News & Media

State Library transformation secured, to help our kids learn

The 2015-16 State Budget will provide $55.4 million to transform the State Library of Victoria, bringing it to the doorstep of primary and secondary students across our state and their families.

Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley, made the announcement today while visiting the library, which attracts almost 1.8 million people in person each year and a further 3.3 million online.

Under Labor, the State Library will provide special-needs training to teachers and help our kids learn no matter where they live.

The project will provide E Town Hall, allowing the library to stream programs, meetings and events to local libraries across regional Victoria and suburban Melbourne and from international sites, making the most of its immense resources.

Staged over five years, the project will throw open the library’s doors like never before, with 40 per cent more of the iconic building free for families, students, researchers and visitors of all ages to explore.

Queens Hall will be restored – including the creation of a rooftop garden terrace – as part of the project, reopening it to the public for the first time in more than 12 years.

The project will also reopen the library’s Russell Street entrance, create a dedicated children’s and youth space, improve conference facilities and create a centre for digital media focused on new and emerging technologies.

An innovation centre will also be established, providing small, medium and start-up businesses with hot desks and spaces to collaborate, as well as offering tailored programming focused on building entrepreneurship.

The total project will cost $83.1 million, with the library working to secure significant philanthropic support. Detailed planning will now begin, with redevelopment works scheduled to begin in 2016.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley

‘We’re making Victoria the Education State, and the State Library will be a centre-piece.’

‘The library will be transformed, bringing its massive resources to our regions, helping teachers, educating kids and opening its doors to families more than ever before.’

‘This project is one of the keys to enriching our creative industries and building the knowledge-economy future of our State.’

Quotes attributable to President of the Library Board of Victoria, John Wylie

‘We are grateful for the Victorian Government’s significant contribution to the redevelopment. We want a building that fulfils its capabilities and are keen to make sure that the library is reinvented and well configured for a modern community.’

‘This is not just a project for Melbourne – it’s a major transformation that will benefit all of Victoria.’