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State Library of Victoria

Home > Melbourne > Books and Writing | Family | Free | Libraries | Rainy Day
by Gypsy Rose (subscribe)
I am a travel writer and photographer with a passion for the great outdoors and food! I love travelling and discovering hidden gems... experience the journey on Instragram! @gypsy_compass
Published June 4th 2014
Read, explore, play, relax are just the many things to do
The State Library is far more than your ordinary library, and it is certainly more than just books on shelves.

With an abundance of things to do here, it is certainly going to be a day filled with more than knowledge.

If gaming is more your thing, you can get your brain thinking over pawns at a game of chess or try to beatt the high score with many game consoles at the library or maybe you want to be more 'hands on' with workshop projects with your friends and family.

You can discover the many galleries, watch a film, listen to music or just simply browse through the newspapers and magazines... it is endless on the amount of activities one library can offer.

There are events and exhibitions happening all the time too and of course if history is more of your thing you can browse the whole building inside out and see the heritage architecture... it is worth the investigation, every room is filled with history from the Victorian quirks and curlicues to the grand marble staircases and panes of stand glass...

View of the outside of the State Library of Victoria...


So take a stroll around the library and be sure to find that something that will keep you entertained all at the same time gaining wisdom and knowledge.

For a little history in 1853 Joseph Reed won a competition to design the Library, which was called the Melbourne Public Library and when the Library first opened, only men and women aged over 14 with respectable appearance and clean hands could come in, obviously today the entry policy has changed but the stunning architecture is still the same from the heritage wooden entrance doors and the beautiful marble flooring still remained largely the same.

The Keith Murdoch Gallery to the right of the main Library was originally an art museum, these days it displays exhibitions as well as touring shows from other cultural institutions.

One of the many sculptures around the Library...


Redmond Barry Reading Room originally housed the Industrial and Technological Museum, now it is home to the Library's general nonfiction collection and the room is bordered by several special collection rooms and the Journals & Magazines Reading Room.

While the La Trobe Reading Room is best-known and the most impressive architectural feature of the Library - the great reading room and its dome. It was built in 1913; the enormous reinforced-concrete structure was the largest in the world.

This octagonal building is six stories high and can house 32,000 books and 320 readers at its desks, this spectacular domed La Trobe Reading Room is also a must see.

From the lawn at the front of the library, the modern bluestone sculpture or the statue of St George and the Dragon all the way to the dome in the La Trobe Reading Room, The State Library is one library you want to visit for many reasons.

Close up the amazing pillars...


Getting to The State Library can be easily accessed by bus, train, tram, car, taxi or bike.

The nearest bus stops are located in Lonsdale, Russell and Exhibition Streets. Melbourne Central Train Station is directly opposite the Library's entrance, the trams stop on Swanston and La Trobe Streets or nearby stops include the corners of Elizabeth and La Trobe Streets.

Taxi ranks are located on Elizabeth St outside Melbourne Central and carparks close to the Library include Melbourne Central and QV.
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Why? To read, play games, explore, relax and many more activities to keep you entertained!
When: All year round - Monday - Thursday 10am- 9pm & Friday-Sunday 10am-6pm (closed on Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day & New Year's Day)
Phone: (03) 8664 7000
Where: State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston St, Melbourne
Cost: Free
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