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Forum 2023

The VIII National Forum Libraries Today, dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Global Libraries – Bulgaria Foundation, will be held on 13 and 14 November, 2023.

The theme of the forum is Partnership for Sustainability


In order to fulfil our mission to include Bulgarian citizens in the global information society and increase their quality of life, GLBF has partnered over the years with government and public and private organizations to achieve the following goals:

  • Providing access to technology
  • Promoting  innovation in libraries
  • Increasing the knowledge and skills of librarians
  • Developing library leaders
  • Reforming policies to the benefit of public libraries

At the Forum we will explore new opportunities for future cooperation at the cross-border, transnational and European levels, with a view to how libraries may develop further as information intermediaries and centres for the sustainable development of communities. We will also discuss the topics of better Internet access, information services, lifelong learning, the development of creative and entrepreneurial skills, increased citizen participation in public life, better integration of disadvantaged groups, and digital , information and media literacy.

Together we will exchange ideas and bring forward future activities to ensure sustainability and build on what has been achieved so far.

The broad range of participants at the Forum will represent public libraries from all over the country, the academic and business worlds, politicians from executive, legislative and local authorities, and non-governmental organisations. Internationally, there will be representatives from the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Stichting IFLA Global Libraries (SIGL), and the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA).  


Location of the national forum

This year’s Forum will take place in two locations:

  • On 13 November, the programme will take place at the Regional Centre for Contemporary Arts TOPLOCENTRALA –  5 Emil Brezinski Str,   1408 Ivan Vazov, Sofia
  • On 14 November,  the programme sessions will take place at Hemus Hotel – 25 Cherni Vrah Blv, 1421 Lozenets, Sofia


November 13, TOPLOCENTRALA - 5 Emil Brezinski Str, 1408 Ivan Vazov, Sofia

13.00 – 13.30:


13.30 – 15.30:

  • Spaska Tarandova, Executive Director of GLBF
  • Helen Mandl,  Deputy Secretary General, Director Member Services IFLA
  • Inga Lundén, Member of the Board of SIGL
  • Hella Klauser, Vice-President of EBLIDA

15.30 – 16.00:
Coffee break
Exhibition opening Projects of GLBF and the Libraries 

session 2

16.00 – 17.15:
Panel discussion
Moderator: Milena Yaninska 

  • Library specialists
    Nadezhda Grueva, Director of Zachary Knyazheski Regional Library, Stara Zagora
    Valentina Terzieva, Director of Penyo Penev City Library, Dimitrovgrad
    Sonia Parvanova, Librarian at Hristo Botev 1898 Municipal Library, Rila
  • Library partners and advocates
    Alexander Shpatov, Association for Urban Reading Rooms
    Valentina Stoeva, Chairman of Board of the Children’s Books Foundation
    Elitsa Barakova, Executive Director, BCause
  • Chairpersons of the GLBF Board of Directors
    Mihail Boyadjiev, Chairperson since 2020
    Ventzislav Velev, Chairperson 2016-2020
    Ginka Chavdarova, Chairperson 2013-2016

17.15 – 17.30:


19.00 – 21.00:

November 14, Hemus Hotel - 25 Cherni Vrah Blv, 1421 Lozenets, Sofia

10.00 – 12.00:
3 parallel sessions

    Discussion (Conference 1A Hall)
    Tsvetelina Neshkova, Bulgarian Platform for International Development
    Ioanna Tsoneva, IKEA Bulgaria
    Hristina Klisurova, Green Balkans
    Dimka Mihaylova, Regional Library of Stara Zagora
    Yana Karshiyska, Regional Library of Burgas
    Kalina Ivanova, Regional Library of Veliko Tarnovo
    Moderator: Spaska Tarandova


    Discussion (Preslav Hall)
    Krasimira Dimitrova, Human Resource Development Centre
    Iglika Ivanova,  The Media Literacy Coalition
    Nadezhda Grueva, Regional Library of Stara Zagora
    Iya Petkova, Muzeiko
    Teodora Evtimova, Regional Library of Ruse
    Moderator: Valentina Stoeva 


    Discussion (Conference 1B Hall)
    Neli Nedelcheva, Ministry of Culture – National Digital Library
    Peter Andreev
    , Tech Soup Bulgaria
    Alex Rizov, Microsoft
    Radka Kalcheva, Regional Library of Varna
    Kamelia Koneva, Sofia City Library
    Silvia Pavlova, Regional Library of Vratsa
    Moderator: Alexander Krastev 

12.00 – 12.15:

