A quick introduction to the Defence Library Service (DLS)

By Vicky Osborn November 10, 2021

The Defence Library Service (DLS) (only accessible via DPN) offers a fantastic range of resources which are available to all Defence members. Once upon a time you had to physically visit the library to use the on-site catalogue, now you can access the majority of resources on the open internet from the comfort of your home or while you're out and about. These include:

  • Books - a massive selection of books from across Defence - no matter what your location, books can be posted to your work address or picked up from your local Defence library.
  • E-books and audio books - some e-books are available through the Library catalogue on the Defence Protected Network (DPN). Others are accessible via the internet using personal devices such as iPhones, tablets etc.
  • Electronic journals/databases - great for study or for keeping up with current issues on a particular subject. Access to the full suite of electronic databases is via the library catalogue on the DPN. Selected databases/journals are accessible via the internet.
  • e-Magazines - via Zinio, available on the DPN and on the internet.

How to access these great resources


To borrow/place a hold on a book, or access any of the online databases while at work, enter your details on the DLS website on your DPN (click on 'Catalogue search - Register to borrow').

To access the library catalogue at home go to the library internet site, and select the relevant registration form. Once you have filled in your details, email to askalibrarian [at] You will receive a return email confirming your username and password.

NOTE: if you are viewing the form from an iPad or mobile phone, the field formatting may be altered. If this is the case, open on a PC or send to your work email address.

The Library Internet site is static and should only be used to access the catalogue, request an item or research assistance or set up a Zinio account if you do not have DPN access. You cannot access databases or other electronic resources from this web site.


To access the Digital Media Library (DML) you will need to complete the Overdrive Registration form. Once complete, email to You will receive a return email with a library card number and password. Other e-books such as the EBSCO collection, can be accessed from the Library catalogue.

Click on the image to access the Cove article -
Critical Link: The DLS Digital Media Library published Jan 20 2017

'Cove reading lists' The DLS has been working hard to make many books on the Cove reading lists available through the Defence Digital Library. This is an ongoing process that will be continually updated. Visit the DLS website for the full list of available books (under Cove Reading Lists) or click on the image below (current as of May 17).

Click on the image to access the
Cove reading list (Current as of May 2017)


You can access the full range of journals and databases from your DPN, The current list of databases (including a description of each) can be found on the DLS website under 'Online Resources'.

To access a selection of 18 databases from home, you will need to fill out the Defence Internet Database Registration form and send to askalibrarian [at] You will receive an email with a username, password and link to each database. NOTE: the database login will only work when using the link provided in the email.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

If you haven't considered subscribing to an electronic database, maybe try one of the following. Having this access is a great perk as many articles found on GOOGLE scholar come with a hefty price tag.

EBSCO E-Books - includes a wide range of subjects such as engineering and technology, computer science, political science, history, biographies, health and medicine, sports, travel, adult and children's fiction, study aids and language learning,

ProQuest e-Journal Collection - includes full text titles from around the world including trade and industry journals, conference proceedings and government publications. Subjects include: aeronuatics, armed forces, civil engineering, communications, criminology, foreign policy, homeland security and terrorism, information systems, international relations, military and defence, space flight, telecommunications and war.

Informit - specialises in Australian publications. Includes public affairs, Asian studies, health, engineering, business admin and finance, education, health and medicine, humanities and social sciences, plus the now closed Australasian military history and Australia-SE Asia relations databases


You can access your favourite magazines from the DPN using your Chrome browser or at home using the internet. Follow this simple 'zinio magazines user guide' for step by step instructions. You can also access magazines on your tablet or phone by downloading the 'Zinio for mobiles' app.

Click on the image to access the Defence Library Zinio site.

Was this helpful? If you have any suggestions or feedback, please let us know. The library staff are available to assist you with any questions. Contact your local library or send an email to askalibrarian [at]



Vicky Osborn

Vicky Osborn is an Education Officer posted to Headquarters Forces Command, Directorate of Professional Military Education. Previous postings include the Army Knowledge Centre (ALPC) and Army Logistics Training Centre.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.

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