Using the Library

Read about the products and services
of the National Library of South Africa

Ask A Librarian

Librarians can help users find information resources, conduct research, use library tools, and cite sources correctly.

Inter-library Loans

The NLSA offers ILL services to borrow materials not available in local libraries. Individuals must contact their local library to request an ILL item.


South Africa's National Library (NLSA) assigns unique 13-digit ISBNs to books published worldwide. ISBNs identify and track books, and are essential for the book industry.

Our Facilities/Venue Hire

The NLSA offers the Auditorium, Training Room, and Committee Room for hire, all equipped with state-of-the-art technology and audiovisual equipment.

Photocopying & Scanning

The NLSA offers black and white or color photocopying services for library materials and personal documents in A4 or A3 size. Self-service photocopiers are available in the reading rooms.

Reading Rooms

The NLSA has two reading rooms: the General Reading Room, with over one million books and periodicals, and the Abe Bailey Reading Room, with rare and valuable materials.


The NLSA offers reference desk assistance, workshops, and online resources to help users with referencing.

Search the Catalogue

Search the catalogue to find books, pictures, maps, manuscripts and more or search our digital records.

Find us anywhere, anytime

From the Communications Desk