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!

Classics Book Club

18 May 2022
City of Melbourne Libraries
City of Melbourne Libraries
A book club for people who want to read or re-read the classics, from...

After the Tampa with Abbas Nazari

19 May 2022
Abbas Nazari

Join us for an evening with Abbas Nazari, author of After the Tampa.

SLAV Extended Investigation Support Network (19 May 2022)

19 May 2022
School Library Association of Victoria

Next Meeting - May 19

Author Talk: Dervla McTiernan - Online and In Person

20 May 2022
Wyndham City Libraries
Dervla McTiernan and Gabriel Bergmoser

Come along and hear bestselling author of The Rúin, Dervla McTiernan discuss...

Queer Book Club

23 May 2022
City of Melbourne Libraries
City of Melbourne Libraries
We read and talk about queer books – broadly defined as those which relate...

Trans and gender diverse writing group

24 May 2022
City of Melbourne Libraries
City of Melbourne Libraries
Join us for an online writing group via Zoom for trans and gender diverse...