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The State Library of South Australia is a reference library, which aims to provide information as and when required by any customer. Items held within the State Library's collections are for reference and research use only and are not for loan.

To do this it needs to have its materials on hand and available to library users who visit the library personally, or who use the phone, letter or online enquiry services. It aims to preserve for future use those materials which, in public libraries, are gradually lost through wear, non-return from loans, or weeding from the collection because of age and diminishing use rates.

The State Library is open and its collections are available seven days a week, excluding public holidays.

State Library materials are not lent directly to library visitors. Some general reference materials are available for loan to other libraries through an Inter-library Loan Service. Ask at your Public Library about how to order some of our materials on Inter-library loan. Any items from the State Library cannot be borrowed and can only be used in the Public Library.

Material from the collection, such as South AustralianaRare BooksChildren's Literature Research Collection and Archival Collections, can only be used within the State Library.