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Book loans, donations to libraries on the decline

Book loans from public libraries amounted to 767,548 last year, down by 9.5 per cent from 2012.

Staff Reporter
23 June 2014, 11:32am
Book donations declined but accounted for 64.4 per cent of library acquisitions.
Book donations declined but accounted for 64.4 per cent of library acquisitions.
A report issued by the NSO shows that last year, the total number of book acquisitions by public libraries dropped by 27.8 per cent to 26,968 compared to the previous year.

Book donations declined but accounted for 64.4 per cent of library acquisitions. However, set criteria were established whereby only books that were new or in good condition were accepted.

Book purchases also went down due to a restructuring exercise in a number of libraries and the focusing of financial resources on more non-fiction and reference material, which cost more than commercial fiction books.

New memberships in public libraries went down over 2012 levels, to 2,058. Just over 90 per cent of these memberships were recorded in Malta. Moreover, two-thirds were registered as junior members. In 2013, book loans reached 767,548, a decrease of 9.5 per cent over the previous year, in part due to technological developments, such as e-reading.

The Southern Harbour District libraries had the highest share of book loans, with 39.1 per cent of the total. These were followed by loans from public libraries located within the Northern Harbour District, which amounted to 136,818, or 17.8 per cent of the total.

An overall increase of 3.6 per cent was reported in private consumption on books, newspapers and periodicals when compared to 2012 levels.

Moreover, national accounts data indicated a share of slightly over 1 per cent of total private consumption expenditure on printed material, of which almost 60 per cent was spent on books.

Trade Statistics showed that €15.3 million worth of printed books and periodicals were imported last year, an increase of 6.1 per cent over 2012. Nearly 70 per cent of these imports constituted printed book material. On the other hand, the total value of exports of printed material and periodicals increased by 50.7 per cent when compared to 2012 levels, reaching €5.9 million

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