New Library Hours & Extended Online Support for 2020

UPDATE***** 25/03/2020

Library spaces have closed and services have changed.

To prioritise wellness within the university community, all University Library sites on all campuses are closed from today, 6pm, Wednesday 25 March 2020 until further notice. This includes all 24/7 Library spaces.

For more information on the University Library’s response to COVID-19 and to learn about the library support available to you, please see our COVID-19 Support webpage: https://library.sydney.edu.au/help/covid-19/.

  • The Library will remain open online and continue providing support for research and study. A Chat Now service will be available Monday–Thursday 8am–10pm, and Friday 8am–8pm.
  • Additionally, the Library’s extensive electronic collection of more than 1 million scholarly ejournals and eBooks are available 24/7 from any global location.
  • External library return chutes will remain open at Fisher, SciTech and Health Sciences libraries.

We look forward to seeing and helping you soon online!


Starting Monday 24 February 2020, opening and information desk hours during semester will change in some Library sites.

We will also expand our online support available to staff and students through our live online chat service, Chat Now. From Semester 1, Chat Now will operate from 10am-10pm Monday to Thursday, and 10am-8pm on Fridays.

Chat Now is the Library’s live online chat service which enables clients to ask questions and talk to Library staff in real-time. The extended hours mean clients can access support when they need it most, wherever they might be: in the library, at home or anywhere in the world!

Changes across sites include the following:

Fisher and Law Libraries

Fisher and Law Libraries will remain open to staff and students 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, Library information desks (and equipment kept behind the desk) will close at 8pm, Monday to Friday.

After 8pm, you can chat with Library staff online via Chat Now until 10pm, Monday to Thursday.

To provide more support to students on Sundays, the Fisher Information desk will open from 9am-5pm each Sunday. This means staff and students in Fisher and Law Libraries can get more in-person support Sunday mornings at the Fisher Information desk. However, the Law Information Library desk will be open on Sundays from 1-5pm.

  Monday-Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Fisher & Law Libraries 24/7 24/7 24/7 24/7
Fisher desk 8am-8pm 8am-8pm 9am-5pm 9am-5pm
Law desk 8am-8pm 8am-8pm 9am-5pm 1pm-5pm
ChatNow 10am-10pm 10am-8pm

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Members of the public, Alumni and community borrowers only have access to this space during information desk hours.

SciTech Library

SciTech Library will remain open to staff and students 8am-10pm, Monday to Thursday, with extended hours on Fridays. However, the SciTech Information desk (and equipment kept behind the desk) will close at 8pm, Monday to Friday.

After 8pm, you can chat with Library staff online via Chat Now until 10pm, Monday to Thursday.

  Monday-Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
SciTech Library 8am-10pm 8am-10pm 9am-5pm 1pm-5pm
SciTech desk 8am-8pm 8am-8pm 9am-5pm 1pm-5pm
ChatNow 10am-10pm 10am-8pm

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Members of the public, Alumni and community borrowers only have access to this space during information desk hours.

Nursing Library

Nursing Library will now open at 9am, Monday to Friday.

  Monday-Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Nursing 9am-7pm 9am-5pm
ChatNow 10am-10pm 10am-8pm

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Health Sciences and Conservatorium Libraries

In response to feedback from you, there are no changes to opening or information desk hours at the Health Sciences and Conservatorium Libraries.

  Monday-Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Health Sciences 8am-9pm 8am-6pm 10am-5pm 1pm-5pm
Conservatorium 8am-8pm 8am-6pm 10am-5pm
ChatNow 10am-10pm 10am-8pm

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Chat Now

We will extend Chat Now hours to provide you with live online support when you need it most! You can now chat live with Library staff with any questions you might have from 10am -10pm, Monday to Thursday and 10am-8pm on Fridays.

  Monday-Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
ChatNow 10am-10pm 10am-8pm

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All these changes will be implemented from Monday 24 February 2020.

For more information on Library site and opening ours, visit the locations & opening hours page on our website.

Staff and student questions, suggestions and feedback can be made through the Library’s Suggestion & feedback form

Did you know the Library houses an extremely rare copy of Principia with hand written notes by Newton?

Safely resting in the archives of our Library lives a copy of the text that rewrote the rule book on Earth and space Principia (Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica), recently featured on ABC’s 7.30 report.

Title page of The Principia, 1687. 

First published in 1687, the text is one of the most important books on natural philosophy in which Newton establishes the modern science of dynamics and outlines his three laws of motion.

The University of Sydney copy is one of only four known copies that were sent by Newton and his assistant Roger Cotes to other mathematicians in order to eliminate any errors in a second edition. The other copies are all located in the Northern Hemisphere – two in the University of Cambridge Library and one in the Library of Trinity College.

The report uncovers how the Library came to have this important copy and the significance of the rare text.

Re-watch the story online, read the University’s media release or explore Principia online via our Digital Collections.

Enhance Your Research and Teaching with the Library’s New Text and Data Mining Support Service

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Do you need to analyse large volumes of text in your research? Would you like your class to learn about text and data mining research methods? The Library can assist with our new text and data mining support service.

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Text mining is the process of applying computational methods to large scale text datasets to discover new insights that may not be revealed through reading and analysis at a human scale. This approach can open-up new areas of scholarly enquiry, enhance your research practise or provide your students with new research methods.

The Library is currently trialling a text and data mining support service for Higher Degree Research Students and Academic Staff.

