In Cospicua, persons who are homebound are being provided with a service to choose and loan books they desire, which are then delivered at their homes. Meanwhile, the Government launched an assistance scheme for local councils to invest in libraries in their locality.
Last year, over a million books were loaned from public libraries. The National Statistics Office said that this represents an increase of 12% when compared with 2017. One in every three persons who made use of library books were adults.
Ms Marisa Pisani, director of strategy and measures implementation for Local Government, said that more efforts were carried out in recent years so that public libraries do not lend only books.
“Libraries are being developed in social hubs for people’s integration; we provide a sense of inclusion once you develop libraries with cultural and recreational events”.
Ms Pisani added that various local councils are investing in more books in different languages to accommodate also foreigners living in Malta. She added that the Cospicua local council took the initiative so that books available at the council are also accessible to homebound persons and are delivered at their homes.
Within this framework, Minister Owen Bonnici and Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Parnis announced the second scheme so that Councils invest in public libraries in their locality. Some 40 libraries benefited from the first scheme following a grant of almost 100,000 euro. The present scheme is part of a five million euro fund allocated to projects and initiatives by local councils during next year.