Turning over a New Leaf at the National Library

New Leaf, a non-profit organisation, aims to restore the books at the National Library of Malta, and promote the use of local lending libraries.

"Not all projects involve donations of money," said Monique Chambers, founder and chair of New Leaf.

"We have a shopping list of equipment that is required for specialist restorers, which includes light tables, conservation machines and vacuums, which we need to raise funds for, but mainly we need volunteers to help clean the less damaged books, to convert the National Library's hand written library cards to a database, and to help out with initiatives at the local and central public lending libraries".

The first such initiative for the lending libraries is a series of storytelling sessions in association with the National Book Council at the Central Library in Floriana, for children up to the age of seven. The storytellers, who have all volunteered, will be reading books in Maltese and English on alternate weeks, with these free sessions starting at 4pm. No booking is required.

Storytellling schedule:

April 27 - in Maltese - Pierre J. Mejlak

May 4 - in English - Tony Holder

May 11- in Maltese - Kevin J Drake

May 18 - in English - Suzanne Chambers

May 25 - in Maltese - Catherine Zammit

June 8 - in English - Leslie Skipper

June 15 - in Maltese - Lexie Grech

This initiative is expected to continue after the summer; those interested in becoming storytellers, or would like more information on volunteering for New Leaf's projects in general, should contact Chambers on 99 891722 or via facebook.com/newleafmalta.

Donations can be made to New Leaf by post to Il-Fanal, 37 Main Street, Gharghur.