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For students and teachers: Using the Library

A guide highlighting collections, resources and services available at the State Library of South Australia to assist students and teachers.

Using the library

The State Library, with its large collection, electronic databases, public computers and wireless internet, helpful staff and spaces available for working alone or in a group, is an ideal place for research or study

The Library is a reference library, so materials and equipment can be used within the library but are not available for loan.  Progressively, more of the collections are being provided online to expand access.  While access to the Library’s resources and facilities is free there are charges for copying and printing.

Because much of the library material is held in storage, it is good precaution to check our Library Catalogue before coming to the library to do some research. This will allow you to place an online or phone request for the items you're interested in, so that they can brought out in time for your visit.

Please bring current identification, as some Library resources can only be viewed in the Reading Room, which requires a current Readers Ticket.

The Information Desk is a good starting point for enquiries. It is staffed during the Library's opening hours. For finding a book, a newspaper, researching a topic, how to use the catalogue or a database, request an item from storage – ask at the Information Desk.

Online Library Guides have been developed to provide research assistance, subject guides, and pointers to useful resources.

A range of free online databases are available to assist in locating articles in journals, newspapers and encyclopaedias. While all databases are available onsite, selected databases are accessible from home for registered South Australian residents.

Searching our collections


To locate material held in the Library search the online catalogue.  You can search the Library's published, archival, pictorial and ephemeral collections in one search.


To find which electronic  journals the Library holds, search the online catalogue by title. Alternatively, through the e-journal portal, search by title or browse by subject or title.


A website search is available through a radio button on the simple search interface on the Library's homepage. It will locate web pages and documents on the website.

SA Memory

Click on find in SA Memory to search material in this website. SA Memory is a multimedia website highlighting South Australia's people, places, issues and events from the colony's beginnings to now.

Information desk staff ready to assist

Asistance at the Information Desk

Staff assist in:

  • Searching the catalogue,
  • Locating material
  • Requesting items from storage
  • Developing search strategies
  • Discovering relevant sources for a research topic

Students studying in the Library

students studying