Today, the State Library of Victoria is ending the decade-long closure of its Russell Street entrance, and opening up a new entrance on La Trobe Street.
Visitors to the library will need to get used to these as the building's main Swanston Street entrance will also be closing temporarily to make way for a series of ground floor renovations.
Accompanying the new entrances will be two new reading rooms, which will be decked out with a range of digital features designed to bring the library into the modern age, and a huge artwork by Melbourne artist Tai Snaith.
There is also some good news for bookworms as the library’s Readings Bookshop will grow 60 per cent larger in the renovations. Almond Milk Co., Melbourne’s largest almond milk manufacturer, will also be opening up a new café called Guild as part of the refurbishment.
Today's unveiling marks the halfway point in an $88.1 million redevelopment project called Vision 2020. These openings are just the latest in the redevelopment with the plans set to include a centre for entrepreneurship called StartSpace, a Conversation Quarter designed to connect visitors to both national and international events in real time, a world-class exhibition space called the Victoria Gallery, and a treehouse-style children’s loft and running track. The marble staircases will also be reopened along with the library’s 1920s murals and a new elevator to the Ian Potter Queen’s hall to improve accessibility.