The Gozo Cathedral Public Library has been in function for the last twenty seven years. It was founded in the 70s when at that time, the then Archdeacon of the Gozo Cathedral, Mgr. Paul Cauchi (1896 – 1980) donated all his books to the Gozo Cathedral for the beginning of this library. This fact is sustained by the inscriptions found on several of the said books.
On the insistence of Rev Fr Anthony Mercieca, a priest, who at that time was doing pastoral work in Miami, USA, the then the Archpriest of the Gozo Cathedral parish, Mgr Carmelo Sciculna, collected other books from several parishioners and added them to the books donated by Mgr.Cauchi. This library started to build up gradually with the acquisition of about three thousand books per year.
Needless to say, the most reverend chapter of Gozo cathedral approved this initiative and gave its wholehearted blessing to this worthy cause. Another factor that affected this decision was the resolution by the Gozo Pastoral Congress held in 1975 that stated: “In every parish a library must be established, furnished with interesting books and other publications with which youths can enhance their culture”.
From 1979 to this day the Cathedral Library went through several phases leading to its present situation. The library was growing day by day, and on 7th August 1987, Bishop Nicholas Cauchi inaugurated a larger hall from where the library continued operating up to 1999. During the previous year, on the initiative of the actual archpriest Mgr Dr Joe Vella Gauci, the Gozo Cathedral Parish forked out the sum of about Lm70,000 and bought new premises at Qasam San Gorg, Victoria. The Honourable speaker of the Maltese parliament Dr. Anton Tabone inaugurated the new premises which were blessed by the Vicar General Mgr. John Bosco Gauci who is also the archdeacon of the Gozo Cathedral Chapter.
The main benefactors of the library is Father Anthony Mercieca of Florida USA. For 23 years he sent many thousands of books on all subjects under the sun. A fair estimate would be that Fr Tony has donated about 75% of all the 120,000 books that the library presently possesses. During these 27 years the main librarian working full time in the library was Mr Anton Farrugia assisted by a staff of ten helpers.
All personel work at this library on voluntary basis. In 1996, as an appreciation for the sterling work, done by the librarian and his staff, the medal “Gieh il- parocca tal-Katidral” was presented to the librarian as an honour to all the staff.
Many educational courses have been organized by the library during these past twenty three years. The number of student enrolments, especially university students, public holidays, and Holydays of obligation. During the Saint Mary Festivities, the library remains closed for five days in succession. In order to benefit from the many services offered by the library, one has to be enrolled as a member. There is a membership fee of LM2 annually.
The librarian appreciates donations of books and financial help for the continual upgrading of the library. Those who would like to volunteer to help either with the running of the library, or in some other way can contact the librarian on one of these telephone numbers: (+356) 21554101, (+356) 21560479, (+356) 21556087 Fax : (+356) 21564572, (+356) 21558823