Libraries in 21st century
The library is the center of the local community
Today, the library is both a physical and a virtual place, but the physical presence continues to be a strong support for communities. The public library is a space for a wide range of purposes – reading, communicating, learning, playing, meeting, etc. Physical presence serves the economic development and revitalization of neighborhoods or settlements and strengthens community identity.
The library – a place for lifelong learning
While remaining committed to its primary mission of providing access to knowledge and promoting literacy, the role of the 21st century library extends far beyond the borrowing of books. Libraries provide opportunities for lifelong learning, workforce development, civic engagement, public health, environmental sustainability, and more. More than any other institution they have the capacity to build society of knowledge . They can help users develop the ability to benefit from information and create new knowledge that is essential for full participation in modern society.
People and technology meet in the library
In addition to being a physical space, the library in the digital age is also a virtual place, accessible from anywhere in the world and at any time. As part of the trends to transform information into digital formats, public libraries will change the nature of their physical presence and hold fewer and fewer materials in their collections. Increasingly, library users will access information through library networks. Websites, online discussion groups, classes, Wi-Fi hotspots, etc. are examples of the growing presence of the virtual library. Digital technologies are also changing traditional book publishing, so libraries must be sensitive to new digital forms and opportunities. Many libraries are creating spaces where a variety of tools and technologies inspire learning, discovery, and creation, and where experimentation is encouraged with trained library staff and community mentors.
Network of libraries
Global Libraries – Bulgaria Foundation works with a network of over 1,000 public libraries (regional, municipal and community libraries), covering 260 municipalities in the country, which in many cases are the only place to access information resources and services for the population.
Libraries from the network are equipped with computer, communication and peripheral equipment. About 4,900 workstations (computers), about 1,000 printers and MFPs, 790 projectors and 1,950 routers are in operation.
GLBF has signed partnership agreements with the libraries of the network for joint activity:
- To create conditions for free and equal access to information, internet and electronic services for citizens
- To promote information literacy, lifelong learning, civic participation, local and community development
- To support the social integration of disadvantaged groups by improving access to information
To achieve these goals, the parties work jointly and separately to:
- Advocacy for information inclusion at the regional and local level
- Providing access to information through modern information and communication technologies
- Development and provision of services for citizens based on innovative information and communication technologies
- Developing and providing lifelong learning opportunities
- Implementation of educational and entertaining activities for children and youth.