Communities to benefit from forward-thinking libraries

19 June 2013

What will a Victorian public library look like in 2030? How will Victorian community needs have changed?

These questions and others are explored in the Victorian Public Libraries 2030 Strategic Framework, the result of a partnership between the State Library of Victoria and the Public Libraries Victoria Network.

To be launched this morning by Sue Roberts, State Library CEO and State Librarian, the report looks beyond traditional planning cycles, and considers how individual library services and the Victorian public library network can prepare for the future.

The Victorian Public Libraries 2030 project identified how communities would increasingly benefit from the significant role public libraries would play in the future, as a source of communal information and support for engagement in rapidly changing digital technology.

The report identifies five prominent and emerging social trends: creativity, collaboration, brain health, dynamic learning and community connection. These trends provide a direction for libraries’ future strategic planning, ensuring all Victorians receive the appropriate mix of services in their local community.

Two scenarios depicting Victorian lifestyles were developed to explore potential community attitudes, behaviours, wants and needs in 2030. These scenarios resulted in the Creative Library and the Community Library, with both strategic options providing a flexible mix of services, facilities and spaces that can be tailored to local communities and their specific needs.

The Creative Library is an inspiring place located centrally, reflecting its position as the central hub for learning and creativity. Its buildings are large, open, flexible and spacious, accommodating a range of customer needs and activities throughout the day.

The Community Library is a learning village that promotes dynamic and lifelong learning and social connection. It helps people to re-skill, re-learn and re-connect in flexible learning and social spaces that may be collocated with other local services, creating a genuine community hub.
John Murrell, President of Public Libraries Victoria Network explains:

'Whether Victoria’s future has a creative or community focus – or a combination of both – this is a fantastic planning tool for public libraries and their Councils to use as they develop longer-term plans for their communities.

Importantly, both options can be pursued simultaneously and are complementary to public libraries’ traditional content-management and distribution roles. The future of Victorian public libraries is significant and exciting.'

The Victorian Public Libraries 2030 Strategic Framework report will be available from today on the Public Libraries Victoria Network website

Listen and download audio grabs from John Murrell, President of Public Libraries Victoria Network on the release of the report here.


About the project

Victorian Public Libraries 2030 is funded by the Library Board of Victoria with support from the State Government’s Ministerial Advisory Council on Public Libraries and delivered by the State Library of Victoria in collaboration with Public Libraries Victoria Network.

Additional report information

Additional key report information can be found online at or a copy for media can be requested from
Interview opportunities are available and can be arranged with State Library CEO Sue Roberts or Public Libraries Victoria Network President John Murrell.

Media inquiries

Matthew van Hasselt or Georgina Smart
State Library of Victoria, 03 8664 7263,
328 Swanston Street
Melbourne Victoria 3000