State Library Victoria has welcomed significant new funding announced last night by Minister for the Creative Industries, Martin Foley.
The Victorian government has increased the Library’s funding by $5 million per year to allow the Library to continue to support the social, creative, educational and economic aspirations of the Victorian community.
Minister Foley also announced the full funding of a second state-of-the-art off-site storage facility in Ballarat as part of Creative Victoria’s $23 million Collection Storage Victoria Project. This is a critical second stage of the Library’s long term storage plan which currently sees over 50% of the collection stored off-site in Ballarat. The new facility will ensure the Library can safely accommodate its ever-expanding collection and continue to make it readily accessible to Library users.
President of the Library Board of Victoria John Wylie said he was delighted with the announcement.
“This is tremendous news for the Library and its users. As we move into a period of expansion, both physically and in our services, this funding will ensure we remain one of the world’s great libraries, a vital and dynamic part of Victoria’s cultural and educational landscape.”
State Library Victoria is Australia’s oldest free public library and the nation’s busiest with nearly 1.8 million visitors a year – more than the British Library and the Library of Congress in Washington.
In 2015 the Victorian government committed $55.4 million towards the Library’s $83.1 million redevelopment, Vision 2020. The five year project combines government and philanthropic funding to refurbish and renew Library spaces, create new digital and entrepreneurship centres and an e-Town Hall initiative to connect regional public libraries throughout Victoria.
The redevelopment will also reopen the public entrance to State Library Victoria on Russell Street, create new exhibition spaces and new education and learning facilities for families, children and young people. It is due to be completed in 2020.
State Library Victoria CEO Kate Torney said the funding announcement is very good news for the Library.
“This is a terrific budget outcome for the Library and most importantly, for the people we serve and we are grateful for ongoing government and philanthropic support for this important cultural institution,” Ms Torney said.