Saturday, October 25, 2008
Malta public library ......
A little history .......
The concept of establishing a public library service dates far back to the year 1806.
During the year 1838 the Library was merged with the University and much of its public function identity was lost. But after two years, in 1840 its attachment with the University was ended.
In 1935 the Pubblica Bibliotheca changed its name to the Malta Royal Library. During World War II little progress was noted and the Library Committee rarely met. The library building was slightly damaged during one of the air raids but no books were lost.
After a decade of years since the end of World War II, the library was re-organised and improved in that a new library for children was opened. This had a direct effect on book loans that started to increase. Even book-stock assumed a parallel augmentation.
When Malta became independent in the year 1964 a public library development plan for Malta spread over 4-5 years was adopted. In it was contemplated the establishment of a Public Library Service together with a School Library Service. A new suitable building had to be found for the new Central Public Library. At first the choice fell on a large building in Castille Square, but the idea was abandoned when the building had to serve as shelter for families rendered homeless after heavy rainfalls.
After many proposed choices the new building to house the Central Public Library had to be the ex-CID block at Floriana. In 1974 the Central Public Library started to function from this place, issuing books by means of the Browne system that consisted of three to four pocket cards issued to every member for the purpose of borrowing books.
In 1983 the library officially moved to its present place that consisted of an administrative block and another block that housed the Adult, Junior and Reference libraries. In 1995 another block was built on the left wing to accommodate the IT Support Unit, the Melitensia, Acquisition and Cataloguing sections, the Section for People with Special Needs and the Audio-Visual library. In 1995 the computerisation project was initiated and the lending procedures at the Central Public Library are now fully computerised. A Customer Care Unit was introduced and a recording studio to record material for persons with a visual disability was set up.