Friday, 8 July 2011

Malta to have National Librarian

Malta will soon have a national librarian who will be responsible for ensuring that priceless books, documents and manuscripts are collected and maintained for posterity.

Malta's Education Minister Dolores Cristina recently said a call for applications would soon be issued for the post of national librarian following the publication of the long awaited Malta Libraries Act. She added that she was currently working on the appointments to the Libraries’ Council that will work to promote libraries and facilitate collaboration between different stakeholders. The council, which will serve for three years, will be made up of a chairman, national archivist, the head of the university’s archives studies, director of local council departments and another three members.

The law also sets up Malta Libraries as a legal entity that can enter into contracts, acquire books and manage resources. It also creates the roles of national librarian, to head Malta Libraries, and deputy librarians for the National Library and public libraries.

The Lions Club Sliema has embarked on a National Library Book Restoration Project in collaboration with Heritage Malta.The salvage operation started with the €9,000 restoration of three books from the Hortus Romanus, an eight volume collection of valuable botanical engravings published between 1772 and 1793. After sponsoring the restoration of about 50 rare books, the Lions Club yesterday unveiled its most recent contribution when it donated a restoration machine to the National Library.

The restoration of one manuscript’s page, that once took restorers an entire afternoon, can now be completed in five minutes by using a new machine. The €7,000 leaf-casting machine was donated by Lions Club Sliema to the National Library’s restoration unit that is dedicated to reviving the thousands of tattered pages in the library.

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