Volltext: Der Stellenwert des öffentlichen Bibliothekswesens in den Zwergstaaten Europas

Anhang VI - Malta Public Libraries: Facing the challenges and the 
way forward 
Malta Public Libraries : Facing the challenges and the way forward!“ 
Public libraries play an important role in our society. Unfortunately, many Maltese 
people still think that public libraries are simply large stores of books. More effort is 
therefore required to make people understand the public library's functions and objectives - 
one can then appreciate better the benefits that can be harvested in order to fully utilise its 
The public library's main purpose is to foster and strengthen the reading habits of 
people of all age-groups both for informational and recreational purposes. It offers support 
and information assistance to individuals, local enterprises and associations. Additionally, it 
participates in formal and non-formal education and literacy initiatives while promoting both 
its collections and services. 
Public libraries are also community centers were people meet up for a chat, to view or 
read library resources on site, carry out joint assignment projects, or participate in public 
activities. Since last year, the Central Public Library has resumed its children and adult 
activities, which, through other associations were also outreached in a number of area 
These library functions and aims may be successfully met by acknowledging, 
understanding and keeping abreast with the changing needs of individuals and the community 
they form part of. This will give rise to a more dynamic public library which will eventually 
prevail the test of time in this highly competitive and ever changing digital world. 
Identifying Users" Needs 
Users' needs can be identified through various means such as observation, enhanced 
Business Intelligence facilities in library systems, and through regular communication with 
both users and non-users. For instance librarians may carry out formal or informal 
questionnaires and interviews. Moreover, one may also use other communication and 
feedback channels including the thorough exploitation of the major social and professional 
networking sites available on the web to help assess the reading trends locally and abroad. 
Questionnaires should inquire feedback on both the collection and library services. 
Collection inquiries may delve on the current state of the collections, subject areas covered 
and preferred formats. On the other hand, feedback on library services may refer to the state 
of current services, new potential services and improvements one might want the public 
library to offer. Librarians may also ask users about the physical arrangement of the library 
holdings (cataloguing and classification) and the circulation system (access facilities) and the 
overall physical orientation and facilities at the public library. Nevertheless, one must not 
146 Falzon, Cheryl (E-Mail, 07.08.2014). 


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