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Книга Библиотечно-информационни науки / Livre des Sciences de l’information et des bibliothèques >
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|Title: ||Държавата и нейната подкрепа за културата и библиотечно-информационния сектор. Случва ли се нещо с нормативната уредба и произтичащите от нея политики за обществените библиотеки в България?|
|Other Titles: ||The State and its Support for Culture and Library-Information Sector. What Developments Follow the Current Legislation and the Policies that Ensue for Public Libraries?|
|Authors: ||Димчев, Александър|
|Keywords: ||библиотеки България|
нормативна уредба - библиотеки
|Issue Date: ||2012|
|Publisher: ||СУ "Св. Климент Охридски"|
|Citation: ||Димчев, Александър. Държавата и нейната подкрепа за културата и библиотечно-информационния сектор. Случва ли се нещо с нормативната уредба и произтичащите от нея политики за обществените библиотеки в България? // Год. СУ Св. Климент Охридски, Филос. фак., Кн. Библ.-информ. науки, Т. 4. София, 2012, с. 5-45. <http://hdl.handle.net/10506/753>.|
|Abstract: ||The paper examines a field of importance for Bulgarian libraries, namely to what extent does the state have a responsibility towards the sector of culture, and in particular the sector of libraries. The issues considered are given at the background of various approaches concerning state support in separate countries. An analysis of the forms of support for public libraries in Bulgaria from 1989 to the present is carried out on this basis. The analysis takes into account studies and evaluations of the state of the legal basis for libraries for the period. The emphasis is on the Public Libraries Act, adopted in 2009 and policies which stemmed after its adoption. A critical assessment is made on the state of public libraries as an outcome of the absence of clarity and continuity in the application of purposeful state policies and strategies. The result of this absence of such intentions and steps has led to a very serious lagging behind in public libraries. This in turn does not provide a satisfactory library-information service for the public compared
with current tendencies. One has the unpleasant feeling of a breach of democratic principles of access to information to large groups of the population.
The questions in the study fall into two sections and present matters in the course of their development.
1. Regulation models and management of the library-information sector
The political changes which were carried out after 1989 led to a transformation of the social model in Bulgaria. The new conditions brought qualitative changes in legislation in all fields. This took place in economic conditions, the economy going through a serious crisis, accompanied with drastic problems in various social sectors, activities, institutions affecting the population as a whole. Culture, education and science were among the spheres affected above all. Libraries falling in the context of these sectors were decisive as structures affecting public interest, considering that 5000 libraries were closed. In particular in the case of libraries the absence of an adequate Government policy, resulted in a sharp decline in their information potential and resources, hence a loss on trust towards them, reflecting their social role and use. During the years of transition kind of censorship emerged – that of financial censorship, due to scant funding for the maintenance and development of library-information resources, as well the lack of understanding of the need to provide the necessary library-information services and services for the population. A similar phenomenon in conditions of change should not have been allowed, as it is in direct contrast with the ideas of a democratic society. The author shares the view that one of the fundamental factors and causes for such unfavorable development of processes in the library sector is the absence of a strategy and policy by the state neither in a short-term period nor in a long term period.
Good international models show that that the state need not abandon its part in exercising its influence and influence in the field of culture and in particular in the library sector. H. Chartrand’s and McCaughey’s models of possible approaches of regulation of the processes by the state, connected with the development of culture, namely Engineer, the Franco-Italian-German Architect, the British Patron, Catalysеr, characteristic for the U.S.A. The models are also to a certain degree valid in the sphere of the library-information sector. The articles outlines three other models, characterizing information policy. They are to be found in legislation, subsidies and support for the library and information sector. The first is characteristic for EU member states, and presupposes active Government participation and regulation. The support is in the context of general policies and EU program platforms. Today it is to be found within initiatives and ideas defining structures such as the Europe 2020 Strategy – digital society, education, competition; the Horizon programme etc. The second model is characteristic for the U.S.A. and elsewhere. It is more liberal, with less or „invisible“ state regulation. As a result the third is very successful, and can be defined as the model of „chaos“. Declared policies and action by the state are absent.
A key element for the successful development of libraries, library networks and services is largely the existing library legislation in the respective country. The European Union realizes the significance of the suitable and adequate library legislation. Beyond common politics, the EU states, depending on their understanding of the significance of libraries and information, traditions and attitudes towards the library
sector, carry out their own policy within their own legal framework and financial framework.
