The national roundtable on children’s reading on the topic “Children’s Literature: Challenges and Opportunities” organized by Az-deteto.bg children’s online portal, Sofia City Library, the Bulgarian Library and Information Association (BLIA) and the Bulgarian Book Association made it clear that the presence of books at home should be among the key priorities of each family. According to a survey presented by Penka Ivanova, Director of Access to Education and Development Support Directorate at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science, books and reading are an even more important factor for children than their parents’ education.
It turns out that children brought up in families where parents read on a regular basis and have big libraries, develop more successfully than their coevals brought up in homes without books and reading habits. The key reason for children’s lack of interest in reading remains their parents’ example. A recently conducted survey proves that children’s active involvement today, based on their literacy and education, is a guarantee for the prosperity of our entire society tomorrow, shared Ms. Ivanova at the roundtable.
Other roundtable participants included Justine Toms, founder of Az-deteto.bg, Spaska Tarandova, Deputy Director of Sofia City Library, Iveta Germanova, Senior Expert at the Regional Education Inspectorate in Sofia City, Irina Alexandrova, Head of the Children’s and Adolescents’ Department of Sofia City Library, Damian Yakov from Damian Yakov Publishing House, Chief Assistant Malinka Dimitrova from St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia, Dr. Nadezhda Mihaylova from Hans Christian Andersen Research and Information Center at St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia, Petya Kokudeva and Rosi Kota, authors and ambassadors of the Funny Summer Reading Campaign. The roundtable was also attended by librarians and elementary school teachers from across the country, continuously signaling the condition and problems of children’s reading and literacy. The roundtable is part of the Funny Summer Reading initiative whose partner is the Glob@l Libraries – Bulgaria Program.
The roundtable wrapped up with the reading of an open letter to be sent to all relevant institutions addressing the development and promotion of children’s reading and library and book publishing development in the country. Demands specified in the letter include: big responsibility for publishing children’s books and monitoring of their quality; school boards taking responsibility for the renovation of school library stocks; including a mandatory monthly visit to the library for preschool children to fourth-graders, etc.