An aerial view of the National Library building featuring an angled orange roof

About our building works

We are making vital improvements to our much-loved heritage building. These improvements are designed to ensure we use our available space as efficiently as possible and safeguard the collection for future generations. 

Some of this work includes:

  • Restoring the brass framed heritage windows  
  • Improving how we store the collections kept onsite 
  • Upgrading the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.

Visitor experience redefined: what’s available during building works and what awaits

Our iconic building remains open to the public and you can still enjoy the following activities:

  • Access our reading rooms for study, research or a well-deserved break 
  • Catch up with your friends and family at Bookplate cafe in the foyer
  • Enjoy a coffee or light meal at Paperplate Cafe which is located on the Lower Ground Floor
  • Purchase a book for yourself or a loved one at our bookstore
  • Enjoy a free guided tour of the building, departing 11am daily from the foyer. 

Temporary disruptions to the onsite experience are part of our progress. Some of the areas affected include:

  • Our Treasures Gallery is open, but our temporary exhibition gallery is closed and will reopen in late July.
  • Access to parts of our collection will be temporarily unavailable between now and June 2025. This includes the Asian Collections stored on Level 3 (until 30 June 2025) and the Pictures Collections - Hanging Art Works (until September 2024).

You will see scaffolding on the King Edward Terrace side of the building, but you can still access the building via the ramp and stairs as usual.

As you move around the Library building you may hear some construction noise. We appreciate your support and understanding as we make improvements to our much-loved heritage building.

Progress updates

Improvements to digitisation and photography areas 

One way the Library provides access to its collections is by creating and making digital copies of its physical collection material (digitisation) accessible on Trove. The workspaces devoted to this work have been modernised and increased in size to meet the growing demand for digitised content. This work was completed in 2022.


The new gleaming copper sheeting has been installed and roof works have been fully completed.


The Windows Restoration Project will rejuvenate the Library’s appearance and improve its thermal performance.

You will see scaffolding and boarding while the windows are replaced.

The replacement of windows overlooking the Patrick White Lawns is almost complete. On the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge side of the building, the windows are concurrently being removed and restored. This work is due to be completed in September 2024.

The replacement of windows overlooking the Treasury Building began in July 2024.

The windows to the exhibition galleries on the ground floor were restored to coincide with the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) upgrades in the galleries. The work was completed in June 2024.

Exterior of the National Library building with scaffolding along the wall

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning 

The Library stores part of the collection on site in areas that are not open to the public. When you visit the Library you can request collection material to be delivered to the Reading Rooms. As part of our ongoing stewardship and care for these collections, the Library is upgrading about a third of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system – focusing on the areas where these collections are stored. 

Temporary changes to collection access

Some collection storage areas will be temporarily closed, limiting access to some collection material. Different collection storage areas will be impacted at different times, but Library visitors can continue to request collection deliveries to the Reading Rooms as usual.

To find out what collections are impacted and when, and to help you plan your requests, please visit our temporary changes to collection access page

Find out more about the temporary change to collection access


These projects have been funded by the Australian Government, including from the Library’s annual appropriation or special projects funding.