Season’s Greetings! Libraries Tasmania opening hours over the holiday period

It’s almost the end of the year! Please note Libraries Tasmania’s opening hours across the Christmas and New Year period.

Opening hours at Burnie, Devonport, Glenorchy, Hobart, Kingston, Launceston, Rosny, the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, and the State Library and Tasmanian Archives Reading Room:

  • Friday, 23 December 2022 – Normal hours
  • Saturday, 24 December 2022 – Normal hours
  • Sunday, 25 December 2022 – Closed as normal (Christmas Day)
  • Monday, 26 December 2022 – Closed (Boxing Day)
  • Tuesday, 27 December 2022 – Closed (Christmas Day Public Holiday)
  • Wednesday, 28 December 2022 – Restricted hours: Normal opening time – closed by 5:00 pm
  • Thursday, 29 December 2022 – Restricted hours: Normal opening time – closed by 5:00 pm
  • Friday, 30 December 2022 – Restricted hours: Normal opening time – closed by 5:00 pm
  • Saturday, 31 December 2022 – Normal opening and closing time (major libraries only)
  • Sunday, 1 January 2023 – Closed as normal (New Year’s Day)
  • Monday, 2 January 2023 – Closed (New Year’s Day Public Holiday)
  • Tuesday 3 January 2023 – Normal hours

Opening hours at all other locations:

  • These libraries will open until the regular closing time on Saturday, 24 December 2022 (if the library is normally open on a Saturday), and will remain closed until Tuesday, 3 January 2023, when normal hours resume.

Have a wonderful, safe and happy holiday break, from all of us at Libraries Tasmania!

Conservation blog – news from the lab

Earlier this year, Sabine Cotte came to work in the Libraries Tasmania conservation lab on a very special project.

The Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts has a beautiful late nineteenth century English painted leather screen which has been on display in the Bedroom Museum Bay.

A few years ago, we noticed that there was old damage that was possibly getting worse, so we removed the screen from display and planned conservation treatment, using Allport conservation bequest funds.

Sabine Cotte is a painting conservator with extensive experience in France, working for UNESCO on the conservation of Himalayan paintings. She also has a PhD from the University of Melbourne.

Sabine came to Hobart to work on the screen for six days and, in that time, partly dismantled the screen from its wooden frame to access the torn panels and repaired and retouched the damaged areas. (A summary of the treatment follows.)

Painted folding screen before treatment.

Sabine carefully examined the screen, noting the nature of the materials and the condition, which included tight tension of the leather causing tearing, a thick varnish layer adding to a lack of flexibility and corroded tacks holding the leather edging and hinges.

Facing applied to tear before treatment.

The treatment involved facing the tears on the front during treatment to protect the surface, removal of the upholstery tacks, then gentle, partial lifting of the leather from the frame to allow repair.

The tears were humidified and pressed, then small strips of Reemay and Plextol B500 adhesive supported the tear, followed by Bondina and Beva 371 adhesive film to line the tears.

The leather panels were remounted on the frame with new brass upholstery tacks in a way that reduced the tension on the panels.

Removing the protective facing.

Finally, the surface was cleaned with deionised water, the tears were infilled and in-painted followed with a light protective retouching varnish.

The restored screen in the Bedroom Museum Bay.

There will be a second stage to the treatment of the screen where the yellowed varnish will be removed.  For this we will need to send the screen to Melbourne in future.

Do you love to dress up?

Calling all costume enthusiasts and cosplayers!

The Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts is putting together an exhibition called Fancy dress: from tutus to cosplay at Libraries Tasmania next year… and we’d love to include YOUR costume experiences.

If you would like to be considered for inclusion in our exhibition, we invite you to submit a photo of yourself in your most amusing, creative or awkward costume. We welcome current images or classics from the past!

Send your image to AllportCurator@libraries.tas.gov.au – with your name, the year the photo was taken, and title of the costume. Please submit good-quality images suitable for showing on a large digital screen.

The deadline to submit your costume image is 31 January 2023.

Share with a friend who would love a membership

Did you know that membership is free and open to everyone in Tasmania, even if you’re just visiting?

Becoming a member of Libraries Tasmania gives you the option to borrow from any of our 45 libraries around the State and access our huge eLibrary, from your own device.

Soak up the wide range of member benefits – all for free!

Get the most out of your public library membership. Use your library card to borrow and return at any public library in Tasmania. Borrow books, console games, audiobooks, DVDs, magazines and more!

