Our Visitor Centre in Edinburgh offers a range of facilities and services for those who enter the George IV Bridge building.
In this ground-floor area you can:
- Visit our exhibitions.
- Browse and buy books and quality unique gifts and stationery.
- Enjoy refreshments and snacks in our café.
- Browse our online collections.
- Join the Library for entry to our reading rooms and access to a wider range of digital material.
The main public area
In the main public area we have:
- Computers that anyone can use to find online reference material and see material digitised from Library collections.
- An information point, where you can learn more about the Library.
- The bookshop, selling Scottish publications, stationery and gifts.
- The café seating area.
- WiFi access.
Books and other items for sale are on display on shelves in the main public area.
You can also shop online.
Across the main corridor is the café servery which offers:
- Superior quality Fairtrade coffee and fine teas.
- Fresh sandwiches, snacks and homemade cakes.
- Drinks and snacks to take away.
At Readers' Registration visitors can:
- Join the Library for access to the reading rooms and for remote access to our eResources.
- Renew a library card.
- Collect prepaid photocopies of material from the collections.
To speed up your registration, you can start the process by joining online. The 'How to join' guide will take you through the various stages of joining.
Please remember to bring evidence of identity and address when you come to get your library card.
We have two wheelchair-friendly computer workstations where people can join online. Read more about George IV Bridge accessibility and facilities.
Please note that there may be short periods where the main registration desk needs to be closed. However, during these times Visitor Services staff can still help you with accessing the reading rooms.
The Contemplation Space is a room in the visitor centre that is available to use by both members of the library and visitors. It reflects our guiding principles of creating a welcoming environment for all our visitors.
We aimed to make the space as accessible for as wide a range of people as possible. It can be used by, for example:
- People to pray and hold religious or spiritual contemplation or observance;
- People who are distressed;
- People who are experiencing sensory overload;
- People who require a private space to breastfeed.
The space has been set up to be flexible for whoever is using it. It has movable seating and prayer rugs to allow anyone who is using the space to feel welcome.
There are also bathrooms near the Contemplation Space for those who need to wash before praying.
It is fully accessible and can be used during the opening hours of the visitor shop.
It is located on the ground floor, under the main staircase. There are signs to direct you.
By bus: Several buses go via the city centre and stop outside the National Library of Scotland on George IV Bridge and nearby South Bridge and Chambers Street. Visit the Lothian Buses website for further information.
By train: The nearest train station is Edinburgh Waverley and the Library is a 10-15 minute walk away up a steep hill. Plan your journey with Traveline Scotland
By tram: The nearest tram stop is on Princes Street and the Library is a 10-15 minute walk up The Mound, which is a steep hill.
By bike: Edinburgh is a cycle-friendly city. There are many dedicated cycle lanes and many junctions have advance cycle stop lines. Cycle racks are available on George IV Bridge, Victoria Street and Chambers Street to park your bike.
By car: Follow signs to the city centre. Off-street parking is available at nearby at NCP sites.
Park and Ride: Park and Ride options are available by tram and bus. Leave the tram or bus in the city centre on Princes Street and the Library is a 10–15 minute walk away up a steep hill.
If you have a query about our Visitor Centre in Edinburgh, or about collections and services in general, ask a question online.