Some of the support services include:

  • Access to online information & subscribed tools
  • Advice on resources for text and data mining
  • Consultation on text and data mining concepts
  • Consultation for forming a search strategy for corpora creation
  • Delivery of lectures and hands on training sessions for undergraduate classes
  • Negotiation for expansion of Library subscribed collections & digitised cultural collections for mining

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See the support available to you, or visit the text and data mining page for more information.

Sydney Rare Book Week: Free events this October!

The Library is excited to announce that this October, together with the State Library of NSW, we will be hosting the inaugural Sydney Rare Book Week: A week-long program of free talks and events to celebrate the importance of everything books: literature, publishing, book production, collecting & more.

Sydney Rare Book Week will be held at venues across Sydney from Sunday, 27 October to Saturday, 2 November 2019. There is something for everyone – talks and lectures, walking tours, exhibitions, hands on workshops, and behind the scenes visits.  The free events held here at the University of Sydney include:

Introduction to hand printing on the Albion Press Workshops

Have you ever used a letterpress? This workshop is an introduction to hand-printing using the University of Sydney Library’s Piscator Press. The course includes an overview of the history of letterpress printing, showing examples from our Rare Books & Special Collections.  Register for your opportunity to try the Piscator Press yourself & create your own print to take home.

Evening lecture: Giorgione in Sydney

Rare Books & Special Collections at the University of Sydney Library holds a first edition copy of Dante’s Divine comedy printed in Venice in 1497. In 2017 a chance discovery by a Librarian of an inscription and sketch in the back of this book has revealed the inscription to be a notice of the death of the elusive Venetian Renaissance artist, Giorgione, and the sketch, of the Madonna and Child, has since been attributed to him. 

Join Jaynie Anderson, Professor Emeritus in Art History at the University of Melbourne, and international expert on Giorgione discussing this remarkable find and its implications for rewriting Venetian art history.

Thursday 31 October 2019, 6:00pm – 7:00pm

Places are limited, please register your attendance online.

Sydney Rare Book Fair

Sydney Rare Book Week will conclude with the Sydney Rare Book Fair at MacLaurin Hall on Friday 1st November 1pm to 7pm & Saturday 2nd November 10am to 4pm.

Hosted by the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB), Australian and international booksellers will display a broad, diverse and interesting selection of books, maps, manuscripts and ephemera, including early printed books, historical accounts of travel, prints, literature, art, militaria, and children’s books.

Whether you already have your own personal library and wish to add to it or would like to know more about book collecting, this is your opportunity to explore the world of rare and antiquarian books with experts in the field.

For the full program of events, and to register your attendance, visit the State Library of NSW Website

#SydneyRareBookWeek

Preserving our Indigenous Australian Languages

Did you know that out of the estimated 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages in Australia, 120 are still spoken and approximately 90% are endangered?

This year in the Library, we’ve started a project to add in additional spelling variations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages into our records.

Now you can more easily search & discover items in our collections that feature Indigenous Australian languages.

For example, whether your preferred spelling is “Kamilaroi”, “Gamilaraay” or Gamilaroi, you’ll now be able to find resources like Gagan = Colours, a picture book written for Gamilaraay language learners by Suellyn Tighe, a Gamilaraay woman and University of Sydney graduate.

“Our languages are inextricably linked to who we are. It encapsulates our identity and  connection to country whilst maintaining links to the past, present and future through our stories and songs” says Suellyn Tighe.

A selection of resources in our collections with AUSTLANG codes. From L to R: Gagan = colours by Suellyn Tighe (Language code: D23), Gamilaraay, Yuwaalaraay, guwaaldanha ngiyani = We are speaking Gamilaraay and Yuwaalaraay / Accompiled by the Walgett Yuwaalaraay and Gamilaraay Language Program. (Language code: D23 and D27), The rainbow by Ros Moriarty (Language code: N153) and Apmwe-kenhe arne = The snake’s tree by by Margaret Heffernan (Language code: C8)

This work is also timely as the United Nations General Assembly have declared 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IY2019). Australian indigenous languages are increasingly recognised as a precious global resource and IY2019 is an opportunity to raise awareness and to provide an opportunity to achieve positive change through improving the promotion and preservation of these languages.  

“The importance of our languages being spoken between generations can not be undervalued or replaced. We are fortunate to live in times when technologies can assist us to ensure that our languages are not forgotten. It does not replace human interaction, though it does provide us with the opportunity and ability to ensure our and future generations have a connection to ancestral belonging and knowledge.” says Suellyn Tighe.

This project is based on AUSTLANG, an online resource developed by Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), which provides comprehensive information on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages spoken across Australia in an effort to preserve our Indigenous Australian languages and what we know about them.

This NAIDOC week, you can learn more about the languages of Australia by looking up your local language using the AUSTLANG website and searching our Library for language resources.

2019 Printer in Residence announced!

Barbara Campbell, 2016


The Library is excited to announce Artist Barbara Campbell as the 2019 Printer in Residence.

With an extensive creative practice spanning printmaking, performance, bookmaking and concept-driven enquiry, Barbara Campbell will take up residency in the Piscator Press workshop during Semester 2.

You can explore her work on her Vimeo page.

Her project ‘A Bird is in the Library’ brings together her passion for print techniques, text, libraries, and birds. It anticipates engagement with library users in an imaginative journey via letterpress and the architecture of the library and its systems.

Stay tuned for more updates coming… Watch for the birds!