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!

Angela Bailey: Art, Activism & Archives

29 January 2020
Port Phillip Library service
Angela Bailey

Angela Bailey engages both critically and creatively with material collected...


11 February 2020
Yarra Plenty Regional Library

The Poets@Watsonia are a group who are...

Bedside Reads

11 February 2020
Yarra Plenty Regional Library

Join us for an informal session to discuss what is on your bedside table.

Book group- Hawthorn

12 February 2020
Boroondara Library Service
Boroondara Library Service

Join our new book group to read and discuss interesting and thought-...

Speed Dating with a Library

13 February 2020
Yarra Plenty Regional Library

Ever tried speed dating with a Library?

The Accidental Gambler: Author talk with Dr Cally Berryman

18 February 2020
Boroondara Library Service
Dr. Cally Berryman

Addiction counsellor Dr.