Read eBooks, eAudiobooks, magazines, stream movies and documentaries for free, on your own device, in your own space.

Do you read in a language other than English? Take a look at our bilingual book collections (Europe and Asia).

Keep up to date with the latest magazines, newspapers, and online encyclopedias.

Manage your account and your family’s loans in one place, using the Libraries Tasmania lending app.

Do you know someone who would love a library membership but can’t visit in person?

They may be eligible for our home library service. Speak to our staff for more information.

Sign up today – visit libraries.tas.gov.au/membership to find out how!

Make, learn, and play at the library! Summer school holidays at Libraries Tasmania

Summer has arrived and we can hopefully look forward to long hours of sunshine and fun.

There are plenty of great activities at Libraries Tasmania for your children to enjoy during the break. Libraries Tasmania’s summer school holiday program is free and open to all children at their local library. Find activities at your local library on Eventbrite.

If you’re in southern Tasmania, the Southern Libraries School Holiday program will be available mid-December. Keep an eye on statewide activities for kids on Eventbrite. Please make sure to book, as demand is high.  

Keep the kids curious!

Did you know your children can have their own library membership? Through their membership they will have access to Story Box LibraryeBooks and eAudiobooks as well as great homework resources like the Britannica Library.

Visit your local library and sign them up today.

Wondering how to keep your children reading during the holidays?

All Tasmanian Government school students can now borrow a wide range of eBooks for free through the Sora app.

Students can access eBooks, magazines, and graphic novels using the Sora app on their device. Items are specially selected and age appropriate for students from Prep to Year 12. Library membership is not required.

If you need help getting started, speak to your child’s teacher or school library staff member.

Download the Sora app and visit our website for more information.

Not at a government school?

If your child goes to an independent or catholic school your child can access thousands of items in our eLibrary via the Libby App by using their Libraries Tasmania membership.

Go to eLibrary books and audiobooks to navigate to the Libby App, where you can sign up today.

Not a member yet? Join here.


What’s on at Libraries Tasmania in December

We wish everyone a safe and merry festive season!

Thank you to all members and visitors to our libraries for exploring our programs, exhibitions and events this year. We’ve enjoyed sharing in your joy this year, discovering new ideas, learning new things, and making new connections!

Discover the library at your fingertips

It’s a busy time of year, and sometimes, it’s hard to make it into the library to borrow your next read. Listen, read or watch at your convenience by accessing our large collection of eBooks, eAudiobooks, films, documentaries and magazines, all available through the eLibrary! And don’t forget to tell your friends that if they are a library member, they get to borrow eBooks and eAudiobooks for free.

Do you want help getting set up with the eLibrary? Ask a friendly staff member at your local library.


Staff book review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Set during World War II, through a small-town lens in Germany, even the notion of books being the hero wasn’t enough to entice me beyond the cover. I finally decided to try to listen to this tragic tale merely to see how Death handled the narration. He did not disappoint, with his voice, taking the imagery and tenderness of this book to another level.

Warning! It took me several attempts to get to the sweet spot and I know of many avid readers who didn’t make it. It was the amazing imagery, “Next to the train line, footprints were sunken to their shins. Trees wore blankets of ice“, and characterization, “she occupied with soldierlike posture, a refrigerated voice, and even breath that smelled like “Heil Hitler!“‘ that encouraged me to persevere through the sadness of it all (I used at least one box of tissues) and I’m so glad I did.

– Anita, Libraries Tasmania staff member

Borrow The Book Thief.


Virtual Overdrive book clubs in December

Celebrate Christmas with Ben & Maya on Wednesday 14 December 2022, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm AEDT in the Overdrive Christmas special. Ben Hobson will be interviewing Maya Linnell on her new rural romance ‘Paperbark Hill’; Rebecca Noble, florist and host of podcast ‘Dish the Dirt’; and Kristi Brooks from Mount Gambier Library.

Register on Eventbrite here for Christmas with Ben & Maya.

Register for activities at your local library on Eventbrite:

The Thursday Book Club @ Devonport Library

Kids Book Club @ Burnie Library

Family History Research Help @ Rosny Library

Storytime @ Scottsdale Library

Escape Artists Book Group @ Huonville Library

Digital Skills Help @ Glenorchy Library

LEGO Club @ George Town Library

Daily Online Newspapers Free – Tech Talk and Tea @ Ulverstone Library

Digital Q&A @ Rosny Library

Digital Drop In @ Devonport Library

For more events or to register visit Eventbrite or contact your local library directly. If you need help with finding a class, program or doing research, ask our friendly staff.

