The State Library of Victoria is an iconic Melbourne landmark and an important community resource. On sunny days, the lawns outside the library are strewn with students and inner-city folk taking a breather from the bustling city streets and catching some rays.
Dominating an entire city block on the corner of Swanston and La Trobe Streets, the library is worth exploring for its heritage architecture alone, which includes tiled floors, grand marble staircases, stained glass and bluestone walls. Free-guided tours are available that take you to the library’s spectacular domed-ceilinged and Redmond Barry Reading Rooms as well as the permanent and temporary exhibitions that are held in one of the library’s three galleries.
Many people visit the library for traditional activities such as work or study, or to read the free newspapers and magazines, however, you can also play traditional and online games, listen to music, watch movies or simply take advantage of the free wireless internet. Regular events also take place at the library including children’s activities, screenings, performances, classes and workshops. There is also an excellent bookshop and a popular café.