The State Library of Victoria is the largest public reference library in the state and one of Melbourne's pre-eminent cultural institutions.
Our vision is for Victorians to have ready access to a comprehensive collection of Victorian documentary material as well as worldwide information resources to enrich their cultural, educational, social and economic lives.
From November 2012 to November 2013 the Library is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its domed La Trobe Reading Room.
Information about exhibitions, events and activities, as well as opportunities for the public to read, and share their own, stories about the dome is available via the Library's Dome Centenary website .
When Sir Redmond Barry established the Melbourne Public Library, as the State Library was known at the time of its foundation in 1854, he conceived of it as 'the people’s university' – a place where the world’s knowledge and information would be freely available to all citizens of the growing colony of Victoria, regardless of their social status or financial resources.
This defining concept has guided the Library through 155 years of our history, re-emerging in different expressions over the years, but remaining fundamentally the same – providing Victorians with ready access to a continually expanding world of knowledge.
The Library was one of the first free public libraries in the world, and now features one of the great collections, built over the years through careful acquisition and generous donations.
Our buildings have multiplied and changed over time, from new additions to the more recent refurbishment of the dome and the Redmond Barry Reading Room, and the integration of new technologies such as wireless access and computer workstations.
The Library's collections include over two million books, hundreds of thousands of pictures, newspapers, maps and manuscripts, and masses of ephemera, audio, video and digital material – all reflecting the culture of Victoria over the past 150 years.
We also have a rich repository of paintings and photos – many by contemporary artists – and an eclectic array of textiles, artifacts and personal items. A strategic digitisation program has resulted in a large collection of digital versions of many rare and fragile collection items.
Our rich collections are a constant work in progress and are guided by our Collection & resources development policy.
The Library is one of seven cultural agencies of the Victorian Government, and is overseen by Arts Victoria, a division of the Department of Premier and Cabinet.
Under the direction of the Library Board of Victoria, the Library's Executive – comprising the Chief Executive Officer and State Librarian and three directors – manages the Library, including its collections, services, programs and responsibilities. The State Library of Victoria Foundation is responsible for fundraising and supporting the work of the Library.
The Library's operations are governed by a range of plans and policies covering subjects including disability access, digital preservation, privacy, volunteers, interlibrary loans and more.
The Library depends on many different partners to extend the range and depth of its activities, from talks and conferences, to research projects, to major exhibitions and publications. Partners are drawn from public libraries, government, the cultural sector and the community.
The Library employs around 300 people across a variety of professions. Employment opportunities are advertised on our full website and in other media. For more information contact email@example.com.