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!

The tattooist of Auschwitz

31 May 2018
Moreland City Libraries - Read More program
Heather Morris, in conversation with Claire...

The incredible story of the Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist and the woman he...

Out of the forest: The true story of a recluse

4 June 2018
Hobsons Bay Libraries
Gregory Smith

For ten years a man calling himself Will Power lived in near-total isolation...

Lovelands with Dr Debra Campbell

4 June 2018
Frankston City Libraries
Dr Debra Campbell

Dr Debra Campbell is an author, psychologist and former university lecturer...

Any Book Book Club: East Melbourne

5 June 2018
Melbourne Library Service
Melbourne Library Service

Like talking about books? So do we!

Any Book Book Club: Southbank

13 June 2018
Melbourne Library Service
Melbourne Library Service

Like talking about books? So do we!

The art of discomfort: the power of words

14 June 2018
Hobsons Bay Libraries
Robin Vysma, Stella Kinsella, Kylie Dunstan, and...

Homegrown Hobsons Bay writers, Robin Vysma, Stella Kinsella, Kylie Dunstan...