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Media release

This is an archived media release. Links were correct at the time of publication, but may have changed or expired.

Friday 13 November 2020

State Library Victoria will reopen from Thursday 19 November, in line with the Victorian Government’s latest easing of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

CEO Kate Torney said the Library team is thrilled to welcome visitors back after the longest closure in the building’s 164-year history.

“Since 1856, the Library has existed to foster knowledge, ideas and debate and we are proud to have been able to continue to deliver our services online during the global pandemic. 

“The resilience of all Victorians has been inspiring, and we can’t wait to open the doors to one of Victoria’s most loved and visited buildings once again,” said Ms Torney.

Library spaces and services open from 19 November include the iconic domed La Trobe Reading Room, The Ian Potter Queen’s Hall, the Heritage Collection Reading Room, the Swanston Street Welcome Zone, Hansen Hall, the ground floor information centre, the Pauline Gandel Children’s Quarter, Cowen Gallery, the Friends Lounge, StartSpace and the Ask a Librarian reference desk.

Visitors can also look forward to a summer of outdoor activations on the Library’s forecourt following the Victorian Government’s recent announcement that it will support the reopening of the city’s public cultural institutions with $7.9m in funding.

The Library will ensure that all appropriate health and safety measures are in place for reopening, in line with the directions of the Chief Health Officer.

“We have a strong COVID-safe plan, which puts the wellbeing of our visitors, staff and volunteers at the forefront of everything we do. 

“We’ll be implementing a number of health and physical distancing measures, including limited timed entry via online bookings, as well as collection handling protocols and increased cleaning,” added Ms Torney.

Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson said the reopening of State Library Victoria marks another important step towards COVID normal for Victoria’s creative and cultural sector and community.

“It’s fantastic to see our much-loved cultural institutions start to come back to life and welcome back Victorians in responsible and safe way. I know many people have missed the library and its services and that many more are keen to explore its newly refurbished spaces,” said Minister Pearson.

The Library will open from 10am–1.30pm for morning sessions and 2.30pm–6pm for afternoon sessions. Visitors will be able to pre-book or walk up on the day, subject to availability. Online booking and collection requests will open on 16 November.

As the Library’s spaces come back to life over the coming months, a diverse range of online programs, services and resources will continue to ignite curiosity with audiences across Melbourne, Victoria and beyond. 

For updates on accessing the Library’s spaces, facilities and services, visit the Library website and social media channels.