University of Library Studies and Information Technologies (ULSIT) (BULGARIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 6758-6762
ISBN: 978-84-09-27666-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2021.1345
Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Bibliotherapy is a multifaceted concept that is of great importance for the essence of the library profession in the twenty-first century. Bibliotherapeutic activity is aimed at intensive work with people through the use of fiction to have a beneficial effect on their lives in the direction of discovering the pleasure of reading, as well as to support the treatment of mental illness. The main bibliotherapeutic activity of libraries is aimed at achieving a certain information and spiritual literacy of the individual. This requires librarians to be qualified and trained specialists, familiar with alternative forms of dealing with states of emotional and psychological imbalance caused by the dynamic life and the constantly increasing society's expectations of the individual. Observations show, that in Bulgaria still do not know and make full use of the possibilities of bibliotherapy, that emphasizes the scientific and applied significance of the topic of this report.

The project "Study of Attitudes to the Therapeutic Potential of Reading in Atypical Situations for the Individual" (December 2020-December 2023, National Science Fund, Ministry of Education and Science, Bulgaria) corresponds to that established gap. The project main goal is to outline the parameters of the perception of the therapeutic functions of reading by the population in our country; the level of knowledge of bibliotherapy in Bulgaria and its application in libraries and the degree of intuitive use of reading as a therapeutic tool in different age groups in atypical situations for the individual (in particular the period of social isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic). One of it specific goals connect to the knowledge triangle science-education-practice by creating new relationships between curricula for academic training program for students of Bachelor and Master degrees in Library and Information Sciences at University of Library Studies and Information Technologies (Bulgaria). This research task is the subject of this report.

The research methodology is based on an internal and online desk research of educational documentation and working correspondence. The curriculum of the academic disciplines – Bibliotherapy, Library Psychology, Library Pedagogy, Access to Information for People with Special Needs, Policies to Stimulate Reading, Book illustration, Book studies, Bibliophilia, and History and Theory of Reading is examined. Also the potential of this curriculum for updating and creating relationships in the training of students in library and information sciences is explored.

The direction is to educate socially engaged professionals with new competencies for the application of therapeutic reading, motivated to provide new opportunities for users of library services and in response to current public needs.

Recommendations for establishing advanced problem-oriented training of students in library and information sciences, affecting more and more alternative forms of work with readers in Bulgarian libraries are presented. The positioned issues are also of interest to the international academic community.
Bibliotherapy, libraries, academic education, knowledge triangle, University of Library Studies and Information Technologies, Bulgaria.