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More people using libraries with book loans up 3% in 2012

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More people using libraries with book loans up 3% in 2012Administrative data provided by the Central Public Library revealed that book loans reached 848,167 last year, up by 3 per cent over 2011.

Trade statistics showed that 14,424 printed books and periodicals were imported during last year. More than two-thirds were imports of printed books, while a further 32 per cent were imports of periodicals. On the other hand, total exports of printed material and periodicals reached 3,936.

Book acquisitions by public libraries reached 37,358, a drop of 10 per cent over the previous year. Book donations continued to be the main source of library acquisitions, with nearly three-fourths of books being donated to public libraries.

Books received at the National Library of Malta under legal deposit increased by a quarter over the previous year – from 483 to 604 in 2012. The number of periodicals also advanced by 8 per cent.

Last year, libraries in Malta and Gozo registered 5,456 new memberships, of which 86 per cent were recorded in Malta. More than half were junior members. The total number of book loans reached 848,167 in 2012, increasing for the second consecutive year, by 3 per cent.

Loans from public libraries were mostly registered in the Southern Harbour District, accounting for 45 per cent of the total. These were followed by loans from libraries from the Northern Harbour District, at 144,147, or 17 per cent of the total.

An overall increase of 12 per cent was reported in private consumption on books, newspapers and periodicals when compared to 2011 levels. National Accounts data indicate a share of 1.15 per cent of total private consumption expenditure being spent on printed material, of which over 55 per cent was spent on books.

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