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State Library Victoria to reopen for Victorians in need

Media release

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

Monday 01 June 2020

State Library Victoria today announced it will reopen some of its spaces to the public from 15 June, ahead of its official opening on 27 June, in line with the Victorian Government’s move to ease coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions on the advice of the Chief Health Officer.

CEO Kate Torney said she was looking forward to welcoming back visitors to the Library. “The State Library has always played an important role supporting Victorians during trying times, and we are pleased to be able to initially offer our services to those in most need as we begin reopening the Library.

“From 15 June we will open a limited number of spaces for those seeking access to free wifi, technology and information services, before opening the rest of the Library on 27 June,” said Ms Torney.

Library spaces and services to open from 15 June include the Swanston Street Welcome Zone, Hansen Hall, the ground floor information centre, Cowen Gallery and the Ask a Librarian reference desk. From 27 June, along with other cultural institutions such as the National Gallery of Victoria and Museums Victoria, the Library will open a broader suite of spaces. These will include the iconic domed La Trobe Reading Room, the Heritage Collection Reading Room and The Ian Potter Queen’s Hall – the Library’s original reading room, which had only just been unveiled in December 2019, after being closed to the public for 16 years and transformed as part of the Library’s recent redevelopment.

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

“The wellbeing of our visitors, staff and volunteers is paramount. We will be implementing a number of health and physical distancing measures, including limited and timed entry via an online booking system, collection handling protocols and increased cleaning,” added Ms Torney.

The Library will continue to deliver a diverse suite of online programs, as well as free online access to its vast collections, e-resources and services.

“Our online programs, services and resources continue to be critically important, delivering access to the world’s best knowledge for our growing audiences across the state and around the globe.

“We are committed to supporting our online community as we enter this time of recovery, and encourage all Victorians to keep exploring the vast collection and resources we have online,” said Ms Torney.

The Library will continue to follow directions and guidelines set by the Chief Health Officer and Victorian Government. Updates on accessing the Library’s spaces, facilities and services will be published on the Library website, social media channels and via email to subscribers.