Treasured icon becomes one for the record books

Kaylah Joelle Baker

The State Library of Victoria has reached a visitation milestone of more than two million people in the past 12 months, an achievement the library’s CEO Paul Duldig has credited to pre-COVID renovations.

The $88.1 million Vision 2020 redevelopment project was completed in December 2019 and allowed for up to 40 per cent more space to be utilised, with an increased seating of 70 per cent.

To help support the project, the state government invested $60.4 million alongside private and public donations.

“Vision 2020 was designed to make State Library Victoria more accessible, adaptable and innovative. [The fact] That people are flooding in stands as a clear endorsement of what has been a labour of love for our donors and our staff,” State Library Victoria CEO Paul Duldig said.


It is clear from the rush every day at opening time that the Library is at the heart of a fresh enthusiasm for Victoria’s cultural landmarks and continues to play a vital role in enriching the lives of visitors, researchers and students.


State Library Victoria was established in 1854, and since its beginning has only gone from strength to strength, attracting people of all diverse ages and backgrounds to its resources.


State Library Victoria’s 2071251st visitor Jordy, and parents Tanya and Andrew. Photo Sam D’Agostino


“State Library Victoria has been a treasured icon of our city and state for generations,” Minister for Creative Industries Steve Dimopoulos said.

“It was established as ‘the People’s University’ and today it continues to provide free access to knowledge, inspiration and fun for all.”

“These numbers show that our Library is as relevant and vital now as it was 167 years ago, and it’s wonderful seeing the building absolutely pumping with Victorians and visitors of all ages and backgrounds.”

The record-breaking 2,071,251 visitors came following two days in May of more than 9000 visitors: a record in itself for the library.

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