The Central Public Library has been gracing Floriana since 1973, but a proposal has now been launched to regenerate it into a much more beautiful spot.
Architectural firm AP Valletta and the National Book Council have teamed up to design their vision of the library – an area with parking spaces replaced by green parks and pedestrian access.
It will also include a garden on the library’s roof and a new entrance to the building from the roof area, with the logic being that this beautification could attract more people to the area, and therefore to the library.
Meanwhile, the Council and the firm have proposed extending the library’s opening hours till late at night; as it stands, it closes its doors in the early afternoon, prohibiting several people from visiting after work.
The new open spaces will also be able to host public events, seminars, and informal events, gravitating around culture, literature, education and leisure activities, attracting more people to the library in the process.
“Our office has always been fascinated by the relationship between the natural world and the work of man, between landscaping and architecture,” Konrad Buhagiar, executive director of AP Valletta, explained.
“Many of our projects exploit the beautiful marriage between the two worlds.”
Meanwhile, AP Valletta’s executive director David Felice quoted Cicero as saying that “if you have a garden in a library, then nothing is missing”.
National Book Council chairman Mark Camilleri said public libraries are an essential part of the book industry and an important national asset.
“We should make sure that public libraries are accessible, attractive and welcoming to the public,” he said.
“The current state of affairs leaves much to be desired, and with our plan, we hope to regenerate the Central Public Library and increase its use at an exponential rate. We have to look to the future with concrete plans which are effective. Being complacent is not an option.”
Do you agree with this proposal?