Latest statistics published by the National Statistics Office show that data provided by Malta Libraries for 2016 indicate that book loans from public libraries amounted to 844,598 – an increase of 8.6 per cent over the preceding year.
Book acquisitions by public libraries stood at 45,054, increasing by 14.5 per cent when compared to 2015 levels. From these, 390 were eBooks. Acquisitions by means of purchases decreased marginally. This drop was however off set by acquisitions through donations.
In 2016, public libraries registered 5,186 new members, a decreased of 1,065 or 17.0 per cent. This drop was recorded for both adults and junior members of 7.6 and 23.2 per cent respectively.
By far, the largest share of book loans in Malta was made from the Regional library in Birkirkara, and the Central Public Library in Floriana. Other regional libraries, such as that of Ħal Qormi and Mosta, also tend to have a larger share of book loans than the branch libraries. On the other hand, the libraries of Marsaxlokk and Marsaskala in the South-Eastern district and that of Nadur (Gozo) registered the highest number of book loans among the branch libraries.
The number of books and periodicals received at the National Library of Malta under legal deposit last year amounted to 1,025. Just over half of these acquisitions were books.
Both imports and exports of printed book material and periodicals during 2016 went down when compared to the previous year, and reached €16.9 million and €6.3 million respectively. The value of imports declined by 1.6 per cent, while exports fell by 20.0 per cent. This corresponded to a decrease of 0.1 percentage points in the private final consumption expenditure on printed material.