Spaska Tarandova
Spaska Tarandova is the Executive Director of the Global Libraries – Bulgaria Foundation. All of her professional experience has been related to libraries and library development and modernisation. She previously worked at Sofia Metropolitan Library, where from 2008 to 2014 she was Deputy Director of Library Activities and Automation. She is a specialist in American library practices and is part of the International Group for Innovations in Public Libraries (INELI), a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation initiative.
Spaska is a member of the Standing Committee of the Public Libraries section of IFLA, The International Federation of Library Associations. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Bulgarian Library and Information Association, and is on the editorial board of the BBIA Online magazine.
Spaska was a lead creator behind the successful “Fun Summer Reading” children’s reading campaign, an active participant in the “Read With Me” campaign sponsored by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, and the initiator of the early childhood development rooms in Sofia City Libraries, in partnership with IKEA Bulgaria.
Helen Mandl
Helen Mandl is the Deputy Secretary General of IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations.
As a teacher and librarian, Helen's background is in university libraries including research liaison. She has extensive experience of library associations both as a staff member of the Australian Library and Information Association and in a range of voluntary positions on association committees. She has worked in school libraries in Tanzania and as a trainer/coach with community libraries in Namibia.
Since joining IFLA in 2015 as the Director of Member Services, Helen has been heavily involved in the IFLA "Global Vision" campaign, governance, and member services including the World Library and Information Congress. She has a particular interest in innovations to connect librarians across all regions and sectors. This extends to her work with IFLA's committees and volunteers and to the sharing of impactful stories and information through the Library Map of the World.
Inga Lundén
Inga Lundén is a member of the SIGL Board (Stichting IFLA Global Libraries). She has for many years been a volunteer for Global Libraries, a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation initiative. She was a mentor for INELI Balkan (International Network of Emerging Library Innovators in the Balkans), visiting Sofia in 2016. She also visited two years earlier as the President of the Swedish Library Association. Inga started her professional life as a journalist but her longest engagement has been as a city librarian and Library Director of Stockholm.
Hella Klauser
Hella Klauser is the EBLIDA Vice-President for the 2021-2024 term. She was a member of the Executive Committee from 2019 to 2021 and a member of EBLIDA’s Expert Group on Culture and Information Society (EGCIS) from 2008 to 2012. From 2005 Hella was responsible for international cooperation within the Network of Excellence for Libraries (KNB) at the German Library Association (Deutscher Bibliotheksverband dbv) in Berlin, Germany. Between 2013 and 2016 she was Head of the Libraries Department at the Goethe-Institute (German cultural institute) Head Office in Munich, Germany. Between 1991 and 2003, Hella was Head of Libraries at the Goethe-Institutes in Tokyo, Japan and Paris, France. Since 2006 she has been a member of the German standing committee BI-International, which promotes international professional exchange. Hella is a board member of the BID Association (Bibliothek Information Deutschland). She has taught international library science at the Bavarian Library Academy since 2019. She has published various works, and lectures on international library topics.
Mihail Boyadjiev
Mihail Boyadjiev is the current Chairman of the GLBF Board of Directors. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Law at Sofia University, “St. Kliment Ohridski”. His legal practice specialises in the areas of privatisation and commercial law, energy, energy efficiency, foreign and domestic direct investment, securities, small and medium-sized enterprises, credit cooperatives, and non-profit legal entities. He frequently provides consultation services on the preparation and management of USAID and EU-funded projects and the implementation of public policy. He is a member of the Founding and Management Boards of the BCause Foundation (formerly known as the Help for Charity in Bulgaria Foundation).
Ventzislav Velev
Prof. Dr. Ventzislav Velev is a member of the GLBF Board of Directors and was its Chairman from 2016 to 2020. He is a Lecturer at the University of Library Science and Information Technology (UniBIT), Head of the Chitalishte Affairs Master's programme, and Deputy Director of the Institute for Scientific Research in the Field of Organization, Management and Protection of Cultural-Historical Heritage. He is also Chairman of the National Committee for the UNESCO "Memory of the World" programme.
Dr. Velev's research interests are related to the events of Bulgarian history after the Liberation, chitalishte and library work, policies for the protection and promotion of cultural heritage, the intangible cultural heritage of Bulgaria, and UNESCO policies at national and international level. He is the author of numerous scientific studies and works of popular science.
Ginka Chavdarova
