Macquarie University Library

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Macquarie University Library
Macquarie University Old Library
File:Old Library Bookshelves.JPG
Bookshelves in the old library

The Macquarie University Library is the largest academic library in Northern Sydney. The library holds over 1.8 million print and electronic items, including books, journals, newspapers, reports, conference proceedings, working papers, maps, Macquarie postgraduate theses, computer software, multimedia, microfilm, microfiche and additional non-print resources. New items are regularly added to ensure high quality resources are available for learning, teaching and research.

The library provides access to over 600 databases; 500,000 e-books; more than 69,000 electronic journals; books, printed resources and multimedia via MultiSearch.

The New Library

The new Library building was opened on 25 July 2011, and was assigned building number C3C. It provides a 21st-century learning and research environment that facilitates vital interactions between people and knowledge.

The new Library has over 2500 seats for group and individual study and more than 200 PCs for students. The library also provides study seats with desktop power for laptops, Macquarie network access, vending machines and has dedicated Postgraduates and Higher Degree Research study spaces with free lockers for Macquarie University Students.

The native park lands of the campus have inspired an innovative design, which aims to set impressive sustainability standards such as:

  • A green roof with grass and gardens
  • Natural light wells for lower floors
  • External shade fins
  • Zoned lighting
  • Use of recycled material in construction
  • An Automated Storage and Retrieval System

Automated Storage and Retrieval System

Macquarie University Library was the first University in Australia to install an Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) in its Library. The ASRS consists of an environmentally controlled vault with metal bins storing the items. Robotic cranes retrieve an item on request and deliver the item to the service desk for collection. The retrieval process takes just a few minutes and helps increase the use of the print collection by making access more convenient.

This innovative technology was adapted from the automotive industry's application for warehousing and retrieving small components. It allows higher density storage resulting in a significantly smaller footprint and a more affordable project cost. Around 80% of the physical collection is stored in the ASRS and 20% on open access shelves.

Lachlan and Elizabeth Macquarie Room

Another special feature in the Library is the Lachlan and Elizabeth Macquarie Room, which provides a unique historical link between Macquarie University and its namesake, Lachlan Macquarie, the fifth British governor of New South Wales. The Lachlan and Elizabeth Macquarie Room is showcased inside the entrance to the Library.

The Room is of the original ground floor parlour room from Lachlan and Elizabeth Macquarie's home on the Isle of Mull, Scotland. It includes all the original timber panelling, doors, windows, alcoves, shutters, and fireplace dating from the 1820s.


Opened in 1967, Macquarie University's original Library was a classic example of Brutalist architecture. It was built progressively in four stages and fully completed by 1978. There have been eight University Librarians at Macquarie University:

  • David Barry Scott, OBE (1965-1970)
  • Mollie Thomson (1970)
  • Eoin Wilkinson (1971-1987)
  • Barrie Mitcheson (1988-1996)
  • Neil McLean (1996-2001)
  • Penny Carnaby (2002-2003)
  • Maxine Brodie (2003–2012)
  • JoAnne Sparks (2013- )


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