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The Freedom of Information Act 1991 (the Act) gives members of the public a legally enforceable right of access (subject to certain restrictions) to documents within the possession of South Australian government agencies, local government authorities and South Australian Universities. The purpose of the Act is to make the business of government open and accountable to the public. The State Library fully supports the objectives and spirit of the Act and is active in it helps to continually improve records management practices.

Information Statement

This statement is published in accordance with Subsection 9 (2) of the Act. Subject to certain restrictions, the Act gives members of the public a legally enforceable right to access information held by the South Australian Government. A comprehensive introduction to Freedom of Information (FOI) can be found on the State Records SA website.

Structure and functions

A comprehensive description of the agency's structure and functions can be found on this website or in the current Annual Report.

State Library functions and members of the public

The State Library of South Australia is the largest public reference library in South Australia with a collection focus on South Australian information and general reference material for information and research purposes. The library provides information, research, and referral services for the community, actively collect, preserves and give access to the state's documentary heritage (both historical and contemporary) and provide public programs which enhance the cultural life of the state.

The functions of the State Library affect the public both directly, in the form of service delivery to the community, and indirectly, through the agency's policy and strategic management activities.

The public has the opportunity to interact with State Library in a number of ways, including via our website and onsite service point, community consultation forums, panels, surveys, and membership of government boards and committees.

Documents held by State Library of South Australia

Documents held by the State Library of South Australia fall broadly into the categories described below. While most are available in hard copy, it should be noted that some are only available electronically. The listing of these categories does not necessarily mean all documents are accessible in full or in part under the Act.

The categories include:

  • corporate files containing correspondence, memoranda and minutes on all aspects of the agency's operations
  • policies, procedures, and guidelines prescribing the way various activities and programs are to be performed
  • accounting and financial reports relating to the running of the agency
  • agency annual reports, strategic plans, and policy reports
  • minutes of meetings and terms of reference
  • documents relating to the functions of the agency's teams
  • documents relating to Work, Health and Safety issues and investigations
  • documents relating to State Library of South Australia's volunteer activities.

Making an application

In accordance with the Act, applications for access to documents held by an agency must:

  • be made in writing (you may choose to write a letter or use the State Records SA FOI templates)
  • specify that the application is made under the Act
  • be accompanied by a $38.25 application fee (exemptions apply for Members of Parliament and pensioners or health cardholders)
  • specify an address in Australia to which information can be sent
  • clearly identify the documents being sought or the matter to which they pertain
  • specify whether the documents contain information of a personal nature
  • specify the desired type of access to the document, such as inspection of the document at an arranged location or having a copy made.

Applications under the Act should be forwarded to:

The Accredited FOI Officer
State Library of South Australia
GPO Box 419

The Accredited Officer can be phoned on (08) 8207 7263.

State Library Freedom of Information Statement is to be reviewed in June 2022.