Dr Ginka Chavdarova is a member of the Board of Directors of the Global Libraries – Bulgaria Foundation, and was Chairwoman from the Foundation’s beginnings in 2013 to 2016. She has been the Executive Director of the National Association of Municipalities in Bulgaria since its establishment in 1996, spending her whole career in local authority related work. She has been Director General of the National Centre for Regional Development and Housing Policy, and Director of the Scientific Centre for Planning, later transformed into the Institute of Economics and Management. This body has developed numerous programmes and forecasts for the development of individual municipalities and regions in Bulgaria. Dr Chavdarova has postgraduate qualifications from institutions in France, the Netherlands and the United States.
Nadezhda Grueva
Nadezhda Grueva is the Director at the Zachary Knyazheski Regional Library in Stara Zagora, and has been a member of the Board of the Bulgarian Library and Information Association since 2005. She is also a member of the Association of Library and Information Professionals, which has participated in US State Department exchange programmes, and a member of the editorial board of the BLIA Online magazine published by the Association. She is a Modern Library Services trainer, certified by the Global Libraries – Bulgaria training programme, and has authored several training-of-trainers materials alongside conducting and supervising such trainings. Her specialisms include transforming Bulgarian public libraries into centres for public information, and creating and maintaining library web pages.
Valentina Terzieva
Valentina Terzieva has a Master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences and Cultural Policy, and is a Doctoral candidate in Library Science and Bibliography at the University of Library Science and information Technology in Sofia. She has been working at the Penyo Penev City Library in Dimitrovgrad for 16 years, as Chief Librarian between 2017 and 2020 and as Director since 2020. Valentina’s professional interests include public relations, and marketing and library management. Her book, Eyes to the World – a Chronicle of Sixty Years, is dedicated to the history of Penyo Penev Library and its role and importance to the city of Dimitrovgrad.
Sonia Parvanova
Sonia Parvenova has a Bachelor’s degree in speech therapy from the Neophyt Rilski University of Applied Sciences, and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Technologies from Sofia University, “St. Kliment Ohridski”. For the past six years she has combined these two qualifications in the municipality of Rila, as a librarian at the Hristo Botev 1898 Chitalishte and as a speech therapist as part of the "Investments for the Future" project. As a librarian, Sonia mainly focuses on promoting early-years reading and reaching out to people with dyslexia and other learning needs to welcome them into the library. Since 2022, she has also been involved in the library beekeeping project, protecting bees and their environment.
Alexander Shpatov
Alexander Shpatov is a writer who has published five collections of short stories. He graduated from the American College in Sofia and has a degree in Law from Sofia University, “St Kliment Ohridski”. He is the founder and Chairman of the Association for Urban Reading Rooms, which is behind the creation of the Reading Room in the City Garden in Sofia. He is also a member of the Sofia City Library Council and co-founder of the Reading Foundation. He is a Doctoral candidate in Theory of Reading at the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sofia University, “St. Kliment Ohridski”.
Valentina Stoeva
Valentina Stoeva is the Chairwoman of the Children’s Books Foundation and the Reading Foundation. She graduated from the St. Constantine-Cyril the Philosopher National High School for Ancient Languages and Cultures, has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Sofia University, “St. Kliment Ohridski” and a Master’s degree in Diplomacy and International Relations from the New Bulgarian University. Since 2008 Valentina has been promoting reading among children. She is the founder of the Chidren’s Books Reading Promotion Foundation and the website. She has been awarded the Bulgarian Library and Information Association Ambassador of Libraries award, and is a Bulgarian Book Association Knight of the Book. Valentina is a Doctoral candidate in Theory of Reading at the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sofia University, “St. Kliment Ohridski”.
Elitsa Barakova
Elitsa Barakova is a former teacher and the Executive Director of the BCause Foundation. She values tradition but is also not afraid to experiment so that the narrative of goodness can reach the hearts of new audiences. Elitsa has been leading the Foundation since 1998, combatting myths such as ‘people and businesses do not donate’, and ‘foundations are inherently guilty’. She has an optimistic outlook on life, looking to the day when we donate to a school, a university or an NGO, not because life is threatened but because such giving is a part of living life.
Ioana Tsoneva
