Libraries

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!

Committee of Management (8 Dec 2021)

8 December 2021
School Library Association of Victoria

Nicole Lee: in conversation with Claire Halliday

9 December 2021
Whitehorse Manningham Libraries
Nicole Lee

Nicole Lee has played a major role in shaping how Victoria responds, and...

Heather Morris: Three Sisters in conversation with Claire Halliday

13 December 2021
Whitehorse Manningham Libraries
Heather Morris

The best-selling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz is back - with an...

Asphyxia discusses Future Girl

17 January 2022
Whitehorse Manningham Libraries
Asphyxia

Asphyxia’s latest work explores what it means to come of age as a Deaf...

Pip Williams in conversation with Toni Jordan

9 February 2022
Whitehorse Manningham Libraries
Pip Williams in conversation with Toni Jordan

In 1901, the word bondmaid was discovered missing from the Oxford English...

How to Read More Books

14 February 2022
Whitehorse Manningham Libraries

Are you in a reading slump?