2. Policies and legal regulation of the library sector in Bulgaria.
On the ground of the international tendencies presented and comparing them with Bulgarian experience in the Library sector I would like to note the following. Throughout the years of transition we ran into the phenomenon of variety of models or rather an absence of any model, policy and responsible attitude towards legal regulation of libraries, their activities in the fulfillment of their social mission. This was particularly characteristic for the first 10-12 years after the changes. The absence of a stand, which would be reflected in rules and laws, became the reason for the closing down of good libraries; the absence of declared state policy and strategy and strategies towards libraries; a drastic fall in their funding and development; the slow adoption of new information and communication technologies; unclear statutes, responsibilities and tasks before libraries; disruption of the possibilities of co-operation between libraries and their work within networks; the absence of requirements for an educational level qualifications of librarians etc. Another serious shortcoming is the fact that the a number of new Acts passed which concern libraries and their main activities, do not defend their status and funding, or the regulations concerning them are incomplete. Over the passed twenty two years the library community in its professional association – the Bulgarian Library-Information Association (BLIA) has on many occasions made serious efforts to draw the attention of institutions for a change of this unfortunate situation. On three occasions the Association has initiated drafts for Library Acts – in 1993, 1997 and 2006.
The last step of BLIA was the drawing up of legislation for libraries was the Legal Regulation for Libraries and Library and Information Activities in Bulgaria Project, which began in 2006, jointly with the Ministry of Culture and the British Council in Bulgaria. The main of the project was the create a packet of legal documents for libraries, harmonized with European directives which would constitute prerequisites for the full realization of the main mission of libraries as educational, cultural, informational and social institutions. The final result was the draft Act for Public Libraries (there are about 4000 public libraries in the countries). The draft Act was passed by the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria in 2009. Both during its preparation and creation of other documents directives and recommendations of the Council of Europe were taken into account. Underling it are ideas adopted by IFLA and UNESCO as well as library institutions of leading countries. Analyses and comparisons of legislation and standards of libraries of over 25 countries were drawn, together with Bulgarian experience and traditions. The Act puts forth political course for the following:
A contemporary definition of the main functions of the kinds of public libraries as cultural, educational, information and social institutes , entrusted with the task to present a broad spectrum of library-information services such as gathering, storing, processing, systematizing and Providing to the public of printed and other documents and information. The emphasis is on equal and free access of citizens to the basics services.
The building up of a new type relationships between different types of public libraries through the creation of a National network public libraries.
Working out regulation of the conditions which library should provide, the manner of opening a library and closing a library, their funding, management, and interaction in the National Network of Public libraries.
Defining the characteristics of types of public libraries and their role in the National network of Public libraries. The functions and the tasks of the St.St Cyril and Methodius National Library as a National library are defined. The Act considers and observes the specifics of community centre libraries as an inseparable part of a community centre.
The determination of the type of library services provided to the public, differentiating them into basic services ands specialized ones.
The provision of conditions for the realization of programs for the preservation of the national literary heritage.
Updating legal requirements for the depositing of documents in line with the leading international principles and practices.
The introduction of a system for management of the National network of public libraries, as well as criteria for the evaluation of activities of libraries.
The launching of a contemporary model for funding of various kinds of public libraries through the use of additional financial instruments, ensuring the realization of strategic goals for the development of the National network of public libraries.
A system of requirements for professional qualification of library staff in public libraries, in the spirit of leading tendencies in the European region. Its aim is to lead to development of the development of libraries as modern centres for social services and stabilize the profession and status library-information specialists through high educational levels and competence of staff working in libraries.
The application of a new type normative document – Standard for library-information services, used widely in advanced countries. The aim is through the standard to work out the necessary quantitative and qualitative criteria for funding and assessment of public libraries.
The final aims of the Public Library Act are as follows:
- to achieve stability in the library sector;
- by applying the Act libraries to work in accordance with modern tendencies and models;
- to adequately meet public information needs and the interests of the general public;
- to expand and make access to information more democratic;
- to include Bulgarian culture and libraries actively in the international information exchange, in projects for digital libraries and joint projects in the field of information, in projects for the preservations, protection and presentation of the cultural heritage;
- to build up the network of public libraries according to fixed rules and ensure its real functioning.
