On 10 – 11 April 2012, the second district thematic meeting “Good Library Practices”, a joint initiative of the Glob@l Libraries – Bulgaria Program and the District Library in Vidin, took place in the town of Vidin.
Meeting attendees included chitalishte secretaries and librarians from the district, representatives of the district and municipal administrations, library partners and guests from the Republic of Serbia.
The meeting was opened by Ms. Desislava Ivanova, Acting Director of Mihalaki Georgiev District Library.
Ms. Elka Georgieva, Deputy District Governor of Vidin, and Ms. Borislava Borisova, Deputy Mayor of Vidin, Humanitarian and Social Policy, welcomed the participants. In their welcome addresses, they expressed their satisfaction with the progress made by libraries in the usage of modern information and communication technology and thanked the Glob@l Libraries – Bulgaria Program for reestablishing libraries as centers of education, culture and information.
Ms. Elka Georgieva read a congratulatory address by the District Governor of Vidin, Eng. Tsvetan Asenov.
The presentations made during the meeting focused on good practices in the provision of electronic library services and the need of adopting new services compliant with the specific needs of local communities.
Natalia Georgieva, PR and Advocacy Manager at the Program Management Unit presented the topic “Innovative Library Services”.
Mariela Savkova, Manager of the District Information Center in Vidin, spoke about the partnership between the District Information Center in Vidin and libraries in the provision of competent and free of charge information on all issues related to the activities of public and local administrations, libraries, chitalishte and the business.
Tatiana Lyubenova, Librarian at Prosveta 1937 Public Library in the village of Kutovo, delivered the presentation “Books and Computers Hand in Hand” telling about the new vision of the library and the way in which it makes the library the favorite place of children in the village where they spend more and more time reading, apart from using the computers. In the library, the adults expand their social contacts and learn how to use computers.
Snezhana Filipova, Librarian at Obrazovanie Public Chitalishte in the village of Archar presented the ICT services provided by the library and spoke about users’ satisfaction with the new acquisition and the opportunity to access a wide range of information to be used for both business and leisure related purposes.
Silvia Hristova, Librarian at Prosveta 1882 Public Chitalishte in the town of Kula, presented to the participants the experience and tendencies in library activities under the Glob@l Libraries – Bulgaria Program and showed drawings and figures made by children with the help of the ICT equipment.
Desislava Ivanova, Acting Director of the District Library presented the basic computer literacy and Internet training of people aged 55+.
While the guests from Serbia impressed with all their intriguing initiatives and practices, the meeting participants were truly excited by the presentation of the bibliobus (bookmobile) used to provide access to books and services even in the smallest and most remote settlements. In Serbia, there are schools with 5-6 students and it is a challenge for librarians to visit them on a regular basis.
Susana Sirotovic, Director of Dositej Novakovic Public Library in Negotin, Serbia, presented the electronic services, the internet usage and the “Ask the Librarian” service.
Maya Manic, Librarian at Dositej Novakovic Public Library in Negotin, Serbia, spoke about their partnership with the church and the publication of a booklet of fasting recipes collected by children.
Zaklina Nikolic, Director of the Library at the Center of Culture in Kladovo, Serbia, talked about “Bibliobus”.
Two meeting sessions included workgroup activities aiming to identify the main target groups of local community users and develop a new service compliant with the needs of each group.
The librarians identified five target groups of users:
Following a discussion and exchange of ideas and experience, each group defined the service, identified potential partners, planned service adoption activities, identified necessary resources, service promotion methods and expected results. Special attention was paid to the expected social and economic effect which the adoption of the service will have for the local community.
Group 1: Children and school goers
Service: Establish a “Family Memory” Children’s Club
Goal: Build a database of information about the birthplace
Partners: the municipality, a kindergarten, school goers, volunteers, travel agencies
Activities: Collect information about the birthplace – history, local traditions, customs, songs, legends, national costumes. The children will collect information from elderly people in order to preserve the family memory.
Resources: Database creation software (DLs), photo camera, Dictaphone, paper, markers
Results: Children’s love for the birthplace and its traditions cultivated
Social effect: The children will become part of a community united around the idea and desire to be useful to their birthplace.
Economic effect: The collected materials will be published on hard and electronic copy, coordinated by the DLs and offered to guests and tourists. The effect is measured by the municipality’s and travel agents’ reduced expenses for promotion materials, users’ and tourists’ reduced time for information search, the value of the information itself.
