In the past few years, the Global Libraries Bulgaria Foundation has initiated a number of initiatives, presenting good examples of the new role of libraries as strategic partners of local authorities in shaping and achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The regional Library “P. K. Yavorov” in Burgas, Bulgaria, is one of the leaders in environmental protection activities and educational initiatives in the GLBF network. In 2017 the regional library in Burgas won the EIFL award for library innovation in environmental protection. This year it was short-listed as a runner-up in the 7th IFLA Green Library Award 2022 in the Category “Best Green Library”.
Founded in 1888, the Regional Library in Burgas has changed its location many times. Since 2021, the library has new home – a beautiful newly built library. With its unique design, the library can hardly go unnoticed. Its total area amounts to 3941 square meters and has four floors: one underground and three aboveground floors, all of which are accessible to visitors. In compliance with the current trends for a modern, sustainable and functional interior, the building contains natural greenery in the interior and at the entrance of the library visitors are welcomed by an impressive and beautiful accent – a green wall from the series of natural vertical gardens MOSS wild.
Education for sustainable development is a process that must accompany the whole human life, from early childhood, through primary, secondary and higher education, including adult education. In education for sustainable development, the issues of equality, solidarity and interdependence between different generations, the relationship between humans and nature and their responsibilities to themselves, to human society and to the environment, are central.
The protection, restoration and sustainable use of ecosystems, biodiversity, the world’s oceans, forests and mountains are the basis of the open lessons in the Library. Through educational games the Interactive Magic Floor leads to knowledge, focused on sustainable development of biodiversity and ecosystems. In addition, the objects are larger, and the dynamics of the games – reduced. As a result, games are more accessible and are an effective tool for the treatment of children with special needs. The main goal of the implemented innovation is the open access to knowledge through libraries in support of sustainable development, the development of research and ecological thinking, creating habits among children and students through interactive learning of educational disciplines, which achieves sustainability in society and its developmentin their attitude towards social development and preservation of the environment.
The Interactive Sandbox that is installed in the Children’s Department allows children to have fun while learning. The main goal is to create ecological thinking and habits among children and students by learning about the nature and geographical features of the planet Earth. It is increasing the understanding of the interconnections in different ecosystems and the role of man in these processes.
The introduced innovative technologies have contributed to the improvement of the social life of the visitors, increased the interest in sustainable knowledge, skills and competencies. The STEM innovations includes 3D lessons from 1st to 12th grade – Mozabook Classroom; for students and teachers from higher education institutions / universities / opportunities are given to work for free with zSpace studio and personal zSpace laptops, containing augmented reality lessons, as: human anatomy and physiology, dissection, as well as for specialists in landscape architecture, astronautics and others.; and for the youngest visitors there is the Interactive floor Magic Carpet Funtronic and the Sandbox, focused on the study of physical geography and history. Proof of this is the high attendance in 2021 and the increased number of newly enrolled readers who are daily visitors to the library until midnight.