New mobile library drives digital literacy to Melburnians

Workers raise their hands around a bright red van that says 'MEL-VAN' on the side

Our first mobile library ‘Mel-van’ has hit the road, making it even easier for Melburnians to access books and resources, Wi-Fi and digital support. 

The colourful van will visit those who may find it difficult to access our six library branches, including school children, older people and culturally diverse communities – popping up at neighbourhood houses, community centres, parks, and festivals and events.

The Mel-van will be filled with an impressive collection of books, technology, craft supplies and games, handpicked for the communities it visits.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said we want to make it as easy as possible for Melburnians to access our library services, no matter where they live, work or play in our wonderful city.

‘The Mel-van is our new library on wheels, allowing Council to take its services out of its buildings and into our communities,’ the Lord Mayor said.

‘We’ve launched six pop-up libraries across Melbourne in the past year, which have been visited by more than 17,000 people. We can’t wait to build on their popularity as our new Mel-van zips around town.’

The Mel-van features a publicly accessible Wi-Fi hotspot, enabling library staff to connect community members with online resources including our digital library collection.

Staff will also provide digital literacy support to get more people online and boost community connectivity through emails, social media and other online platforms.

Creative Melbourne portfolio lead Councillor Jamal Hakim said libraries are about so much more than just books.

‘Libraries facilitate connections between communities, which is especially important in the city’s inclusive recovery – creating a space where everyone feels welcome,’ Cr Hakim said.

‘The Mel-van will enhance our ability to provide digital literacy services across the municipality – helping people to set up an email account, log into Service Victoria and use social media platforms to connect with family, friends and the wider community.’

The Mel-van is part of our pop-up library series, joining a food-themed library in the Queen Victoria Market precinct, a library for kids at Fed Square, the Express Book Bar for city workers on Little Collins Street, the Lygon Street Biblioteca for enthusiastic writers and the Bourke Street Micro-Lab.

The initiative is part of the $200 million Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund – a joint partnership between the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government.

The Mel-van will have a permanent home in the City of Melbourne and will continue its mission to empower Melburnians with digital literacy, knowledge and resources.

For more information on the Mel-van, visit Pop-up library locations.

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