GROUP 2: Pensioners
Service: Pass down and Return: Partnership between Generations
Goal: School goers train and assist pensioners in using e-services; pensioners pass down experience and interesting events from the past to school goers.
Partners: Home for elderly people, pensioner’s club, schools, volunteers, municipalities and town councils
Activities: Training in using e-services mainly on health-related and agricultural topics
Resources: Internet, copying services
Results: Elderly people’s computer and information literacy built and school goers’ knowledge expanded
Social effect: Inclusion of generations and education of school goers in volunteer work and help for the elderly
Economic effect: Saving time and facilitating elderly people in the search of health and agriculture related information. The Internet based access to information reduces the periodicals (newspapers and magazines) subscription expenses.
GROUP 3: Active-age unemployed people
Service: The Library – an Accessible Point to Information for the Unemployed
Goal: Provide information about suitable job vacancies and training and retraining programs
Partners: Town councils, municipalities, district administrations, Employment Agency / Employment Offices, Social Assistance Directorate, private businesses and associations
Activities: Meeting with the partners, present the service in the community through the media, create and regularly update a database of suitable job vacancies, assistance in document preparation and online application
Resources: information from Employment Offices, employers, job intermediaries, etc.
Results: Unemployed people find jobs through the library
Social effect: Unemployed people’s families supported to overcome the stress and actively look for jobs, the library’s image of a modern information center enhanced
Economic effect: Time for document preparation and job application saved, transport expenses economized through online applications, time for provision of consultations and information to the unemployed at the Employment Offices saved, time for setting up groups of trainees under the programs of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy shortened as a result of library-assisted referral of unemployed people.
GROUP 4: Motion Challenged People Aged 55+
Service: The Library as an Information Agent
Goal: Information provision according to individual needs
Partners: Disabled people’s club, pensioner’s club, Dignified Life Association, Employment Opportunities Foundation, Vidin, Municipal Social Assistance Offices
Activities: Needs assessment – weekly visits; organize meetings with partners
Resources: Internet, telephone, consumables
Results: 100 motion challenged people’s education level and access to information enhanced
Social effect: Social inclusion of disadvantaged people
Economic effect: Funds for computer literacy trainers saved, time and funds for serving social workers’ information needs saved.
GROUP 5: Roma, 1st – 4th grade school goers from the secondary school in the village of Archar, Dimovo municipality
Service: Improve the education level of Roma school goers
Goal: Create learning skills and acquire digital competences
Partners: Secondary school in Archar, District Information Center in Vidin, Dimovo Municipality
Activities: Home visits to convince parents in the importance of school attendance; elaborate, together with the partners, a handbook on the provision of the education service based on methods different than the ones used in school; additional training equipment of the library.
Resources: a consultant for the elaboration of the handbook and the training of school goers; funds for the publishing of the handbook
Results: 20 copies of a handbook elaborated; a training room equipped; 3% reduction of school drop-outs or absentees.
Social effect: An interactive training system for Roma school goers and drop-outs established; Roma children’s education level improved.
Economic effect: funds for social assistance of families without access to family allowance due to dropping out of school reduced; following the children’s return to school, their families access family allowances which increase their family budgets; children’s stay in the heated library during the winter results in economy of heating funds at home.
During the library training, school goers will use all materials and consumables – paper, notebooks, dictionaries, etc. free of charge which will also relieve family budgets. Roma children’s improved education level enhances their chances for employment which, in the future, will give added value to the economy.