Connect with us

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where we keep you up to date with online book clubs, events, exhibitions, and more.

Kilometres of magnetic tape reveal the richness of Tasmania’s history

Over 5 000 collection items in the Tasmanian Archives are being digitised by a small team of archivists and digital services officers at Libraries Tasmania in a large project coordinated by Karin Haveman, Manager for Government Archives and Preservation.

The team, alongside external contractors, are tracking to complete the project well before a 2025 deadline – with the aim of digitally preserving all magnetic media material for future generations, and for most content to be accessible on the Libraries Tasmania catalogue and Libraries Tasmania YouTube channel from 2023.

So why the hurry?

In 2015, the National Film and Sound Archives (NFSA) published a paper (PDF here) outlining three key reasons why magnetic tape produced in the twentieth century is at risk. These are tape degradation, technical obsolescence, and loss of human expertise.   

What are magnetic tape formats?

Magnetic tape is a medium for magnetic recording, made of a thin, magnetisable coating on a long, narrow strip of plastic film. It was developed in Germany in 1928, based on magnetic wire recording. They can include VHS, Betacam, U-matic, PC floppy disks, CDs or audio cassettes.

Libraries Tasmania received funding from the Australia Government to start the Preservation and Digitisation project in 2020 with the aim of digitising the entire magnetic media collection at the Tasmanian Archives by 2025 at the very latest.

Thousands of items are now digitised and will be searchable on the Libraries Tasmania catalogue from 2023 onwards.

The significance of having online access to the Tasmanian Archives film and audio files can’t be underestimated – making these items discoverable online to anyone around the world is essential for the preservation of Tasmanian heritage and history. 

“Apart from the National Archives of Australia (NAA) and the NFSA, Libraries Tasmania is one of the libraries in Australia that has a larger audio-visual collection,” said Karin Haveman.

“Many libraries and archives would donate audio-visual collections to the NAA or the NFSA, a state government or national organisation. Libraries Tasmania is part of the state government, and so our collection is quite large. The Tasmanian Archives has kept all of the audio-visual collection (including original footage of the thylacine and Royal visits to Tasmania).

“The film archives bring a lot of richness to the Tasmanian people on how it was, and how things go … especially a landmark like Cadburys for Tasmania… [there was a film] showing the whole process of how the cocoa comes to us from the plantations in Gold Coast of North Africa, now Ghana, at the time when the exhibition ‘By Mountain and Sea: 100 Years of Cadbury’s at Claremont was showing in the State Library of Tasmania Reading Room. We [also] discovered a beautiful Lake Pedder film taken prior to the flooding that nobody had ever seen before … that footage is just beautiful.”

The digitisation process involved viewing and converting the material to digital format and storing the files in Preservica, a preservation files software application. The team also performed critical conservation work on the physical objects themselves, unpacking the films and audio reels, rehousing and cleaning them, before shelving carefully in the new Geilston Bay Repository housing the Tasmanian Archives.

You can look forward to exploring unseen footage when it is made available in early 2023 through the Libraries Tasmania catalogue, YouTube and other social media platforms. All Tasmanian Archives digitised material will be available to the public by request, with a small amount limited by copyright and other considerations.

Do you have magnetic tapes at home?

Magnetic-based tape in general has a life span of 10 to 20 years but can last much longer if stored in the right conditions.

If you have tapes produced in the twentieth century, consider asking a local vendor to digitise them.

Image credit: photo of Tasmanian Archives – photographer: Miu Lee

What’s on at Libraries Tasmania in November

Do you love the feeling of walking into an art gallery, and being surrounded by colours and textures you’ve never seen up close before?

Take the chance this spring to explore the exciting exhibitions and events happening at the library.

Our latest exhibition, Skying: Cloudscapes in Tasmanian Art opens at the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts on 11 November 2022. Tasmanian artist Tracey Cockburn explores the unique and ephemeral qualities of light and clouds in Tasmanian painting, through contemporary print techniques.

Please note that the Allport will be closed for exhibition preparation on 31 October and 1 November, and again on 7 and 8 November.

Join in as we open our doors for Open House Hobart at the State Library and Archives building. Bookings are essential.

