458 books published in Malta
by di-ve.com – email@example.com
Current Affairs — 23 April 2010 — 19:05CEST
The printed book is far from dead – although library membership is definitely declining, according to statistics released on the occasion of World Book Day.
The National Book Council president Gorg Mallia said 458 books were published in Malta in 2009, saying this was amazing given the small size of the population.
The council said that it intends to continue doing all it can to promote reading, noting with pleasure that over 17,000 people visited the national book fair.
“We need to increase the membership of libraries. There is a major effort underway by the Library Department to draw people’s attention to the largest depository of books in the country. Now we need to replace old books with new ones, to increase the number of books, to open a section for popular publications as there are in libraries overseas, and to change the appearance of the reading rooms.
The National Statistics Office revealed that there was a 5.2 per cent increase in the importation of books but a 36.4 per cent decrease in the importation of magazines.
Libraries bought slightly more books in 2009 – a total of 25,529 – but of these, 24,322 were donated or bought by local councils for their branch libraries.
There was a decrease in new membership of public libraries of 4.4 per cent to 5,049. And for the third year running, total books loans declined marginally. However, over the 3 years, loans are down 13.8 per cent.
Senglea saw only 15 new members while Mosta, at the other end of the list, saw 247.
People are, however, spending 12.6 per cent more on books, but 3.3 per cent less on newspapers and magazines.