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State Library Victoria to reopen following lockdown

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Australia’s oldest and most popular public library, State Library Victoria, will reopen its doors today in line with the Victorian Government’s reopening Roadmap.

Weekly sessions for pre-schoolers, Storytime and Playdate at the Library will both resume in person on Mondays and Wednesdays respectively, and the Library will host a Children's Storytelling Workshop with author Ailsa Wild on 4 December – all hosted in the Pauline Gandel Children's Quarter*.

Additional Summer Blockbuster activities will be announced in the coming weeks.

State Library Victoria Acting CEO Sarah Slade said she and the team are thrilled to welcome visitors back after lockdown.

“We’re delighted to be able to open the doors to the Library once again. While we have strengthened our online offering during the pandemic, there’s nothing quite like stepping into the beautiful building that not only provides access to the world’s best knowledge but that also provides a place for the community to come together, to connect and contemplate – right in the heart of Melbourne.”

“We are especially excited to welcome visitors back into the Library’s new and transformed spaces that were only opened in December 2019 – just a few months before the first lockdown.

“We are also thrilled we can deliver a really compelling summer program of activities in person.”

Ms Slade said the pandemic has embedded the Library as a pillar of support and inspiration for the community, even with the doors closed.

“Since the start of the pandemic we’ve had more than 8.5 million website visits and our social content has been viewed more than 54 million times,” Ms Slade said.

“We launched an online Ask a Librarian chat service, and our librarians have assisted with more than 10,000 reference and research enquiries.

“We’ve rolled out more than 400 digital programs and content pieces including creating a virtual tour of The changing face of Victoria and Windows on Collections: Windows on Collections: the Rural & Regional Photography Commission and a very popular video about Ned Kelly’s armour which was placed in a new home in April.

“With the doors now reopening, visitors can once again see these exhibitions in person, while our digital offering will continue to serve those who can’t make it into the city.”

The Library spaces will be open daily from 10am to 6pm, excluding the Russell Street Welcome Zone and Readings bookshop, which will reopen in January 2022. Visitors must enter via Swanston Street.

For updates, visit the Library website and our social channels.


* Pauline Gandel Children's Quarter is a purpose-built space for children and families to read, learn and play, supported by Gandel Foundation, with an associated program of activities.

About State Library Victoria
Established in 1854 as the Melbourne Public Library, State Library Victoria is Australia’s oldest public library and one of the first free libraries in the world. As the custodian of Victoria’s history, each year the library adds more than 70,000 physical and digital items to its rich collection of articles, artworks, photographs, manuscripts, books, journals, artefacts and much more. In 2021, the Library launched a new membership program offering tailored benefits to families, students and culture lovers alongside its flagship free Access membership.