Client Service Charter

This service charter explains the standards of service our clients can expect from the State Library of Western Australia. It also explains the steps you can take if you feel that our service standards are not met.

Our service standards 

The State Library of Western Australia supports you to find information in a variety of ways through our information and research services. When self-help tools and resources do not guide you to the information you need, support is provided through a range of channels, which may include:

  • Face-to-face in reading rooms.
  • Telephone.
  •  Web-forms and email.
  • Letters.
  • Instant messaging services.

This policy and statement of standards is underpinned by our guidelines and principles.

The policy is designed to help you understand what levels of support to expect from our staff.

What we provide

When you visit the State Library and ask us for assistance, we will advise you on a research strategy, support you to use finding tools effectively and suggest
appropriate resources.

When you phone us or use our messaging service (where available), we are generally able to spend up to 10 minutes advising on the most appropriate information resources to guide you in your search.

When your enquiry cannot be answered in a short time frame, you may be referred to our research enquiry service.

You may also be referred to another information provider if that is most appropriate. 

Research enquiry service

Enquiries that cannot be responded to in a short timeframe and written or email enquiries may be referred to our research enquiry service.

Depending on the nature of the enquiry, this extended service provides:

  • guidance on the most appropriate information resources for you to continue with your own research
  • resources librarians have consulted to respond to your enquiry

You may also be referred to another NSLA library, to your closest public, school or tertiary library, or to another information provider if this is the most appropriate place for you to find the information you need.

Who we provide this service to

This service is provided to:

  • all Western Australian residents;
  • anyone wishing to access information relating to the jurisdiction of this Library; or
  • anyone wishing to access information which is unique to our collections.

What we provide

Up to one hour of research on most enquiries. We may spend more time on enquiries which require researching materials unique to our Library.

Where copies of documents are an outcome of the research, a charge may be levied. We will inform you if this is necessary as part of the response process.

Our response time

Up to seven to ten working days for most enquiries.

For enquiries which require researching materials unique to our Library, we may negotiate a longer response time with you.

What we are not able to provide

  • Lengthy or ongoing research e.g. extended family history or newspaper searches or searches through manuscript collections.
  • Extended research assistance to people interstate or overseas asking for information that is readily available in their own state, territory or country.
  • Answers to lists of questions for quizzes or competitions.
  • Detailed assistance with school assignments.
  • Searches for missing persons.
  • Valuations.
  • Legal and medical advice.

In these instances, we may give you guidance on search strategies and relevant resources to get you started in your research, or refer you to your local library or another information provider.

To ensure everyone is treated fairly/equally, we may reserve the right to limit the number of enquiries per person we can respond to per year.


When responding to enquiries, we make reasonable and diligent efforts within our service guidelines to obtain accurate information from authoritative sources, including online databases. Information is provided in adherence with copyright legislation and, unless specifically stated in writing, there is no attempt at analysis.

How you can help us

The State Library is committed to the continuous improvement of services and facilities, and client feedback is welcomed to inform required changes and improvements. Feedback forms are available in the State Library or you can email, call or write to us. If you leave your name and contact details you will receive a personal response to your feedback within the following agreed timeframes:

  • Electronic response – 3 working days
  • Written response – 10 working days

The State Library regularly conducts a survey to assess client needs and levels of satisfaction. Completing the survey will help us to improve our services and facilities and results of the survey are detailed in our annual reports. One of the ways we encourage our staff to provide excellent service is with an award presented at monthly staff meetings. If you would like to nominate an individual staff member for this award, please write to or email the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Complaints Handling Policy

The State Library’s Complaints Handling Policy outlines how complaints are handled, so you know what to expect if you lodge a complaint.


CEO and State Librarian
State Library of WA
25 Francis Street
Perth WA 6000
Telephone: (08) 9427 3111

Guiding principles

This Client Services Charter is guided by the State Library of Western Australia’s Values as stated in our Strategic Plan 2023-2027:

Our values

State Library staff embrace the following values in the way they work and when planning for delivering services:

We value Western Australia’s unique and diverse stories.
We believe knowledge has the power to transform lives and that information should be freely available to everyone.
We keep the community at the heart of our decisions about collections, programs and services.
We collaborate to benefit the community.
We recognise that Western Australia is a large state with diverse needs.

Further, the State Library’s information and research services are based upon the National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA) guidelines for information and research services. These are also available as a PDF on the NSLA website: Service Guidelines: information and research services at NSLA libraries.

Approved, State Library executive, 7 February 2023. 

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