During a past year in which we’ve experienced limitations on our movement and time spent outdoors, books have become more important than ever as a means to fend off isolation, forge new interests, and stimulate our minds and creativity. In celebration of this year’s World Book and Copyright Day the National Book Council is donating a number of ebook licenses to Malta Libraries complimenting the launch of their new service for ebooks in the Maltese language. 

Malta Libraries is today launching a new free ebook service which also supports Maltese language publications in ebook format. In support of this initiative the National Book Council is donating nearly € 2,000 worth of Octavo ebook licenses for two months of unlimited e-book licences to Malta Libraries as an extension to their  contract with Octavo. This service can be enjoyed by all Malta Libraries members, especially those who look for Maltese language publications. Besides this new service, Malta Libraries offers users free access to ebooks in English and other foreign languages through the Libby reading app.

Through this new service, Malta Libraries and Octavo are also supporting local authors through the Public Lending Rights remuneration scheme introduced by the National Book Council in 2014 to benefit authors whose books – be they digital or in print form – are available to borrow from the Public Libraries’ Network across Malta and Gozo, and as for January this year also from the University of Malta Library.

To make sure that on this day we share a positive message about Maltese books and reading, we have also teamed up with Lovin Malta on a promotional video reminding us of the critical importance of reading and the wealth of Maltese publications, be they in English or Maltese. You can watch the video featuring Sam Vassallo and Rachelle Deguara on the NBC Facebook page, as they take to the streets of Valletta to interview passersby about their reading habits, discuss their favourite or current reads, and give away a number of Maltese publications. 

This latest video production is part of the National Book Council’s efforts aimed at promoting the work of Maltese authors and encouraging a healthy reading culture and also foster in the young a lifelong love of literature. On World Book and Copyright Day, but also year-round, we should value Maltese books for providing us with an opportunity to know each other better, build better communities and make connections with local writers that help keep research and creative expression alive.

World Book and Copyright Day is organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Pictured from left to right: Simona Cassano (Director – NBC), Audrey Cassar (Managing Director – Octavo), Josè Herrera (Minister for Culture), and Cheryl Falzon (CEO – Malta Libraries)

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