The State Library of Victoria was the first major cultural institution to be established in Melbourne. Since its founding in 1854, it has acquired a large collection of books, manuscripts and other literary and historical material, with a strong focus on items from Melbourne and Victoria. It is the city’s major literary repository and a highly active centre for participation by the public in reading, research and cultural engagement.

The Melbourne Athenaeum Library has been operating since 1839, making it Victoria's oldest subscription library. Open to library members and the general public, it has a reputation for being a charming sanctuary from the hubbub of busy Collins Street outside.

Melbourne has a thriving public library network. The three that service the inner suburbs of the city are the City of Melbourne (branches in Melbourne CBD, Carlton, Docklands, East Melbourne, North Melbourne and Southbank), the City of Port Phillip (branches in Albert Park, Emerald Hill, Middle Park, Port Melbourne and St Kilda) and the City of Yarra (branches in Carlton, Collingwood, Fitzroy, Fitzroy North and Richmond). Further out, Craigieburn library in Hume, Victoria was named public library of the year in 2014 following a cross-continent competition by the Danish Agency for Culture. At these, and others, you will find features such as free Wi-Fi, story times, talks, launches and other events.

Melbourne is also the centre of the Little Free Library movement in Australia. These tiny dollhouse-style libraries are popping up in front yards across the city as people build miniature libraries using recycled materials to offer books free to the public. A geocaching list has even been set up to help locate them. We can help too - there’s a Little Library in the CBD at Melbourne Central!

Author Talk with Sally Hepworth

21 April 2018
Frankston City Libraries
Sally Hepworth

From the bestselling author of The Secrets of Midwives comes a compelling...

Accessing ebooks

26 April 2018 to 23 May 2018
State Library Victoria

Victorian State Library members can access a huge range of nonfiction ebooks...

Charles Dickens: Words and music

26 April 2018
Hobsons Bay Libraries
Charles Dickens and the Newport Strings

This is an evening to celebrate Charles Dickens and his profound connection...

Any Book Book Club: East Melbourne

1 May 2018
Melbourne Library Service
Melbourne Library Service

Like talking about books? So do we!

Read to me: comic book stories performed live

5 May 2018
State Library Victoria
Bernard Caleo and State Library Victoria

Experience comic books in all their audio-visual glory – just as the author...

The art of wellbeing: an evening with Meredith Gaston

9 May 2018
Hobsons Bay Libraries
Meredith Gaston

"When we live as part of nature, our wellbeing naturally blossoms."