On 4 – 5 September 2013, Albena resort complex hosted the local development forum “The Global Library: a Place for e-Services” – a joint initiative of the Glob@l Libraries – Bulgaria Program, Stilian Chilingirov District Library in Shumen and Lyuben Karavelov District Library in Ruse.
Meeting participants included librarians, secretaries, representatives of municipal administrations, partners. Meeting guests included: Albena Slaneva, Chief Expert, and Stilian Stoyanov, Senior Expert at the Culture, Marketing and Promotion Department; Veneta Gospodinova, Director of the Social Services Complex for Children and Families (SSCCF) in Shumen and Diana Nincheva, Head of the Community Outreach Sector of the SSCCF; Vaska Vasileva, Manager of the Occupational Medicine Service in Shumen; representatives of the Mission Culture Association; Lilia Georgieva, District Governor’s Administration, Ruse; Ivanka Boyanova, Senior Specialist in Education and Culture, Tsenovo Municipality; Maya Mancheva and Alexander Petrov, biblio.bg – Bulgaria’s first e-books platform; Manuela Simeonova, Expert at the Regional Expert Consulting and Information Center in Ruse; Kalinka Trifonova, ruseinfo.net; Stoyanka Hristova, VN Café Library; Rosen Dimitrov, volunteer. The meeting was also attended by Natalia Georgieva and Nikolay Markov from the GLB Program Management Unit (PMU).
At the very opening of the forum, the importance of e-services provided by target libraries to users was highlighted. In her presentation, Natalia Georgieva, PR and Advocacy Manager at the PMU, provided statistical data from the studies conducted under the program. The positive attitudes of local communities toward public libraries, according to the sociological studies, prove that citizens recognize libraries as places for access to information essential for their lives.
The presentations delivered on the first day of the forum brought about many emotions which proved that libraries provide e-services to people – a result of the new equipment, trainings and cooperation with institutions and organizations providing e-services to the public; many librarians participating in the forum identified themselves with the coverage of various social groups in the provision of these services and the related training. E-services and cultural tourism are another challenge that forum participants heard of from their colleagues. E-training is yet another opportunity for libraries to help young people with their education – the presentation on the ucha.se website attracted librarians’ strong interest and they said they would provide information from this source of online information. The presentation on online health related information convinced participants that this is a service that each public library provides in the form of information important to people.
The second forum day started with a presentation delivered by representatives of Bulgaria’s first e-books platform – biblio.bg. Public library e-services are complemented by the use of e-books which will be a financial relief for libraries. The pending launch of the new website libro.bg will enable libraries to introduce and publish independently in the form of e-books everything they are unable, due to financial reasons, to publish as hard-copy versions. This website can be also accessed, with the assistance of librarians, by authors who, again due to financial reasons, have been unable to publish their books on the history of their birthplaces, family trees, etc.
E-readers and the explanations by the two presenters on the use of e-readers – devices having their future in libraries – came as a natural continuation of the previous presentation.
In their feedback, forum participants shared that such meetings are very useful for exchange of experience, interaction with colleagues and familiarization with new services adopted by other colleagues that could be beneficial to users. Forum participants departed with the desire to meet other colleagues and each other again. These meetings and the informal communication supported by the Global Libraries – Bulgaria Program are highly valued by public library workers and the partners who attended this forum.
“Library e-Services: in Support of Local Community Development” – Natalia Georgieva, PR and Advocacy Manager at the PMU
Addresses by partners’ representatives – municipal administration, NGOs, business, etc.
“e-Services in Service of the Roma Community” – Ivilina Ivanova, Hristo Botev 1896 Public Chitalishte, village of Kaspichan, Shumen district
“New Opportunities for e-Service Users in Hristo Botev Public 1898 Chitalishte”, Veska Dimitrova, Secretary, village of Tsenovo, Ruse district
“Library e-Services and Cultural Tourism” – Mariyka Ilieva, Saznanie 1927 Public Chitalishte, village of Veselinovo, Shumen district
“The Library: a Place for Accessing Health Information Online” – Yovka Dimitrova, Hristo Botev 1896 Public Chitalishte, village of Madara, Shumen district
“Using the Global Libraries ICT Equipment with a Local Population of Diverse Age and Ethnicity” – Yulia Zhecheva, Probuda 1928 Public Chitalishte, Kaspichan, Shumen district
Presentation of the www.ucha.se wbsite – Natalia Georgieva, PMU, Darina Vicheva, Shumen District Library
“Information Technology and Promotion of Ruse’s History” – website presentation, Mariana Gancheva, Prosveta 1928 Public Chitalishte, Marten, Ruse district
“Public Libraries: a Home for e-Books. Good Practices and Global Trends” – Maya Mancheva and Alexander Petrov, biblio.bg and libro.bg