Octavo is proud to be collaborating with Malta Libraries to add Maltese-language digital books to their online catalogues for the very first time. Readers from Malta and Gozo will now gain access to hundreds of free books written by Maltese authors, which will be available to borrow and read in digital format from the 23rd of April onwards.
The islands’ network of public and national libraries, collectively known as Malta Libraries, have embraced this opportunity to add Maltese digital books to their online catalogue. This initiative aligns with their ongoing mission to encourage reading for educational and leisure purposes, while contributing to the conservation of Maltese documentary heritage.
Maltese-language books undoubtedly play a pivotal role in safeguarding the island’s national language, which contributes to the strengthening of Maltese culture and identity. As digital reading continues to gain popularity – revolutionising the way books are consumed across generations – this project marks a step in the right direction to ensure that Maltese-language books do not get left behind!
Maltese Books Turn Digital
By converting Maltese books into a digital format known as ‘oBooks’ and sharing them among members of the Malta Libraries community, works of Maltese literature will become more accessible than ever before. Octavo is making this possible through its app that carries Maltese fonts, meaning that oBooks can be created using the Maltese language.
The online catalogue, accessible through the Malta Libraries website, will feature a wide range of genres divided into two overarching categories; those suitable for adults as well as a selection of texts for readers under the age of 18.
What makes oBooks stand out?
Compared to other digital book formats, Octavo’s oBooks enable easier navigation as content is designed to be scrolled-through, similar to a web page, rather than by flipping pages. Moreover, content can be brought to life when converted to an oBook by adding in educational exercises and artistic images during the design stage.
With a wide range of customisable features, Octavo supports readers of different abilities and levels. Through the app, readers can choose the fonts and background colours that they find most comfortable to use from a selection that includes dyslexia-friendly fonts. Users can also look up words through the in-built dictionary function, as well as highlight pieces of text and leave notes within the app as they read.
Moreover, oBooks are available offline after being downloaded so that readers can access them from any location even in the absence of a Wifi connection.
How to access Maltese digital books through your Malta Libraries Card
If you’re already a member of Malta Libraries, you may log-in to your account using your membership details to view and borrow Maltese digital books. Readers will need to open an account on Octavo using the same email address registered on their Malta Libraries account. Upon signing up, users will be able to read their borrowed digital Maltese books, as well as any other books that they have acquired in their digital library.
Remuneration for Authors
Authors are also set to benefit from this collaboration through the Public Lending Rights act, a remuneration scheme introduced by the National Book Council. PLR provides a stream of revenue for authors when their books are borrowed from the Malta Libraries digital platform.
This project is being partially supported by the Covid-19 Relief Fund, issued by the National Book Council, and will last through to June 2022.
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