Step into the Dome Reading Room, the most extravagant room in the State Library of Victoria, and you can hear mental cogs turning: people are studying, examining old books and expanding their knowledge on anything from rare birds to architectural history. The library was established in 1856 and is a grand presence on Swanston Street with interior spaces to match. Our favourite room? It's the La Trobe Reading Room. It's a six-storey-high domed room that is magnificent to look at (and study in).
Been to a library lately? If you're not a student, a freelancer or just someone who loves reading in quiet spaces, then it might have been a while. These state-of-the-art and historic libraries are quite a bit different to the places you remember.