Services to be adopted by libraries in Vidin district were selected as follows:
|ID||Library||Municipality||Settlement||Service||No. of service|
|385||LIBRARY AT RAZVITIE CHITALISHTE||Belogradchik||BELOGRADCHIK||Pass down and Return||2|
|386||LIBRARY AT NADEZHDA 1903 CHITALISHTE||Boynitsa||BOYNITSA||Pass down and Return||2|
|2328||LIBRARY AT POLYANA 1927 CHITALISHTE||Boynitsa||SHISHENTSI||Work with motion challenged people||4|
|388||LIBRARY AT RAZVITIE 1897 CHITALISHTE||Bregovo||BREGOVO||Pass down and Return||2|
|387||LIBRARY AT PROSVETA CHITALISHTE||Bregovo||GUMZOVO||
Work with unemployed;
Work with motion challenged people
|370||MIHALAKI GEORGIEV DL||Vidin||VIDIN||Family memory||1|
|380||LIBRARY AT SVETLINA CHITALISHTE||Vidin||DUNAVTSI||
Work with unemployed;
Work with motion challenged people; Pass down and Return
|3, 4, 2|
|374||LIBRARY AT PROSVETA 1925 CHITALISHTE||Vidin||BUKOVETS||Pass down and Return||2|
|3036||LIBRARY AT P. HILENDARSKI 1926 CHITALISHTE||Vidin||INOVO||Pass down and Return||2|
|377||LIBRARY AT PROSVETA 1937 CHITALISHTE||Vidin||KUTOVO||Family memory, Pass down and Return||1, 2|
|2283||LIBRARY AT SAGLASIE 1936 CHITALISHTE||Vidin||SLANA BARA||Pass down and Return||2|
|381||LIBRARY AT SVETLINA 1926 CHITALISHTE||Vidin||SLANOTRUN||Pass down and Return||2|
|390||LIBRARY AT PROBUDA CHITALISHTE||Gramada||GRAMADA||Work with Roma children||5|
|391||LIBRARY AT PROSVETA 1928 CHITALISHTE||Gramada||TOSHEVTSI||Work with Roma children||5|
|396||LIBRARY AT P. HILENDARSKI CHITALISHTE||Dimovo||DIMOVO||Family memory||1|
|395||LIBRARY AT OBRAZOVANIE 1898 CHITALISHTE||Dimovo||ARCHAR||Work with unemployed; Work with Roma children||3, 5|
|394||LIBRARY AT NARODEN BUDITEL 1927 CHITALISHTE||Dimovo||GARA ORESHETS||
Pass down and Return
|392||LIBRARY AT BELYO BURDASHKI 1929 CHITALISHTE||Dimovo||IZVOR||Work with Roma children||5|
|400||LIBRARY AT PROSVETA CHITALISHTE||Kula||KULA||
Pass down and Return
|402||LIBRARY AT MITO MARKOV CHITALISHTE||Makresh||MAKRESH||Pass down and Return||2|
|403||LIBRARY AT NADEZHDA 1906 CHITALISHTE||Makresh||RAKOVITSA||N/A||0|
|406||LIBRARY AT ZORA 1927 CHITALISHTE||Novo Selo||VINAROVO||
Pass down and Return;
Work with Roma children
|409||LIBRARY AT SVETLINA 1928 CHITALISHTE||Novo Selo||NEGOVANOVTSI||Pass down and Return||2|
|405||LIBRARY AT ZEMEDELETS 1874 CHITALISHTE||Novo Selo||NOVO SELO||Work with motion challenged people||4|
|2245||LIBRARY AT ZDRAVETS 2007 CHITALISHTE||Ruzhintsi||DRENOVETS||N/A||0|
|410||LIBRARY AT HRISTO BOTEV 1898 CHITALISHTE||Ruzhintsi||RUZHINTSI||Family memory||1|
|413||LIBRARY AT NOV ZHIVOT 1927 CHITALISHTE||Chuprene||GORNI LOM||Family memory||1|
|414||LIBRARY AT HRISTO BOTEV 1897 CHITALISHTE||Chuprene||CHUPRENE||Work with Roma children||5|
|No. of service||No. of libraries which selected the service|
The representatives of 26 target libraries who attended the meeting selected 34 services to be adopted in their respective libraries. Half of the target libraries in the district selected the service “Pass down and Return: Partnership between Generations” which is justified by the age composition of small settlements.
Roma people’s enhanced education level will be addressed by one-fourth of libraries located in settlements with schools teaching predominantly Roma children.
The service in support of unemployed people is either unattractive for most settlements or librarians do not feel sufficiently prepared to provide it or to cooperate with the Employment Offices.
The work with children and school goers focused on the preservation of family memory was selected by one-fourth of libraries.
The feedback forms indicate that all participants without exception found working in groups and the developed new services very useful. They expressed their satisfaction with the experience shared by their Serbian colleagues and referred to specific presentations deemed as useful. Some participants think that the presence of PMU representatives was particularly helpful.
The feedback shows lower evaluation results with regard to the conditions of the meeting which took place in the restaurant of a non-renovated hotel.
Recommendations include organizing similar meetings in the future, provision of information by the PMU to libraries on calls for project proposals in which they can participate and announcement of competitions under the program by the PMU.