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Bulgaria strives to place libraries in EU projects

Date: 19.10.2005

The role of public libraries en route to Bulgaria's EU membership and ways for their integration in the national communicative strategy were among the topics discussed at a seminar in the second-biggest city of Plovdiv.

The two-day seminar with the regional distributors of information about the EU is part of a series of events, organized in the framework of the Communication and Information program of the Delegation of the European Commission to Bulgaria. Similar seminars were already held in the towns of Veliko Tarnovo, Montana, Burgas, Shumen and Blagoevgrad. Their goal is to shed more light on the role of libraries and cultural clubs in disseminating information about the European Union and to present different sources of information about EU on international, national and regional level.

Eli Popova, head of "Official Publications" Directorate with the National Library "Sts. Cyril and Methodius", informed the participants in the seminar with the history, missions and institutions of the European Union.

She stressed that a number of projects, involving regional libraries, have been implemented within the European Union. Their involvement includes disseminating digital culture, leveling off social differences and sharing resources among libraries, museum and archives. The projects are implemented in view of the practical dimensions of the strategic vision for the development of the European Union until 2010.

A few projects in this field have been implemented in Bulgaria, among which Able, PoolMan, Calimera.

"The country has a well-established network of libraries, which have available documental archives, trained staff and consumers. In order to realize the full potential for serving clients, we need more printed materials in Bulgarian, technical equipment, active cooperation between the libraries and the local authorities," says Eli Popova.

She stressed the importance of lobbying efforts for tabling in Parliament a law for libraries.

Stefan Gerassimov, expert from the company Prime Consulting, presented an exemplary negotiation process under Chapter 21 "Regional policy and Co-ordination of Structural Instruments".

Taking up a question about the place of libraries in the development of municipalities, Gerassimov picked the municipal plans as the guiding light. In his opinion libraries can successfully apply for EU projects in partnership with other institutions or bodies.

The seminar will wrap up with a discussion and change of experience from the library and information practices.

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