Ioana Tsoneva is a marketing manager at House Market Bulgaria EAD, a subsidiary of Housemarket S.A. and part of the Fourlis Group, which manages the IKEA franchise in the territories of Bulgaria, Greece and Cyprus. She joined the IKEA team shortly after the opening of the first store in Sofia in 2011, and is responsible for overall brand communication strategy, consumer experience, growing the IKEA Family loyalty programme, and orienting the company toward sustainable development and responsibility to people and planet. Ioana has over 20 years of experience in the field of marketing communications, strategic planning and brand building, forging her professional path to the inspirational home furnishing brand via telecommunications and the electronic trade sector. As well as having a passion for our homes, Ioana is strongly committed to the societal and business-level changes we need to make to overcome the challenges standing in the way of sustainable development.
Tsvetelina Neshkova
Tsvetelina Neshkova graduated in Library Science and Bibliography from the "St. St. Cyril and Methodius" University of Veliko Tarnovo, and has a Master’s degree in Economic Management and Financial Management. She has been the Chairwoman of the Alliance for Regional and Civil Initiatives (ARCI) since 2006. Tsvetelina has also been Chairwoman of the Bulgarian Platform for International Development since September 2023. She is an expert and experienced trainer in global education and sustainable development, civic participation, and project management and monitoring.
Dimka Mihailova
Dimka Mihailova has a Bachelor’s degree in Book Publishing from the "St. St. Cyril and Methodius" University of Veliko Tarnovo, and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences and Cultural Policy from Sofia University, “St Kliment Ohridski”. She has been working at the Zachary Knyazheski Regional Library in Stara Zagora since 2015. She was appointed as Expert Librarian at the Children’s Department and Teen Zone in 2018 and subsequently won the Bulgarian Library and Information Association award for Young Librarian of the Year. Dimka actively works to attract young readers to libraries and to modernise the spaces that libraries provide for them. She enjoys interacting with children and encourages reading from an early age. She is also a consultant in bibliotherapy.
Hristina Klisurova
Dr Hristina Klisurova is a veterinarian at the Green Balkans Wildlife Rescue Centre, a leading organisation protecting Bulgaria’s rare species and habitats. Thanks to hundreds of volunteers and experts and national and international donations, Green Balkans has achieved significant results protecting Bulgaria’s unique natural heritage. Alongside the administrative tasks necessary for the day-to-day running of the Centre, Dr Klisurova is a communicator, spreading the message about the activities of the Centre and the importance of protecting rare species.
Kalina Ivanova
Kalina Ivanova is the Director of the Petko Rachev Slaveykov Regional Library in Veliko Tarnovo and a member of the Board of Directors of the Bulgarian Library and Information Association.
Since 2015, she has been Chief Assistant at the Department of Book Publishing and Library Information Activities in the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics at the "St. St. Cyril and Methodius" University of Veliko Tarnovo.
Kalina was Head and Coordinator of Projects as part of the Lifelong Learning Programme, and Programmes for the Protection of Literary and Cultural-Historical Heritage in Libraries, Museums and Archives from 2005 to 2016.
Yana Karshiyska
Yana Karshiyska is the Director of the P.K. Yavorov Regional Library in Burgas. She has a qualification in Library Science and Bibliography from the Semi-Higher Institute of Librarianship (1995), a Bachelor’s degree in Library Science and Bibliography from the "St. St. Cyril and Methodius" University of Veliko Tarnovo (1998), and a Master’s degree in Information Technologies and Information Brokerage from the University of Library Studies and Information Technologies in Sofia (2008). Yana began her library career in the Processing and Loan Service departments at the P.K. Yavarov Library in 1996. From 2005 she worked in the Library at Burgas Free University and became a coordinator in its Technology Transfer Office unit in 2012. Since 2019, Yana has been the librarian at Asen Zlatarov 1940 Primary School in Burgas.
Krasimira Dimitrova
Krasimira Dimitrova is а Chief Expert in the Selection, Contracting and Reporting Department of the Human Resources Development Centre (HRDC). HRDC is the organisation appointed by the national authorities to manage and administer the European Union Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps Programmes in Bulgaria. Krasimira began working at the Centre in 2007 as a junior assistant in the Higher Education Department. Over the years, she has held various positions in the Agency, and currently runs Key Action 2 Partnerships for Cooperation, and the educational Key Action 1 sectors of 'Vocational Education and Training' and 'Adult Education'.
Since 2015 Krasimira has been the coordinator of the Euroguidance network, which is a side activity of the Erasmus+ Programme. The Euroguidance network provides a framework for cooperation in the field of lifelong career guidance at the European level, and thus supports the longer-term strategic development of education, training and employment in Europe
Iglika Ivanova
Iglika Ivanova is a member of the Board for the Coalition for Media Literacy and the Media Education Lab. She is a Doctoral candidate and Lecturer at Sofia University, "St. Kliment Ohridski", and an editor for Dnevnik. She graduated from the E-Europe Master’s programme with a thesis on ‘The role of video games in the development of media literacy’, and continues to monitor technological development, media regulation, impact and policies, the cultural industries and digital service intermediaries. Since the end of 2019, Iglika has been actively involved in the development of educational resources and KMG media group initiatives and campaigns. In 2023, she introduced new "With Wikipedia in the Classroom" trainings for teachers, and implemented the American "Engaging Youth Against Disinformation" leadership programme on the topic of 21st century change-makers.
