One of Australia’s oldest and most coveted libraries

The Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts Library is a hidden treasure for all those seeking a quiet place to find refuge within the pages of a great book.

Located in the Sydney CBD near Town Hall, the SMSA Library is the perfect place to spend a quiet lunch hour, pay a visit after work, or enjoy a break from shopping in town.

Everyone is welcome to visit our SMSA Library spaces, however, borrowing from the extensive collection and using the in-house facilities is exclusive to our members. Membership to SMSA is affordable and offers so much more than access to our library.

Unlike many other libraries, the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts Library has generous borrowing periods – 8 weeks for most items – and there are no charges for reserving or requesting books.

In addition to our Library, SMSA is home to the Tom Keneally Centre, a living legacy of one of Australia’s greatest authors.

SMSA Library Open Hours:
Monday – Friday | 9am – 5pm
Saturday | 9am – 3pm
Sunday | closed

Tom Keneally Centre
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays | 10.30am – 2.30pm

Tom Keneally Centre SMSA
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Level 2

SMSA Members’ Library

The heart of the SMSA, our Library on level 2 is the longest-running continuous lending library in Australia, operating since 1833. Our collection is unique, with our members calling it the ‘best fiction library in Sydney’. You’ll find books on our shelves that you won’t find in other libraries — and our Mystery and Crime section is of particular pride. Our eBooks, Audiobooks and eMagazines are also very popular.

  • A peaceful place in the heart of the CBD in which to wander, read or connect with friends.
  • Borrow up to ten (10) items per subscription, including two (2) new books, in any combination of books or magazines.
  • Loan period of 8 weeks for books and 2 weeks for new books and magazines.
  • 24/7 access to eBooks and Audiobooks loans of up to 21 days. Read on your computer, smartphone, eReader or tablet.
  • Download eMagazines using your computer, smartphone or  tablet — and keep them for as long as you like.
  • Beamafilm allows members to stream films and documentaries for free to any internet connected device  – PC, smartphone, tablet or even your TV using ChromeCast or Apple TV.
  • Access a range of Sydney, national and international newspapers.
  • Computers, internet, printing facilities and comfortable seating areas are available.


Library | Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts

Level 3

The Tom Keneally Centre

SMSA is proud to be the home of the Tom Keneally Centre. Affectionately known as the TKC, it is Thomas Keneally’s living legacy to Australia, holding books Tom has read and/or used to research his various books. Devoted to Australian literature and history, the TKC regularly hosts literary events such as readings and author talks, and is Tom’s office in the city.

  • Visit the Tom Keneally Centre on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10:30am – 2:30pm.
  • Borrow books from the TKC for up to 4 weeks.
  • Explore the ‘red dot collection’ that has hand-written notes by Tom Keneally explaining its significance to him and why it has a place in his library.
  • The Tom Keneally Centre is available to hire for private events.




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