Customs House Library

Customs House Library

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Harbourside heritage

Located in one of Sydney's finest historical landmarks, the Customs House Library spans 3 levels and highlights the building's contemporary and traditional design features. It houses a collection of more than 50,000 items and is open 7 days a week.

To become a member complete an online application or fill in a form when you next visit. It is free to join if you are a NSW resident.

You can download accessibility information for Customs House Library.

Opening hours

  • Monday to Friday, 10am to 7pm
  • Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 4pm
  • Closed on public holidays.

Features

  • Relaxing lounges on the ground and first floors invite you to sit down and absorb the building's unique atmosphere.
  • Beautiful and quiet grand reading room on the second floor.
  • Large selection of local and international newspapers and magazines.
  • Free wireless internet.
  • Public access computers.
  • Scanning, printing and photocopying facilities.
  • Access to many high quality databases.
  • Regular exhibitions and cultural events.
  • Collections in Japanese and Korean.

Loans, returns and renewals

You'll find library catalogue computers on the ground, first and second floors. Loans desks are located on levels 1 and 2. You can borrow up to 30 items for up to 3 weeks.

Returns can be made up until 11.30pm on the ground floor.

Renewals are available online (with your library card number) or you can send an email to library@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au. You can also telephone or drop in to the branch.

Contacts

Customs House Library
31 Alfred Street
Circular Quay NSW 2001
02 9242 8555
TTY: 02 9242 8575 (hearing impaired people)

  • What’s on
  • Can writers prevent disease?
    Thursday 22 June 2017
  • Book now

    The City of Sydney Library joins forces with Inspiring Australia to host a Vivid event as part of the Curious Science series. Join author, Charlotte Wood, playwright, Alana Valentine and Charles Perkins Centre’s Academic Director Professor Stephen Simpson to explore a unique residency and partnership that puts science and fiction on the same page to answer: Can writers prevent disease?

    Psyche, education and cultural norms all feature in the rising burden of chronic disease. Interact with our panel of experts as they explore their collaboration, hurdles and triumphs as well as the future scope for similar alliances.

    Through access to conversation, seminars and research as part of her residency, Charlotte has been able to create characters of uncommon depth. By attending lectures and visiting labs, Alana has expanded the scope of her script about brides and grooms preparing their bodies for their big day.

    Charlotte Wood
    Inaugural Writer in Residence at the Charles Perkins Centre, Charlotte’s writing is innovative and confronting. Having authored 5 novels and 2 non-fiction books, this multi-award winning author tackles themes with disarming candour.

    Alana Valentine
    This acclaimed playwright’s most recent work includes Cold Light, Letters to Lindy and Ladies Day. In 2012 she won the STAGE International Award for best play about science.

    Professor Stephen Simpson AC
    Fellow of the Royal Society of London and of the Australian Academy of Science, winner of the NSW Scientist of the Year and Eureka Prize for Scientific Research, Steve is Academic Director of the Charles Perkins Centre and Executive Director of Obesity Australia.

    Charles Perkins Centre – University of Sydney
    Committed to easing the burden of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and their related conditions – the leading causes of death, disability and reduced quality of life in Australia.

    Bookings essential.

    Customs House Library
    Thursday 22 June 2017 from 6pm to 7.30pm
  • Tech Savvy Seniors @ Customs House Library
    Wednesday 5 July 2017
  • Book now

    This free 6-part series is designed to help older people improve their computer and digital literacy.

    Get technology on your side by keeping connected, accessing vital services and doing business. Join us for the whole series or pick and choose the sessions that best suit your needs.

    Funded by the Telstra Foundation and FACS, get savvy using our library PCs and dive into the digital world.

    Introduction to computers – 5 July 2017
    Introduction to internet part 1 – 19 July 2017
    Introduction to internet part 2 – 26 July 2017
    Introduction to email – 2 August 2017
    Introduction to online shopping and banking – 9 August 2017
    Introduction to social media – 16 August 2017

    Sessions are free, run for 2 hours and cater for 8 people. Bookings are essential as there are loads of keen learners.

    Customs House Library
    Wednesdays, 10am to 12pm

    Wednesday 5 July to Wednesday 9 August 2017

  • Projection mapping workshop: Show and play
    Saturday 29 July 2017
  • Book now

    This workshop builds on the foundations you learnt in the introductory seminar to projection mapping. Under the know-how of leading multimedia artist Cindi Drennan, develop basic skills in projection mapping, including use of different techniques and tools and tips to consider when you create a project.

    The Customs House Library training lab is equipped with everything you need for this workshop including Adobe Creative Suite and Digital. You’ll get to practice with 2D and 3D templates to master design methods, then take your artwork from the screen to a physical space.

    We’ll set up the equipment and tools to reflect a typical workflow configuration used for content creation for projection mapping and explain the techniques and specific formats needed. We’ll also provide a demonstration of software used for rapid prototyping and live projection mapping. Take turns operating the equipment with help from professionals and discover the exciting feeling of illuminating spaces with projection art.

    You might be familiar with projection mapping from Sydney’s annual Vivid Festival. The wow-factor of the Opera House and Customs House projections are a magical demonstration of the power of this art form.

    Cindi Drennan
    Australian multimedia artist, Cindi Drennan, founder and director of illuminart, specialises in projection art. With community art at the heart of her practice, she blends large-scale mapped projection onto buildings with animated audiovisual narratives. Over 25 years she’s lent her creativity to a multitude of multi-disciplinary projects from filmmaking, illustration and animation to community arts and interactive media.

    This 2.5-hour session is best suited for adults with a working knowledge of Photoshop as well as a familiarity with Adobe Premier, Final Cut Pro or After Effects.

    Workshop tickets are $50 per person with a maximum of 8 participants. Bookings are essential.

    Customs House Library is wheelchair friendly with an accessible toilet.

    Customs House Library
    Saturday 29 July 2017 from 1pm to 3.30pm
  • Introduction to projection mapping
    Saturday 29 July 2017
  • Book now

    Guided by leading multimedia artist, Cindi Drennan, this seminar will introduce you to the techniques, tools and tips behind projection mapping. Cast your creativity on a large scale and learn the processes behind producing projected video transformations of architecture. Get to grips with the groundwork needed to make these impactful installations.

    You might be familiar with projection mapping from Sydney’s annual Vivid Festival. The wow-factor of the Opera House and Customs House projections are a magical demonstration of the power of this art form.

    Presented in seminar-style, you’ll be introduced to how projection and digital media is used to transform social spaces. Learn about the technology and skills needed and draw inspiration from examples around the world. Look at how the community currently connects with digital media and examine future opportunities in this space. Find out how different disciplines and arts combine to create successful, exciting projection art and digital placemaking.

    Cindi Drennan
    Australian Multimedia artist, Cindi Drennan, founder and director of illuminart, specialises in projection art. With community art at the heart of her practice, she blends large-scale mapped projection onto buildings with animated audiovisual narratives. Over 25 years she’s lent her creativity to a multitude of multi-disciplinary projects from filmmaking, illustration and animation to community arts and interactive media.

    This 1.5-hour session is best suited to adults familiar with animation and video editing software. Tickets are $20 per person with a maximum of 30 participants. Bookings are essential.

    If your creativity has been kindled by this seminar, sign up for the second session, a hands-on experience of projection mapping tools and templates.

    Customs House Library is wheelchair friendly with an accessible toilet.

    Customs House Library
    Saturday 29 July 2017 from 10.30am to 12pm

Last updated: Tuesday, 18 April 2017