State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street

The first time I visited this building, it was to visit the old Museum. I had the best time there! Later in my life, I would visit it nearly every day, when I worked there for two years at the State Library of Victoria. I had some of the best times there :).

Early in the morning it is pretty quiet, save for the odd bird or two. At lunchtime the crowds from RMIT and workers  and tourists gather for lunch and a visit, and are joined by several more birds and seagulls…

The State Library of Victoria was founded by Redmond Barry as the Melbourne Public Library in 1854 and aimed to be the ‘people’s university’, and was one of the first free public libraries in the world. Today the ethos has expanded to

‘put information into the hands of all Victorians when and where they want it’

In some ways there is still a common element to it as in recent years the front of the State Library has been a rally point for striking library staff, anti-war protesters and the odd cyclists or two.

In previous years the group of buildings on the block were the home to the Museum and the National Gallery of Victoria as well as the State Library. Today it is home to books, ephemera, paintings, prints, photographs, rare books, computers and cables. There is also an excellent coffee shop named after the first librarian called Mr Tulk and a branch of Readings bookshop on site. There are also quite a few very nice library staff and IT  nerds geeks people who work there- *waves hello*.

Oh, by the way happy Library and Information Week everyone!


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