideal for all sorts of projects and workshops.

From building to engineering, it’s your playground for creativity.

  • Recording Studio: Time to lay down some tracks! This compact studio is equipped with quality gear and software. Just book your recording session online after completing the induction.
  • The Brink: Need a quick break? Grab a coffee and a snack here to fuel your creativity. 
  • Reception: Need a helping hand? Swing by the reception, located just inside the main entrance on Level 1. The staff are super friendly and can assist with bookings and inquiries.
  • Mezzanine: And last but not least, don’t forget to explore the Mezzanine. Who knows what hidden gems you might discover up there!

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