Iya Petkova
Iya Petkova is an associate professor in the Department of Economic Management at Sofia University, "St. Kliment Ohridski". She is the head of the AMBA-accredited Business Administration and Human Resources Management Master’s programme. She teaches courses on Organisational Behaviour, Leadership in a Multicultural Environment, Organisational Management Models for Quality and Organisational Excellence, Leadership and Business Ethics, and Crisis and Emergency Management.
Iya has been the Director of the Muzeiko Scientific and Educational Children’s Centre in Sofia, where she leads and administers a team of childhood education specialists. Muzeiko’s programmes for learning and developing potential are based on various theories, including learning through play and applied activities, multiple intelligences and the suggestopedia method.
Teodora Evtimova
Teodora Evtimova is the Director of the Lyuben Karavelov Regional Library in Ruse. She has Masters’ degrees in Finance and in Library Science and Bibliography. Teodora actively works to build sustainable partnerships between the public, private and non-governmental sectors. She has initiated projects at both the national and international level and has partnered with organisations such as the Global Libraries Foundation, the Electronic Information for Libraries’ Public Library Innovation Programme, the Agency for People with Disabilities, Ruse – City of Free Spirit, and the National Culture Fund.
Peter Andreev
Petar Andreev has been a project coordinator at the Workshop for Civil Initiatives Foundation (WCIF) since 2021. Among the projects he leads are YouthBank – a model for youth philanthropy, and the software-donation platform TechSoup. TechSoup Bulgaria is a unique platform that provides technological donations for civil society organisations, community centres and public libraries. The platform began its activity in Bulgaria in 2009 as a partnership between the original TechSoup organisation based in San Francisco and WCIF.
Alex Rizov
Alex Rizov is a Strategic Account Manager at Microsoft. He is responsible for key state institutions, and his main role is to create and develop the processes of digital transformation and e-governance. During his more than 15 years of experience in working with the public sector, he has generated and managed numerous large and complex IT projects in the field of digitization, e-governance, cyber security and smart cities.
Radka Kalcheva
Radka Kalcheva has been Director of Pencho Slaveykov Regional Library in Varna since 2017. Specializing in ICT, she was Head of the Information Technology department from 1999, and coordinator for European projects from 2005. Radka has designed and implemented various collections and services during her time in leadership including: catalogues of periodicals and of book and non-book media; digital readers’ cards; the My Library space for online library users; the 24/7 Bibliomat book collection service; and the Eli chatbot, a virtual assistant librarian. She has been leading the development of the Varna Digital Library since its inception in 2008. Through Radka’s European-project work, Pencho Slaveykov Library has become one of the main Bulgarian data aggregators for the Europeana cultural heritage hub, and has successfully implemented over 15 projects in lifelong learning and ICT, financed by various European programmes.
Kamelia Koneva
Kamelia Koneva graduated with a Master’s degree in Pedagogy from Sofia University and an Educational qualification degree specialising in Library Science from the University of Library Studies and Information Technologies (formerly the State Library Institute). She has also completed various other training qualifications as part of her professional development. Kamelia currently works at the American Corner in Sofia City Library where she organises innovative programmes for children and adults. She is an experienced trainer in the Modern Library Services programme, and a member of the Working Group on Innovative Services at the Global Libraries Bulgaria Foundation.
Silvia Pavlova
Silvia Pavlova became Director of the Hristo Botev Regional Library in Vratsa in 2009, and over thirteen years has transformed the face of this cultural institution where tradition meets modern thinking. She has helped develop various national and international projects, and initiated many professional forums, conferences, author events, exhibitions, reading programs and online content. She was also the founder of the Vratsa-Book City literary festival, the first of its kind in Northwest Bulgaria. Silvia is the Regional Coordinator for the Global Libraries – Bulgaria Programme.
Alexander Krastev
Alexander Krastev is the creator of the "Az Cheta" (I Read) website, the LinkedIn marketing agency BookMark, and the LinkedIn blog "The Linked Blog". He has been teaching LinkedIn at the New Bulgarian University for several years and is a consultant for various business publications. He is the author of the monthly column in Forbes Bulgaria, "The Linked Practitioner".



A video recording from the program sessions on 13 Nov. 2023

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