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“Projects: a Tool for Mobilizing Additional Library Funding” Regional Thematic Meeting in Ruse, 18 September 2012

Meeting participants

On 18 September 2012, the city of Ruse hosted the regional thematic meeting on the topic “Projects: a Tool for Mobilizing Additional Library Finding”, a joint initiative of the Glob@l Libraries – Bulgaria Program and Lyuben Karavelov District Library in Ruse. The meeting took place at Riga Hotel in Ruse.

 

Meeting participants included 60 librarians, chitalishte secretaries, a municipal administration representative, and partners. Event guests included Irena Petrova, Director of Humanitarian Activities Directorate of Ruse Municipality; Emilia Petkova, Manager of Europe Direct Information Center in Ruse; Diana Grigorova from the Regional Information Center in Ruse; and Petya Lyubomirova, Director of the Employment Office Directorate in Ruse. The GLB Program Management Unit was represented by Nikolay Markov, Regional Manager for Ruse District.

 

The Director of the District Library in Ruse Teodora Evtimova opened the meeting. In her address to participants, she highlighted the important role of projects for implementing library ideas and the paramount role the Glob@l Libraries – Bulgaria Program played for the revival of libraries in Ruse district and across the whole country. Wishing interesting and successful work to participants, she also shared her confidence in the usefulness of such meetings and hope that the GLB Program will be sustainable beyond 2013. Ms. Evtimova expressed her satisfaction with the fact that the city of Ruse was selected as Bulgaria’s most actively reading city for 2012, Hristo Botev Secondary School in Ruse – as the most actively reading school, and Daniel Georgiev from Ruse – the most actively reading child.

 

Irena Petrova, Director of Humanitarian Activities Directorate of Ruse Municipality, welcomed district meeting participants on behalf of Ruse Municipality. She underscored the importance of the topic and the responsibility in project based work as a tool for mobilizing additional library and chitalishte funding.

 

The meeting started with a presentation by the Employment Office Directorate in Ruse. Director Petya Lyubomirova presented information about the programs of the Employment Agency in which chitalishte institutions can take part by generating new jobs for people of any age.

 
The meeting continued with the presentation of Emilia Petkova, Manager of Europe Direct Information Center in Ruse, who talked about the activities of the Europe Direct Center and opportunities for chitalishte and libraries as partners and participants in EU competitions and projects.

 
The representative of the Regional Information Center in Ruse Diana Grigorova welcomed participants and presented the activities of the center and the opportunities for libraries from the district to take part in various projects.

 
The library at Hristo Botev 1928 Public Chitalishte in Slivo Pole presented its activities under the project “A New Beginning: from Education to Employment” under the “Youth Employment Generation through Internship Opportunities” initiative of the Human Resources Development Operational Program.

 
The meeting continued with the presentation of Zahari Stoyanov 1937 Public Chitalishte in Ruse and the positive effects of its successful project based work.

 
District thematic meeting invitees included also Rositsa Dobreva, representative of Stiliyan Chilingirov District Library in Shumen, who shared her experience with her colleagues from Ruse district through the presentation “Library Project Activities and Sustainable Development Opportunities”. Library project activity priorities were presented as follows: i) work with children; ii) promotion of cultural and historical heritage; iii) funds for book purchase and training activities; and iv) environment improvement.
 
Presentation of the District Library in Shumen (in Bulgarian language only)
 
Two meeting sessions were focused on group work activities. During the first session, following a role-play and random based participation, some participants delivered two-minute statements presenting and sharing their project experience. The session moderator, Desislava Lyasova, summarized the statements and formulated project writing questions and issues which were used during the second role-play.

 

The second part, based on the “world café” principles, was called “Project Scented Café”. Participants were divided into five groups. Each group hosted a table. The “café” included five table rounds of all groups. Each table kept a host from its own group and the other group members made rounds at all the tables and worked on all questions. Following table rounds, each hosting table presented a summarized answer to the table question.

 

Five tables, five groups, five questions and five answers!

  1. What library/chitalishte needs could we solve if we write a project? Provision of funds, improvement of the facilities and equipment by adopting new services, attracting new users and specialists. The library becomes a popular and interesting place for local communities.

 

  1. What prevents us from implementing our project ideas although we think they are properly identified? Insufficient human resources, lack of funding opportunities, lack of feedback, uncertainty, lack of interest from local government, lack of material incentives for project preparation, lack of information about various donor programs, incorrect selection of purpose and target group.

 

  1. Around what problems and how do we bring together libraries/chitalishte to design a joint project? Integration of disabled people, work with various ethnic groups, etc. It is important to team up efforts for a joint project – better chances to be approved, more ideas and more accurate formulation of the project, support from local government.

 

  1. Who can be our project partners? Administrations, educational institutions, NGOs, business, associations and many others.

 

  1. What project design resources do you have? (If you are to convince your friends that you will manage to climb Mount Everest, first you need to convince them that you have the necessary resources to do that: physical fitness, sufficient knowledge, an experienced team, suitable outfit and reliable sponsors.) Users, experts, coworkers, external observers, family, superiors, partners – external resources. The library has trained and motivated staff, facilities and equipment suitable for project implementation, local government support, volunteers.

At the end of the meeting, participants filled in feedback questionnaires whose results indicate that they are satisfied with the meeting and would like to attend more such meetings and advanced training. Some questionnaires share the opinion that these meetings could be more beneficial if they took place in a setting and settlements different from the usual ones. The experience shared with colleagues from other libraries, the interactive activities and the opportunity for sharing ideas are highly evaluated by participants. The provided crucial information about ongoing and forthcoming programs and calls will add to librarians’ work. The main message to the Glob@l Libraries – Bulgaria Program says: “Keep on organizing such meetings - they make huge difference to all of us!”

Meeting Agenda(477.45 KB)