Libraries and Digital Single Market

On the 25th November The Global Libraries – Bulgarian Foundation held its 6th Annual International Forum on ‘Libraries in the Single Digital Market’. It was an online event due to the Pandemic.

This was a significant event, allowing public libraries is to present their role in modern society and to outline their potential as a center of the local community in the implementation of national and European policies in different spheres of socio-economic life.

The main theme of the forum this year was ‘Libraries in the Single Digital Market’.

The sub-themes to be considered were, copyright changes in an electronic environment, access to e-books in libraries, the creation of electronic resources, the responsibilities of groups for open access to scientific knowledge and cultural heritage, digitalization, and changes in library functions and education.

The forum was opened by Mr. Michail Boyadjiev, Chairman of the Board of the GLBF, Commissioner Mrs. Maria Gabriel and Mrs. Vesela Kondakova, Deputy Minister of Culture greeted participants.

The event was moderated by Mrs. Spaska Tarandova, Executive Director of GLBF.

There were two sessions.

The first session covered the topics for copyright in the digital market and its key role in the IFLA activities, Bulgaria and the digital single market, and activities for creation and access to digital resources for libraries set in the National Plan for restoration and sustainability.

Mrs. Todorova’s (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences) presentation – “Technological changes, information flows, and libraries” showed which influences would have on libraries with the new progressive technologies, artificial intelligence, the creation of a single cloud of information, and the introduction of robotic technology.

Mr. Wyber (Director of Policy and Advocacy, IFLA) in his presentation “Copyright in Digital Single Market and Libraries” outlined how changes in copyright law affect not only the work of libraries but how important it is for their budgeting.

Mrs. Lazarova (Digital Republic, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”) in the presentation “The Digital Single Market: The Bulgarian Interpretation” presented how the conflict between copyright and user’s rights can be controlled by the copyright law and what steps were made so far in Bulgaria according to European directives.

Mrs. Matas from Europeana presented “The Impact of Copyright in the Digital Single Market on the Digital Cultural heritage”. The implementation of common copyright law can create a united database of the cultural heritage of countries, to share and use it without any problem. That will be possible only with national strategy.

Mrs. Doncheva (Sofia University, FF, Department of BNICP (Library Science, Scientific Information and Cultural Policy and President of the Bulgarian Library and Information Association) spoke on “Bulgarian libraries in the National Plan for Restoration and Sustainability, 2021 – Creation and Access to Digital Resources”. This presented recent issues concerning libraries in the last version of the National Plan for restoration and sustainability. Activities were suggested – Analysis and planning, creation of a Bulgarian digital library, specialist training, access and provision of digital services, and their promotion.

After the first section of the forum, there were questions according to difficulties in book digitalization, application of new technologies, digitalization, and enforcement of copyright, especially for e-book lending.

The second session of the forum was focused on knowledge and education according to copyright and its implementation.

Prof. Dr. Eliza Stefanova (Vice-Rector of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski) in her presentation – “Digital education – Open access – Libraries” discussed what libraries could do to take part in the process of developing an open-access storage, a Bulgarian cloud for open science, which was part of the European one. This is a significant issue as there is a lack of knowledge amongst the public of what is available in libraries.

In her presentation – “Public Libraries Acquisition Policies, Open Access, and related Copyright Strategies” Mrs. Zelia Pereira (Director of the Public Library in Evora, Portugal and Member of the Board of EBLIDA) spoke about how libraries would survive in the digital environment and shared experience of BOAI/Budapest Open Access Initiative of open access.

Prof. Todorova’s (, Prof. Tanya Todorova, UniBIT, Head of the Department of Library Management and Archival Science) presentation was on “Digital education – Open access – Libraries”. She pointed that several tasks would need to be performed in order to connect these three units. The process will be long because Bulgaria still didn’t accept European directives.

Mrs. Commile Francoise (Creative Commons) in “Creative Commons – Licenses and Copyright Tools in a New Environment” presented an overview of the licenses they have created and the connection with their application with the copyright.

The last presentation in the forum did much to summarize the topics discussed previously. Prof. Stoyan Denchev and Prof. Dr. Tereza Trencheva, Vice-Rector of the University of Library Science and Information Technology presented results of research on “The current state of literacy in the field of intellectual property in Bulgaria”.

The forum was concluded with summaries and conclusions by:

Mihail Boyadjiev, Chairman of the Management Board who thanked the participants for the interesting topics they raised and who stated that there was a lot of work ahead for everyone However he was convinced that with joint efforts and the exchange of information and ideas they would be able to cope.

Spaska Tarandova, Executive Director Global Libraries – Bulgaria Foundation, also, thanked the contributors and stressed that the foundation would continue to work hard for the development of public libraries and access to e-books at libraries.