Malta: Donations to public libraries surge by two-fifths

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Public libraries received over 33,700 book donations in 2019, an increase of 39.7 percent from the year before. Combined with the purchase of printed and electronic books, libraries acquired a total of 47,754 new publications, a 31 percent boost from 2018.

Data by the Nationals Statistics Office shows that there were 1,045,869 book loans from public libraries in 2019, increasing by 2.3 percent over a year period. E-books represent 1.3 percent the total loaned publications, indicating a gradual rise from 2018 (0.8%) and 2017 (0.5%). Acquisition of new e-books, however, decreased by 2.4 percent between 2018 and 2019.

Malta Libraries registered just over 6,071 new members in 2019, a 3.1 percent decline from the year before. Two-thirds of the new applications were for Junior and Intermediate Memberships that cater for people below the age of 18.

The largest number of book loans by region was recorded in the Southern Harbour area, with almost 270,000 books borrowed from public libraries. The biggest year-on-year increase, however, was registered in the South Eastern region, jumping by 14 percent to over 201,000 loans. In fact, the Qrendi library reported the highest rise of 80 percent in borrowings between 2018 and 2019.

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