Visitors to Brisbane who on their travels enjoy visits to libraries will not want to miss going to see the State Library of Queensland. This modern state of the art building is located at Cultural Precinct, Stanley Place, South Bank in South Brisbane overlooking the Brisbane River and next to the Queensland Modern Art Gallery. In 2007, the library design won the prestigious RAIA Sir Zelman Cowen award for Public Architecture, and considered one of the best- looking buildings in Brisbane.
About the library
The Brisbane Public Library founded in 1896 was renamed the Public Library of Queensland in 1898 and opened doors to the public in 1902. The vision of the State Library is to enrich lives of Queensland inhabitants with information and knowledge.
Originally, the Library shared accommodation in the building with an art gallery. However, in the latter part of the 1950’s an extension was built to provide more space. On the outside of the building is a mural, which won the winning design in a 1958 national competition.
Visitors to the library can discover a general collection of books, magazines, and journals, newspapers, items of family history, maps, ephemera, and music. In addition, there are audiovisual items, the internet, and other electronic resources. Among the research collections and services are the John Oxley Library, and the Australian Library of Art, which includes the James Hardie Library of Australian Fine Arts. There are two UNESCO collections of significance, the Margaret Lawrie collection of Torres Strait Island material, and the Labor Party Manifesto.
- Books and resource material provided to public libraries throughout Queensland
- Specialist services to the public libraries in other areas which include services to multicultural communities and to young people
- Access to collections through Wikimedia Commons
- Library services to Torres Strait Islanders and to Aboriginal people with Indigenous Knowledge Centres
- Public programs and exhibitions are offered, as well as the lending of exhibitions to schools, community organizations, and museums.
- Outreach programs of reference, research, Internet training and digitization for public library staffs throughout Queensland
- For young people, a digital culture centre which is called “The Edge”
The Library shop won the Queensland Bookseller of the Year in 2011 and in 2012 and has a most comprehensive range of books on sale for satisfying all tastes of literature.
Their selection includes
- Books on Queensland history
- Children’s books
- Books on Indigenous culture as well as books by Indigenous authors
- Books by Queensland authors
- Design and architecture
Visitors can take advantage of the extensive selection of gifts and stationery available at the library shop, for mementos or gifts. The shop is located on level 1 and opens conveniently, from Monday to Friday from 8am until 6pm and Saturday and Sunday from 9.30 until 5pm.
Although the library is closed on Good Friday, Christmas, and Boxing days, as well as New Years Day, for the convenience of its many visitors, free guided tours are available.