Update to library services from 27 Oct: Everything you need to know to plan your visit

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When visiting the library, you will need to scan your library membership card upon entry or provide your contact details if you are not a member.

To allow for safe physical distancing, there is a limitation on the number of visitors for each library and we will monitor visitation numbers closely. If the library is at maximum capacity, you will be asked to wait until a person has left.

Here's everything you need to know about our current library services and your visit to the library.

When are you open?

Bookings are not required for library visits but you will need to scan your library membership card upon entry or provide your contact details if you don't have a membership. Library access is recommended to limit to 2 hrs per person per day.

Lionel Bowen Library, Maroubra:

  • Monday – Friday
    9.30am – 6.00pm
  • Saturday
    9.30am – 4.00pm
  • Sunday
    12.00pm – 4.00pm

Margaret Martin Library, Randwick:

  • Monday – Wednesday
    9.30am – 6.00pm
  • Thursday
    9.30am – 7.00pm
  • Friday
    9.30am – 6.00pm
  • Saturday
    9.30am – 4.00pm
  • Sunday
    12.00pm – 4.00pm

Malabar Community Library:

  • Monday
    9.30am – 7.00pm
  • Tuesday – Friday
    9.30am – 5.00pm
  • Saturday
    9.30am – 12.00pm
  • Sunday: Closed

Are there any restrictions on visitor numbers?

At this time, our branches accommodate maximum visitor numbers of:

  • Lionel Bowen Library 150 people
  • Margaret Martin Library 100 people
  • Malabar Library 15 people

This is the maximum we can accommodate and still maintain safe physical distancing. If the library is at maximum capacity you will be asked to wait until a person has left.

Patrons are required to present either their library card, the barcode on the myLibrary app, or their contact details upon entry.

Recommend to limit library access to 2 hours per person per day.

What services are available?

We will be reinstating the following services:

  • Loan and returns service:
    • Patrons are able to return current loans, collect reserved items, browse shelves and check out items using the self-checkers.
    • Patrons are required to bring their library card or have their barcode/card number loaded in the myLibrary app on their device for self-service check-out of loan items.
  • Use of public PCs:
    • PCs can be booked for 30 minute slots.
    • Renewal of PC access is possible up to a maximum of 2 hours if the PC is not booked by another patron.
    • All PCs will be spaced, with reduced numbers available at Lionel Bowen and Malabar Libraries to ensure social distancing.
    • Sanitizing wipes will be provided to wipe down keyboards, mouse and desk before and after use.
  • Printing, scanning, photocopying services:
    • Available for self-service only.
  • Study rooms:
    • Study room numbers will be reduced to 2 people in the smaller rooms at Margaret Martin and Lionel Bowen Libraries, and 3 in the larger study room at Lionel Bowen Library.
    • Please book your study room in advance.
  • Study tables and sitting opportunities:
    • Reduced numbers of chairs around the tables and single lounge chairs spaced around the library.

What services are unavailable?

Newspapers will not be available at this stage. There is no access to venue hire; lockers; disc-go mobile phone chargers. There is no Justice of the Peace service available.

Can I come in at any time during the opening hours?

Yes, as long as the maximum number of patrons has not been reached you will be able to come in at any time. If the library is at maximum capacity you will need to wait until a person has left. There are screens with current occupancy numbers at the entrance of each of the branches.

Library access is limited to 2 hours per person per day, if you plan to spend some time at the library you will be issued with ticket displaying the time you need to leave the library.

Can I return items?

All items on loan during our closure period were given a due date of 30 June, so you have until then to return your loans to us. There won’t be any fees for overdue items.

All our branches have after-hours book return chutes which have been open throughout our closure period and will continue to remain open 24/7 for your book returns.

Toys can also be returned to our branches.

Where can I find a Justice of the Peace (JPs)?

Please visit the NSW Government website for the Justice of the Peace ( You can search the Public Register to find your nearest JP or a JP who speaks a particular language.

Is the cafe at ground level at Lionel Bowen Library, Maroubra open?

Yes, the Morning Espresso cafe is open for takeaway food and beverages and is complying with the onsite limit as per NSW Health orders.

Is Learning Links on level 3 at Lionel Bowen Library open?

Learning Links Maroubra has reopened for face-to-face services on Wednesday 10 June. Call 1300 003 900 or visit their website for details.

Is the children’s area of the Library open?

The Children’s area at each branch is open for borrowing, however, there is no seating or in-house toys/games for play. We ask parents to supervise children and ensure that social distancing is observed within our libraries for the safety of the community.

You may continue to access free activities and learning resources via our website.

Is the Toy Library open?

Yes, however, large ride-on toys are not available for loan during this time. Toy Library toys and games are not for play within our libraries - please borrow and enjoy at home!

What about my Toy Library membership?

Current Toy Library memberships have been extended by three months to compensate for the period of closure.

When will the exhibition space reopen?

The library exhibition space at Lionel Bowen Library is now open..

What safety and hygiene measures are in place?

The health and safety of our staff, patrons and visitors is always our top priority and we are fully complying with the NSW Health guidelines to protect everyone who comes through our doors.

  • Hand hygiene facilities are available at each entrance to the Library and in key locations.
  • Library visitors need to maintain 1.5 metres distance from each other, as per the NSW Health guidelines for libraries.
  • Physical distancing measures are implemented, with queuing systems in place and signage clearly displayed.
  • All returned items are quarantined for at least 24hrs before they are processed and available to be borrowed again.
  • We recommend that you limit your library visit to 30 mins

We ask for your understanding and support in our implementation of these safety measures.

Can I make payments at the payment kiosk?

Yes, the payment kiosk is open for self-service payments such as the annual Toy Library fee.

Can I book a venue for a meeting?

Our venues will remain closed for the time being. We will open venue hire spaces when we are confident it is safe to do so.

How can I get in touch with you?

You can reach us by phone (02) 9093 6400 and email during opening hours.

Further updates about the operations of the Library will be published here and on our social media channels.

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