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Library - State Library of New South Wales: Using the State Library

This guide describes how to access the resources of the State Library and why it is worth doing.

Step 1. Get a library card


 With a (FREE) Library card you can:

  • use most of the Library’s collections
  • access eresources in the Library
  • use most of the eresources including ebooks
  • request books from other libraries
  • print and photocopy
  • use Library computers
  • book a study room.

Your card can be posted to you.

(Takes about 10 working days).


If you are short on time and

already have a NSW public library card, 

 REGISTER  your card for instant access

to the Library’s eresources

Step 2a. Check what is available online

Step 2b. Decide if you need to visit

Step 3. Finding Online resources PLAN A

Of course you will have already :

  • Thought about your topic
  • Listed some keywords

Plan A lets you do a Google like search across almost all the databases

Start with the library catalogue search (it will be black if you came from the homepage or blue if you followed the link above) 

For best results change Everything except articles to Everything or Articles


Login from the top right corner using your library card from Step 1.


Enter your best search term/s and press the green or blue search buttons.

When the results come back, use the filters in Refine my results on the right to narrow results.

The most useful filters are :

  • Full text available (which means you should be able to get it online immediately)
  • Date (start with a range no bigger than 10 years)

Step 3. Finding Online resources PLAN B

In Plan B, you go straight to the Databases most likely to specialise in your School Subject

Go to ERESOURCES and choose HSC


Choose the School subject and a list of the dozen or so of the most relevant databases will open.

Pick the ones most likely and search in each of these databases in turn.  (Hint The EBSCO, Gale and Proquest general databases are very similar so searching one would do.  Informit is probably a good one to start with).