New library opens to Bendigo community

Bendigo is now home to a state-of-the-art library that promises to connect the local community to La Trobe University’s world-class teaching and research.

The final building in the $50 million Bendigo Campus Transformation Project, the library incorporates the substantial and historic Sandhurst collection, active learning spaces, a digital learning lab, modern event spaces, and local Indigenous artwork.

The library was officially opened by La Trobe Chancellor The Hon. John Brumby AO and La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar AO, with Member for Bendigo East and Minister for Transport Infrastructure, The Hon. Jacinta Allan, and Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education, The Hon. Andrew Gee in attendance.

Professor Dewar said he anticipated the new cultural heart of La Trobe’s Bendigo campus would become a regular gathering place for staff, students and members of the community.

“This impressive new library will play an important role in nurturing collaboration, research and learning – not only for our staff and students, but also the local community,” Professor Dewar said.

“It will offer the latest in technology and flexible learning spaces – but it will also be a place where people can gather, relax, explore ideas, have a coffee and enjoy artwork and events.

“We encourage the Bendigo community to come to the campus and see it for themselves,” he said.

University Librarian, Ms Fiona Salisbury said, like many libraries around the world, this new building incorporates the concept of libraries as the ‘third space’.

“This library will be a community gathering point – a place for ideas and discussion. It’s a collaborative learning space between the home and workplace,” Ms Salisbury said.

“Ensuring the library is reflective of the community’s needs, as well as being a culturally safe space for our Indigenous students and community, was a vitally important component of the design.”

Bendigo Campus Director Dr Julie Rudner said the new library incorporates impressive digital resources as well a vast collection of physical books, including the historic Sandhurst collection.

“We are grateful to local couple, Dr William and Mrs Carol Holsworth, for their generous contribution to the development of a permanent home for the Sandhurst collection,” Dr Rudner said.

“Thanks to their foresight and generosity, this important collection that provides insight into the literary culture of mid-19th century Bendigo, is now protected.”

Features of the library include:

  • The Sandhurst collection – a unique collection of 2500 works that provide insight into the literary culture of the Bendigo community in the mid-19th century, including novels, periodicals, biographies, histories and memoirs
  • Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) teaching labs, providing an engaging student experience
  • Artwork by local indigenous artist, Kane Nelson, which reflects the journey of learning
  • Active learning spaces designed to inspire learning and self-discovery
  • A 460 square metre events space to support the social and cultural activities of the University and community

La Trobe University library welcomes members of the local community to join and use the library. View information on community membership here or email

Media contact: Kate O'Connor - k.o', 0436 189 629