State Library NSW during COVID-19

Sydney’s Lock Down Diary-1  

Mitchell Library, Sydney

By Rekha Rajvanshi

Coronavirus outbreak in Australia and around the world has made people anxious, disturbed and lonely. Practicing self-isolation has impacted our mental health and well being. Community is disturbed, people are confused, and elderly scared and lonely. School system has changed, online learning is taking place and students are going on an emotional roller coaster ride. It is difficult for them trying to fit into a disciplined routine of virtual lessons at home that are being conducted by the schools yet keep fit and in social contact with friends. Media and news have become the main source of connecting with outside world. So also the people have been advised to ‘work from home’w3 while managing house duties and the kids. These are trying times and the whole world has been thrown in a similar boat from top to bottom.  Constant news on Coronavirus and overwhelming amount of information has created havoc or even paranoia in some.

We need to stay calm in this difficult situation and make the best use of the facilities around us. I spoke with Durgesh Soni who works as a Reference Librarian at the State Library of NSW about how best the community can utilize The State Library of NSW resources.

What facilities are remotely available at the State Library of NSW during COVID-19?

The State Library of NSW is committed to providing library services to the community in a variety of ways. While the Library is  temporarily closed and we are unable to access physical collections within the Library,

you may still access Library collections online, along with thousands of free e-books at

You can also access  journals and other databases using your Library Reader’s card

Do you think the Library has anything to offer to our community especially to the Indian sub-continent community?

You can access newspapers from around the world including 168 leading Indian newspapers and magazines in your own language (Telugu, Tamil, Punjabi, Urdu, Hindi) including India Today, movies, and lots of kid’s magazines in English and Hindi through the online database Press Reader.    It provides access to recent back issues of over 5,000 newspapers and magazines from more than 82 countries in 139 languages including Hindustan Times Chandigarh edition, India Today, Cosmopolitan, and Health. These are some of my favorites too.

Can anyone join your Library?

Yes, anyone can join the Library. If you don’t have a Library membership, you can  sign up for free online at

Is the Library able to help HSC Students during COVID-19?

To help you study for the HSC, State Library of NSW offers free online access to Research Guides, previous exam papers and samples from award-winning Personal Interest Projects (or PIPs).

This research guides brings together the essential resources for HSC students, including English, Legal Studies, Modern History, Society and Culture and Extension Science. These resources include the key e-resources and websites, which can help you find the best information and can be used from anywhere and at any time with a Library card.

If they you would like assistance in accessing  any of our online resources, including  free  e-books, newspapers or journals, please submit a request via the  Ask a Librarian  service at  

When will the Library reopen?

We are unsure how long the Library will remain closed. Any new information about the operations of the library will be published on the Library website  and we encourage you to check back for updates at

Durgesh, anything else you would like to add about the facilities available at your Library?

Library staff are available to answer questions and assist with enquiries over the phone by calling (02) 9273 1414, Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm.

If you need any help with your research or finding the right resource, or have a question that you can’t find the answer to, please contact the library or ask a Librarian service at




Short URL: