Customs House Library

Something for everyone

The Customs House Library is located in the heart of vibrant Circular Quay – the major hub for Sydney’s city workers, visitors and international tourists. Custom House is a dynamic and exciting public space that includes a grand atrium, helix staircase, exhibition spaces, restaurants and bars. 

Customs House is one of Sydney's finest historical buildings, yet it hosts one of the most stylised contemporary libraries in Sydney. It has bold, modern furnishings as well as traditional library spaces, spanning over 3 levels. Features include a beautiful and quiet Grand Reading Room, comfy lounges on the ground floor and the largest range of local and international newspapers and magazines in any Australian public library.

The library is a great place to relax, meet friends, read or research, and it has free internet access via library computers and free wifi. It is open 7 days a week.

31 Alfred Street
Circular Quay NSW 2000

02 9242 8555
TTY: 02 9242 8575

Opening hours

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

Accessibility

Loans, renewals and returns

  • You can borrow as many as 30 items for as long as 3 weeks.
  • You can renew items online (with your library card number) or you can send an email to library@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au.
  • You can also call us or visit the branch.

Community languages

  • Japanese books
  • Korean books
  • Chinese newspapers
  • Fijian newspapers
  • French newspapers
  • German newspapers
  • Italian newspapers
  • Japanese newspapers
  • Korean newspapers
  • Spanish newspapers
  • Chinese magazines
  • Italian magazines
  • Japanese DVDs and CDs
  • Korean DVDs and CDs
  • What’s on
  • How the city cares
    Thursday 21 November 2019
  • Event details

    Does the city care?

    It would be easy to answer this question in the negative. Life in a large city like Sydney is so often measured through values like wealth and growth. From the perspective of our footpaths and windows, urban development seems to be extending rapidly and unstoppably, outwards and upwards. People are counted not as individual citizens, rather by the million.

    But How the city cares considers life in Sydney through artist-led projects that have sought to care about and for its people and places.

    These projects take a variety of forms, including the documentation of protest and of long-term community resistance, creative support for community-run activities and spaces, portable contexts for teaching and learning, design approaches that re-think our relationship to land and water (and who owns it), innovations for reversing environmental and cultural damage and encounters that ask questions to communities and listen to the answers they offer.

    Artists: Rebecca Conroy, Brenda L Croft, Keg de Souza, Bonita Ely, Future Method (Genevieve Murray and Joel Sherwood-Spring), Sarah Goffman, SquatSpace (Diego Bonetto, Keg de Souza, Lucas Ihlein and Mickie Quick) posters from the Tin Sheds Poster Collection, The University of Sydney by Jean Clarkson, Jan Fieldsend, Marie McMahon, Therese Kenyon and Toni Robertson. Curated by Bec Dean.

    This exhibition was commissioned and produced by the City of Sydney for Customs House.

    Customs House Library
    Weekdays, 10am to 7pm
    Weekends, 11am to 4pm

    Monday 16 September 2019 to Sunday 8 March 2020

    Except public holidays

Join the library

Membership is free for NSW residents. Complete the online application form and enjoy borrowing up to 30 items for 3 weeks.