From 9 to 13 May 2022, the Bulgarian Library and Information Association (BLIA) in partnership with the Global Libraries Foundation – Bulgaria (GLBF) organized the 16th National Library Week advocacy campaign. This year’s campaign was entitled “Investing in libraries, investing in our future!”
The official opening of the campaign took place on May 9, 2022 in the American Corner of the Sofia Library. A special address to the participants was made by Barbara Lison, President of the International Federation of Library Associations, and Institutions (IFLA). The famous writer Zdravka Evtimova talks about the role of libraries in reading and literacy.
The aim of the 16th edition of the Library Week was to draw the attention of the legislature, the executive and local authorities to the crucial role that libraries can play in overcoming the effects of the COVID pandemic and crisis resulting from the war in Ukraine.
As part of the campaign, library representatives held local meetings and presented the possibilities of libraries for government partnership in the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 through access to information, support for universal literacy and protection of cultural heritage. Libraries offer the services needed today by every citizen and every community group. When personal incomes are severely reduced and precarious, libraries in Bulgaria are called upon to bear the economic burden of providing the necessary information and literature to support the educational, cultural, and social development of people, especially those at a disadvantage. Investments in libraries will pay off many times over because they are democratic institutions, accessible and open to all.
In order to continue to be vital centers for information, education, research and repositories for the nation’s memory, librarians across the country appealed to the legislature, executive and local authorities to take the following urgent measures to improve the condition of Bulgarian libraries:
- The library sector needs a new and consistent national policy, embodied in a strategy for its development.
- Libraries to find their place as the main custodians of literary cultural values in the Cultural Heritage Act.
- To create more opportunities for libraries to participate in national and international projects and programs.
- To provide preferential conditions for libraries in the changes of the normative base for copyright and related rights in order to protect the public interest in the use of modern forms of storage and dissemination of information.
At the end of the National Library Week on May 13, 2022, a round table was held on “Libraries – achievements and results, benefits and return on investment”, moderated by Spaska Tarandova, Executive Director of the GLBF.
Representatives of libraries discussed with representatives of the Ministry of Culture and economic experts what measures should be taken to change and improve the funding of public libraries to better serve citizens in the modern information society. Special attention was paid to the projects that libraries are implementing in partnership with the GLBF and the opportunities provided by the BIBLIO project to increase the knowledge and skills of librarians to work in a digital environment.
More information about National Library Week: