Copyright payments to Maltese authors on book lending from Public Libraries has now been extended to loans from the University Library.
Recently, the National Book Council issued the payments to authors for the lending of their books from Public Libraries during the first three months of this year.
Natalie Portelli, Trevor Zahra, Clare Azzopardi, Lina Brockdorff and Charles Casha are the Maltese authors who mostly benefited from the scheme of Copyrights on Public Lending, that the National Book Council introduced in 2015.
Matthew Borg from NBC stated that payments to authors, illustrators and photographers are issued authomatically, however they have to apply with the Council to benefit from the scheme. There are currently 200 authors.
Payments are also made on lending of digital books.
National Librarian and Malta Libraries chief executive, Cheryl Falzon, said that digital books lending tripled since the pandemic emerged, while printed books lending decreased by 40% from 1.13 million in 2019 to 571,000 last year. Digital books lending increased from 14,000 to over 46,000. Ms Falzon said that requests were received from the public to increase e-books in Maltese and took the opportunity to introduce them through the Octavo platform.
Books in Maltese are the most publications lended by Public Libraries, which are popular among children and adults over 50 years old.
Meanwhile, following an agreement between the National Book Council, publishers and the Education Ministry, Maltese authors will be paid even when their books are used in schools, through an allocation of €100,000 administered by the Maltese Organisation for Reprograpic Rights.