26 September 2023

New chapter for State Library

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Forty per cent more space has been opened to the public as part of a long term transformation of the State Library Victoria (SLV), Australia’s oldest library.

Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley re-opened the SLV’s Swanston Street entrance, part of the Government’s Vision 2020 SLV transformation.

“Visitors can now see magnificent spaces like the restored heritage Ian Potter Queen’s Hall, reopened to the public after 16 years and able to double as an event space as well as a reading room,” Mr Foley said.

“Once known as the ‘people’s university’, the library offers four new covered courtyards for learning, each connected to The Quad, a central information hub and the heart of the ground floor,” he said.

“This once-in-a-generation transformation builds on our library’s 163-year legacy, providing free access to world-class resources, fantastic new spaces and creative technologies.”

Mr Foley said the four new courtyards were: the Conversation Quarter – for lectures, conferences and workshops; the Ideas Quarter – a co-working space; the Create Quarter – where schools and other groups can collaborate; and the Children’s Quarter.

He said the Pauline Gandel Children’s Quarter was designed for children aged five to 12 and featured a castle, reading nooks, and a free program to improve literacy skills and instill a love of reading in young people.

He said the new spaces complemented existing public spaces like the famous domed La Trobe Reading Room.

“The transformed State Library Victoria is now open to all and entry is free,” Mr Foley said.

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