The main types of libraries the Act deals with are the St. St Cyril and Methodius National Library, 27 regional libraries, community centre libraries (about 3 900) and municipality libraries.
The expectations of professional librarians were that after the enactment of the Act for Public Libraries the process of a lasting regulation of the library sector would begin.
Unfortunately for the period from the adoption of the Act developments did not occur in this line. The main responsibility falls on the respective state institutions. The Regulations for Public Libraries stemming from the Act have not been drawn up, realized and do not carry out the obligations ensuing from the texts in the cited texts. Thus the Standard for Library-information Service and the Regulation for the Storage, Use and Disposition of the Library Collections. Issues and mechanisms connected with the functioning of libraries within the National network of public libraries have not been resolved either. Special concern stems concerning questions for the funding of libraries after the adoption of the Act. In 2009 and 2010 the Program of the Ministry of Culture Bulgarian Libraries Modern Centres for Reading and Information Provision was frozen. In the course of the last year of its running about 3 million BGN were allocated for it. In 2011 the Ministry allocated only about 1,3 million BGN. According to the recommendations of IFLA a minimum of about 20 million annually are necessary for acquisitions for public libraries in Bulgaria. In 2011 the funding for delegated state activities for libraries were reduced by 30% in comparison with 2009, which has made it impossible for them to maintain their collections.
Besides public libraries, owing to the absence of legal regulation many school and other kinds of libraries are in a state of collapse. According to surveys carried out by the Bulgarian Library-Information Association and according to the latest data of the National Institutes of Statistics there are 1465 school libraries in the country (2005), at 2569 schools (2010/2011). The libraries continue to decrease in number. Twenty five percent exist nominally without any activity. For the last three years the acquisition of new books or other documents at school libraries has fallen three times. Most of the libraries do not have computers or access to internet. The absence of normative documents and standards have led over the last few years to a mass closing down of school libraries or their formal existence. Where the best European practices have been applied school libraries have been transformed in „media centres“. Neglect for the significance and the place of the school library in Bulgarian schools has exceptionally serious consequences for the younger generation concerning their literacy, education and possibility for development. It also leads to the marginalization of entire groups of the population, in particular with minorities. The hope is that in the new regulatory acts on school education the issues of rules of such libraries should be included. With this aim in mind the Bulgarian Library-Information Association (BLIA) has been working as experts with representatives of the Ministry of Public Education, Science and Youth.
In conclusion the paper has drawn the conclusion of the absence of an adequate policy of responsible state institutions in Bulgaria concerning the adoption of normative documents touching on libraries, as well their application. Part of the reasons are to be found in the absence of sufficient expert capacity in state organizations. This is not only valid for the sector of public libraries. It is difficult to describe the Bulgarian model in comparison with those mentioned in the beginning of the paper, owing to its lack of order, chaos and changeability. Timid attempts have been made to introduce strategies by the Ministry of Culture for the realization of separate projects which touch on the national library infrastructure. In most cases the processes develop under the pressure of the library community, NGOs, and experts, as well as the outcome of well-meaning partnership efforts and financial support of foreign institutions and foundations. It is necessary to state the absence of the state concerning strategies and long-term visions. This should be done in particular in a world referred to as an „information“ world,
subordinated to knowledge. There is no awareness of the need of a strong and effective library-information sector for the development and democratization of society. There is no arrangement and understanding of a number of social roles in defense of the interests of various groups of the population – in particular in times of crisis. In order to return trust towards them state institutions should quickly undertake steps to adopt the necessary normative and subnormative documents and standards for libraries. Financial support for the sector should be reconsidered with the aim to modernize libraries, enhance their information resources and potential. Strategic documents for future courses should be drawn up, with priority. Specialists dealing with problems in crisis situations offer strategic plans as the most successful for overcoming these crisis. In this respect the library community, in the person of its professional organization BLIA has always taken an active part, and provided initiatives in the design and realization of important projects which define structures. The way is one, the way of good intentions and partnership, with the aim of arriving at effective solutions when the resources are scant, working people in the country.|
|Appears in Collections:||Книга Библиотечно-информационни науки / Livre des Sciences de l’information et des bibliothèques|
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