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State Library Victoria today announced that it will open the doors to its transformed library on 5 December. This will mark the completion of an ambitious $88.1 million redevelopment that will increase public space by 40% and seating by 70%. 

Nearly five years in the making, the Vision 2020 redevelopment responds to the changing needs of the Library’s growing community, providing better access to the world’s best knowledge today and into the future. 

With the generous support of the Victorian Government, six major donors and thousands of public contributions, Australia’s oldest and busiest public library will soon open a suite of new spaces, programs and services, including: 
  • a revitalised Swanston Street entrance, featuring a new foyer and digital technology that keeps visitors up to date with what’s on at the Library 
  • The Ian Potter Queen’s Hall, the Library’s original reading room and one of Melbourne’s most breathtaking heritage spaces, which will act as a reading room by day and an opulent events venue by night
  • Hansen Hall, supported by the Hansen Little Foundation, a vibrant new collaborative space to meet, work and connect
  • The Quad, the ground floor of the Library, connecting all four of its activity courtyards, with the information centre at its heart
  • Conversation Quarter, endowed by the Hansen Little Foundation, a state-of-the-art public forum for lectures, conferences and workshops 
  • Ideas Quarter, home to StartSpace, a new service enabled by the Christine Christian Foundation and a dedicated co-working space for early stage start-ups and small businesses
  • Create Quarter, featuring spaces for group work and school programs, with a calendar of pop-up talks and events
  • Pauline Gandel Children’s Quarter, a purpose-built space for children and families to read, learn and play
  • Victoria Gallery, endowed by the John and Myriam Wylie Foundation, a brand new world-class exhibition space opening 24 October. 
  • Vision 2020 is an $88.1 million project funded by $60.4 million from the Victorian Government, with the remainder raised through philanthropic support.

The Russell Street entrance and accompanying new spaces opened in the first stage of Vision 2020, as well as the La Trobe Reading Room, Dome Galleries, Redmond Barry Reading Room, Cowen Gallery, and the North and South Rotundas all remain open to the public.

Development Victoria is proud to partner with the State Library Victoria and Creative Victoria to manage the redevelopment.  

Updated on 26 May 2023