Parliamentary Secretary Julia Farrugia Portelli has undertaken a bit of a personal mission with the aim of bettering the lives of her constituents in the 5th district – or, more accurately, their children.
She’s unveiled the first of six open libraries set to open around the towns of the district. Julia is funding the libraries at a personal cost – but there’s a pretty clear reason for that.
“I wanted to give something small back to the community I represent, an open library in all the towns of the 5th district with the aim that we plant the seed of love of books in our children,” she said when unveiling the libraries.
“There was one summer that remains special to me. I was nearly 5-years-old. I remember waiting for my father on the doorstep of our home, overflowing with excitement because he had gone to the Library in Valletta and was bringing back three books for me. I still remember what they were about. It was the beginning of a special time. I discovered a world just for me between the pages, and stories kept myself company for a whole summer,” she said.
The open libraries work on a trust basis
They will be open 24/7, in public gardens, meaning it’s up to the Maltese youth to take care of it and utilise it.
“This small library will be open to every boy and girl and you are invited to take a book and leave another. It’s important that it is treated carefully and with respect,” she said.
All kids need to do is go up to the library, open it up, and borrow the most interesting book they can find. But they should also leave a book if they can for the next reader who comes along.
Since unveiling it, she’s already received great feedback. Other councils have applauded her initiative, indicating that more councils may follow suit. MEDE were also impressed, and have pledged to donate 100 books to the open libraries.
Following the successful launch, Julia Farrugia Portelli plans on opening more of these libraries around the district in the coming days. She also thanked the Qrendi Local Council and mayor David Schembri for their continued support of this initiative.