The Library is open until 6pm on Australia Day Mon 27 Jan Read more

Home > Interact With Us > Media centre > Victorian Government announces $83.1 million State Library Victoria redevelopment

Victorian Government announces $83.1 million State Library Victoria redevelopment

Artist's impression by durek wittingslow visualisation

Media release

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

Wednesday 29 April 2015

  • State Library Victoria to refurbish historic Queen’s Hall and transform Australia’s oldest public library
  • The Victorian Government has committed $55.4 million over five years to the project
  • The State Library to raise $28 million in philanthropic contributions

In today’s pre-budget announcement and delivering an election promise, Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley announced the Victorian Government will contribute $55.4 million to State Library Victoria’s $83.1 million redevelopment project.

Scheduled to be completed over a five year period, the State Library Victoria redevelopment project will refurbish and renew the historic Queen’s Hall (including a new rooftop garden terrace) and create new centres for digital media, entrepreneurship and an e-Town Hall initiative to connect regional public libraries throughout Victoria.

The redevelopment will also reopen the public entrance to State Library Victoria on Russell Street and create new exhibition spaces, new education and learning facilities for families, children and young people.

The Library Board of Victoria is proposing to secure the additional $28 million required for the redevelopment project, which will be announced once the funds are secured. 

President of the Library Board of Victoria Mr John Wylie said, ”We are very grateful for the Victorian Government’s significant contribution to the redevelopment.”

“We want to ensure the State Library evolves to continue to meet the ever-changing needs of the community now and in the future. This is not just a project for Melbourne – it’s a major transformation that will benefit all of Victoria,” Mr Wylie said.

Since 1856, State Library Victoria has been a place for learning, a place for connection and a place for inspiration for many generations.

Today, State Library Victoria is Australia’s busiest public library, with almost 1.8 million visitors each year and a further 3.3 million people connect online.

This redevelopment project will create inspiring learning opportunities for families and visitors, and support the library to connect with more people across the state and the globe. It will build a better library for today and create a legacy of facilities and programs that can cope with the requirements of tomorrow and beyond.

Acting CEO and State Librarian, Ms Justine Hyde, noted that access to information is a key part of the library’s mission and strategy, “This redevelopment is all about the library’s next phase – it will reach more Victorians to enable them to benefit from the resources, expertise, facilities and digital experiences that the library can provide.”

“The transformation will greatly expand the library’s offering making it useful and inspirational in new ways and to more people,” Ms Hyde said

Key features of the $83.1 million State Library Victoria redevelopment will include:

Project 1: Queen’s Hall

  • Restoring and reconstructing the iconic Victorian heritage Queen’s Hall
  • Developing a new rooftop garden terrace
  • Reintroducing public space for library and reception uses

Project 2: Russell Street entrance

  • Restoring and reopening the dilapidated Russell Street entrance
  • Introducing a major exhibition space
  • Introducing associated ancillary spaces including retail, café and visitor services.

Project 3: Ground floor activation

  • Introducing an innovation centre incorporating a centre for entrepreneurship, centre for digital media and an e-Town hall initiative (pioneering emerging high definition, multi-venue communication technologies and providing portable access to regional centres and libraries).
  • Introducing new spaces for children and young learners
  • A new Treasures of the SLV gallery
  • Reprogramming the Dome Annulus galleries for public collection access and a VIP lounge
  • Adapting the north-west courtyard for cafe use
  • Improving the Foundation members’ facilities

Project 4: Conference facilities

  • Redeveloping and improving theatre and conference facilities to provide a 21st century video

conferencing capability for public lectures and debates with improved connectivity to the library.

Project 5: Staff offices and facilities

  • Relocating and upgrading staff office areas
  • Replanning staff areas to provide areas for new public programs.

Artist’s impressions, still images and videos available upon request