State Library of South Australia

Ask Us

The Ask Us service enables you to submit questions to our librarians who will attempt to provide you with helpful information. The basic research service is free although there are charges for copying. You can of course also visit the State Library in person and ask staff at the Information Desk on Level 1 of the Spence Wing. For all other enquiries, refer to our Contact us page.

Quick enquiries:


up to 10 minutes per enquiry


Use our phone service:

Operates: Mon to Fri, 10am-5pm ACST
+61 8 8207 7250 (all enquiries)
1800 182 013 (SA country callers free call)
+61 8 8207 7251 (TTY Service only)
Reduced services evenings and weekends.


Research enquiries:


up to 60 minutes per enquiry


Place a research request:

Allowed four per calendar year
Ask a new question
Check on an existing question
Lodge a request 24/7
Receive a response within 10 working days


The information services provided by the State Library of South Australia are governed by Principles and Service Guidelines for Information and Research Services which have been agreed to by National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA).

On this page:

 What we are able to do initially

If you visit our Library and ask us for assistance, we will advise you on a research strategy, support you to use finding tools effectively and suggest appropriate resources.

If you phone us we are generally able to spend up to 10 minutes advising on the most appropriate information resources to guide you in your search.

If your enquiry cannot be answered in a short time frame, you may be referred to our research enquiry service.

You may also be referred to another information provider if that is most appropriate.

 What we undertake as a research enquiry

Enquiries that cannot be responded to in a short timeframe and written or email enquiries may be referred to our research enquiry service.

You are welcome to use this research service up to four times within a calendar year.

Depending on the nature of the enquiry, this extended service provides:
- guidance on the most appropriate information resources for you to continue with your own research
- resources librarians have consulted to respond to your enquiry

This service is provided for:
- all residents
- anyone wishing to access information relating to the jurisdiction of this Library
- anyone wishing to access information which is unique to our collections

You may also be referred to another NSLA library, to your closest public, school or tertiary library, or to another information provider if this is the most appropriate place for you to find the information you need.

What we provide

Up to 1 hour of research on most enquiries. We may spend more time on enquiries which require researching materials unique to our Library.

Where copies of documents are an outcome of the research, a charge may be levied. We will inform you if this is necessary as part of the response process.

Our response time

Up to 7 - 10 working days for most enquiries.

For enquiries which require researching materials unique to our Library, we may negotiate a longer response time with you. If you have a particular requirement under 7 working days please indicate this in your request. Note the Library cannot guarantee a response time.

 What we are not able to do

  • lengthy or ongoing research e.g. extended family history or newspaper searches or searches through manuscript collections
  • extended research assistance to people interstate or overseas asking for information that is readily available in their own state, territory or country
  • answers to lists of questions for quizzes or competitions
  • detailed assistance with school assignments
  • searches for missing persons
  • valuations
  • legal and medical advice
  • respond to 'urgent' queries

In these instances, we may give you guidance on search strategies and relevant resources to get you started in your research, or refer you to your local library or another information provider.

To ensure everyone is treated fairly/equally, we reserve the right to limit the number of enquiries per person we can respond to, to four per calendar year.

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Last Modified: 12:24 PM 2 Feb 2016

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