Video transcript: State Library Victoria reopens

Please note: Images in this article were taken before current COVID-19 safety measures were in place.

Title: State Library Victoria reopens after five year revamp

[Vision: View of the exterior of the State Library and Kate Torney cutting the ribbon to open it to the public]

Georgina Jerums

[Vision: View of the ceiling inside the library and surrounds]

After five years of ambitious renovations at a cost of $88 million, the State Library of Victoria in Swanston Street has been reopened.

Kate Torney - CEO, State Library Victoria

The thing about the State Library it’s never been busier.

[Vision: View inside of the domed ceiling and surrounds]

And so when we embarked on this redevelopment, the problem we were wanting to solve was our popularity.

[Vision: View of people at computers in the library]

It’s a great problem for a cultural institution to have.

[Vision: People walking through library open areas - overhead view of a part of the library - People walking into The Ian Potter Queen’s Hall and Kate and others looking at ceiling and surrounds - People mingling in the library, using computers]

Five years ago literally people would be here sitting on the floor, studying, charging phones, so really this was to rethink about the beautiful heritage building that we have, think about the needs of our visitors now, and to re-imagine the space to suit all of those needs.

[Vision: Georgina Jerums speaking - view of the study hall and stained glass windows and ornate ceiling and people moving through open areas]

Established in 1856 as the People’s University, the neoclassical landmark, home to two million books, is Australia’s oldest public library and the fourth most visited library in the world.

And now, thanks to the revamp, it’s increased seating by 70% and public space by 40%.

[Vision: Kate Torney speaking]

Twenty years ago people were predicting the demise of libraries.

[Vision: View of the Children’s Quarter entry and children playing and reading books]

This library has never been busier.

[Vision: Children creating, people on computers, interior architecture]

Lots of our visitors are under the age of 30, so it’s really lovely to kind of think through, you know, why are people coming to libraries?

[Vision: A group of people listening to staff member talk about the library]

Well they’re coming because this is library for all Victorians.

This is an institution where everyone is welcome.

[Vision: A couple playing chess]

This is an institution that promotes free access to knowledge.

[Vision: Create Quarter signage - people utilising the library facilities and creating]

The think what we’ve done is that we’ve looked at the technology that can help us still provide those services.

[Vision: People using the computers in the library - Conversation Quarter signage]

So it’s a really exciting time to think through what a library should and could be for the 21st century.

[Vision: Georgina Jerums speaking]

Drop in and check out the library’s stunning new spaces, and while you’re at it visit the free exhibition, Velvet Iron and Ashes on here until the 23rd of February, it is stunning, don’t miss it.

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[Victoria State Government / Jobs, Precincts and Regions. Authorised by the Victorian Government, Melbourne]

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