Construction has started on State Library Victoria’s $88.1 million Vision2020 project.
Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley, and philanthropists Jane Hansen and Paul Little launched the project with a coin-burial ceremony on September 4.
Vision2020 will open 40 per cent more space to the public and donations from the Hansen Little Foundation will help construct the new Hansen Hall and the new high-tech Conversation Quarter to showcase the library’s programs and events with two-way digital broadcast facilities.
Other key features of the redevelopment include refurbishment and reopening of Ian Potter Queen’s Hall, three new reading rooms, a Children’s Quarter, a Create Quarter with maker space and recording studios, an Ideas Quarter for entrepreneurs, a refurbished gallery, opening of the Russell St entrance and transformation of the Trescowthick Information Centre.
State Library Victoria’s CEO, Kate Torney, said Vision2020 would be “enormously beneficial” for CBD residents, workers and students.
“It’s harder and harder to find beautiful spaces that are open and welcoming to everyone, where you don’t have to pay to use them. I think the egalitarian nature of this space is really important,” she said.
“It’s also essential to make sure we recognise the different needs of our users. Some people want quiet spaces, some people want to bring their kids and some just really want solitary areas to concentrate. The redevelopment allows us to do that,” Ms Torney said.
With Vision2020, State Library Victoria will be equipped with more modern technologies that are accessible for all library visitors.
Minister Foley said the project would “take the library to a whole new level”.
“It about really redefining what a library can be in the years and decades ahead,” he said.
“The library’s 161 year history is defined by, at its heart, a vision to see that knowledge is accessible to all. Vision2020 redevelopment is all about holding true to this fundamental mission.”
Construction is expected to completed by 2020 and the library will remain open to the public during the transformation.