Library Council guidelines

Last updated:  13 June 2024

The Library Council of NSW issues guidelines for local authorities operating NSW public libraries under section 10(5) of the Library Act 1939.

Library Act 1939

The Library Act provides authority for the Library Council of NSW to promote, provide and maintain library services for the people of NSW through the State Library in cooperation with local (public) libraries. The Act also outlines the services that must be provided by local libraries.



Access to information

This is a guideline to providing free and equitable access to information in NSW public libraries. The guideline addresses issues around collections, library use and the role of public library staff.


Internet policy guidelines

These guidelines are designed to assist NSW public libraries to develop an internet usage policy within their library service. The guidelines address issues around providing public access to the internet in a NSW public library. They do not include operational concerns such as firewalls, connectivity, staff procedures, and access.


Privacy guidelines

These guidelines are intended to provide guidance as to legislative requirements regarding privacy and information in NSW, and how these requirements apply to NSW public libraries. The guidelines cover a range of issues including membership details, circulation records, computer and internet usage, Home Library Service records, CCTV and filming on library premises, digital information and mobile apps, and assisting library members to fill out forms.


Children's policy guidelines

These guidelines provide an overview of legislative provisions that impact the provision of library services to children. The guidelines include recommended clauses that NSW public libraries may wish to consider when implementing their own children’s policy.



Co-location and joint-use libraries

This guideline applies to local authorities in NSW entering into collaborative arrangements for joint-use library services with universities, TAFE, schools, and other organizations. The guideline sets out the principles to be observed for the planning and implementation of joint-use libraries and joint-use arrangements.


Living Learning Libraries

The Library Council of NSW has recommended minimum standards and guidelines for public library services in NSW, to help councils assess the level of service given by their public libraries to their communities.


Other guidelines

The Public Library Services team at the State Library also develops policies and standards to assist in the management and operation of public libraries.

Mobile branch guidelines

These guidelines are based on Living Learning Libraries and contain guidelines about providing public library services and programs via a specially designed and equipped vehicle to those people who cannot reach a fixed or static branch library.


Outreach guidelines

These guidelines are based on Living Learning Libraries and contain information about providing a public library service, event or program outside the library premises.