Two million reasons to love State Library Victoria

26 June 2023

Australia’s busiest public library has hit the record books, with the State Library Victoria welcoming a record-breaking 2,071,251 visitors through the doors in the past 12 months – attracting people of all ages and backgrounds to the city landmark.

With the growing demand for the Library’s services throughout 2022-23, an average of 730 people walked through the doors every hour. In May alone, the Library hit a daily visitor record twice – with two days recording more than 9,000 visits.

A treasured icon in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, the State Library Victoria attracts visitors of all ages and backgrounds, with 79 per cent of visitors under 35 years old, and 51 per cent culturally and linguistically diverse - providing free access to education and inspiration for all.

Established in 1854, State Library Victoria has been a popular destination for Victorians and visitors for 167 years. Whilst being a hub for local students and an essential resource for researchers, the Library is also a popular, free attraction for families and interstate and international visitors.

In a visit to the Library, you can see priceless items from Victoria’s history such as Ned Kelly’s armour and Jerilderie Letter, take part in a storytelling workshop or activities for young people, gain business advice for your startup, view a 4000-year-old clay tablet showing one of the world’s earliest forms of writing and much more.

Visitation numbers will only increase with the State Library Victoria’s school holiday activities, including LEGO Robotics workshops, behind-the-scenes tours of the Library’s secret spaces and an exhibition of more than 140 photographs from the State Collection alongside emerging and established Victorian storytellers.

The record-breaking figures follow the $88.1 million Vision 2020 redevelopment project which was completed in December 2019. The project opened up 40 per cent more space within the Library to the public, boosting its program offering and increasing seating by 70 per cent to accommodate an ever-growing demand for its services.

The redevelopment of one of the world’s oldest public libraries was made possible with a $60.4 million investment from the Victorian Government alongside private and public donations.

State Library Victoria is free to visit and is open 7 days a week. For opening times and to find out what’s on, visit the State Library Victoria website.