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!

YA Study Space

19 June 2019
Yarra Plenty Regional Library
Whittlesea Library

Come in and study in our quiet area with free WIFI and light refreshments,...

Chinese poetry reading evening with Ouyang Yu

20 June 2019
Boroondara Library Service
Ouyang Yu

Come and listen or share your own original poem in this Chinese poetry...

Megan Blandford at Wodonga Library

21 June 2019
Wild Dingo Press
Megan Blandford

'I'm Fine (and other lies)' is Megan Blandford's story of

Story Lounge: Murder

26 June 2019
Yarra Plenty Regional Library
Whittlesea Library

Enjoy a great Murder Mystery? Have a favourite author?

Charles Kingsford Smith: King of the air - Author talk with Ann Blainey

27 June 2019
Boroondara Library Service
Ann Blainey

Author Ann Blainey talks about her new book on the life of Charles Kingsford...

History of the English language

4 July 2019
Boroondara Library Service

Follow the evolution of the English language from the earliest known roots...