Discover the techniques behind researching the history of buildings at If walls could talk: researching the stories and histories of Tasmanian buildings, now on display at the State Library and Archives building.

Big Library Read for November

The next Big Library Read runs from 2 to 16 November. Library members can read the same book at the same time without any holds or waitlists using the Libby app. The featured title is A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger.

This award-winning title draws on traditional Lipan Apache storytelling structure to weave an unforgettable tale of monsters, magic and family.

Awards include Newbery Award Honor, American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor and National Book Award Longlist.

Good to Know Expo at Hobart Library – making the most of what we have

Are you feeling the pinch with the rising cost of living?

Want to know tips, tricks and services in the community that can help you make the most of what you have?

Join us for the Good to Know Expo at Hobart Library on 24 November from 11 am to 2 pm. Find information about renting and housing, sustainability, healthy eating, positive ageing, community services, getting the most from MyGov, the Aurora Plus app, Service Tas and more. It’s easy, just drop in!

Visit the latest community art exhibition at Rosny Library

From Between the Pages is a community art exhibition showing from Monday 7 to Wednesday 30 November. Artists were invited to submit works inspired by books, stories, storytelling, and poetry.

Register for these events and workshops at your local library on Eventbrite:

And for the kids…

For more events or to register visit Eventbrite or contact your local library directly. If you need help with finding a class, program or doing research, ask our friendly staff.

Connect with us

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where we keep you up to date with online book clubs, events, exhibitions, and more.

Behind the scenes with our conservation team

Our highly skilled team of conservation experts always have fascinating projects on the go.

An acquisition of a group of cased images and miniatures by English-Australian artist, photographer and engraver, Thomas Bock (1790–1855), was recently checked, treated and rehoused by the Libraries Tasmania conservation team and is now housed in the Allport collection.

We thought you may like a peek into the delicate work that keeps these treasures in good condition…

Miniature portrait of Isabella Lewis (nee Mackellar)

This item was loose in its frame, had no protection on the back, and the glass cover was dirty.

Conservator Stephanie McDonald carefully removed the locket from the frame by bending the metal tabs with padded tweezers.

She then cleaned the glass with cloth, fabricated a shaped piece of museum board, and a dust cover from black cotton paper (which was sanded and adhered with an archival EVA and starch paste mix). The additional backing meant that the locket was no longer loose.

Reference: FA1346 Miniature portrait of Isabella Lewis (nee Mackellar) in Japanned frame. Location: https://stors.tas.gov.au/ILS/SD_ILS-1247558

Daguerreotype portrait of David Lewis

This item’s embossed leather case was broken at the hinge, so Stephanie McDonald, our conservator, repaired it with Japanese paper inserted under the leather of the spine and adhered with starch paste. The Japanese paper was retouched with watercolour.

photo of portrait box side on

The daguerreotype glass cover was also cleaned, and the package reassembled.

Reference: FA1347 Daguerreotype portrait of David Lewis in an embossed leather case. Location: https://stors.tas.gov.au/ILS/SD_ILS-1248364 

Collection storage

Finally, to house the entire collection safely, conservation officer Gaynor Tollard made small storage boxes with Ethafoam padding for each cased image, and a larger storage box to keep all the items together.

Every week our conservation team are working with some of Tasmania’s most rare and historic items to make sure they are stored safety for future generations.

Libraries Tasmania opens its doors for Open House Hobart

Are you a fan of late twentieth century architecture?

Have you always wondered about the origins and secrets of the Libraries Tasmania State Library and Archives building in Murray Street, Hobart?

Well, you’re in luck, because Libraries Tasmania is once again participating in the Open House Hobart program on Saturday, 12 November 2022.

Visitors can book a tour of our heritage-listed building (architect: Public Works Department / John F. D. Scarborough and Associates (1960, 1972)) – and can expect truly fascinating insights into this ground-breaking piece of architecture!

The State Library and Archives building was the first major concrete frame building in Hobart, and its façade is the earliest example in Hobart of a Modernist glass ‘curtain wall’.

Sleek mid-century details can be found throughout, while the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts features nationally significant Tasmanian colonial art, books, objects and furniture. Next door, the striking ‘Brutalist Stack’ building houses the Tasmanian Archives and provides access to one of the highest vantage points in the city.

Tours are available at available at 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm. Tours will fill up fast so book now to ensure you don’t miss out!

Tours are 45 minutes long, wheelchair friendly and suitable for children.