SLV shuts doors temporarily amid state of emergency in Victoria
State Library Victoria (SLV) will temporarily close all public spaces and cancel or postpone upcoming events as ‘a preventative measure’ against the current coronavirus pandemic.
The news comes alongside announcements from other Victorian cultural agencies that will also close, including the National Gallery of Victoria and Museums Victoria. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews declared a state of emergency in Victoria this morning, effective from midday 16 March and running for four weeks. The move bans non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people but does not include travelling on public transport. According to ABC News, the main focus of the ban is on ‘sporting events, cultural events or events a club or association might run which were not essential’.
State Library CEO Kate Torney said: ‘While we regret having to close the library, this is the right thing to do in what are extraordinary times. We want to take all precautions to support the health and wellbeing of our colleagues, volunteers, tenants and of course our visitors, as well as the broader community.
‘The library is an important place for many, especially the most vulnerable in our community, and we are working through what services we can continue to provide or enhance for online access.
‘We know this is also a distressing and uncertain time for our staff and we are doing all that we can to support our fantastic team during this difficult time.’
Readings SLV, which is located inside the library, has also announced that it will be closed until further notice.