University of Library Stuidies and Information Technologies (BULGARIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2022 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 6180-6185
ISBN: 978-84-09-37758-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2022.1566
Conference name: 16th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-8 March, 2022
Location: Online Conference
Bibliotherapy is a systematic method which uses literature and other narrative forms to transform traditional reading into a strategy for dealing with various psychological states. Bibliotherapy uses books in a purposeful way to positively impact mental health. Evidence suggests that bibliotherapy can be an effective way of helping people with a range of common emotional difficulties. Today, bibliotherapy can be used as a self-help method chosen intuitively or can be guided by a therapist or a qualified professional. By using the therapeutic potential of literature, it presents an accessible and effective way to deal with various physical, emotional, psychological and social problems. However, it is necessary to promote the possibilities of bibliotherapy and find different forms of training in order to fulfill its potential.

Bibliotherapy programmes using books to support good mental health are found around the world. The perceptions of bibliotherapy have been changing over time and are perceived differently in different countries, but the idea that bibliotherapy can help to find support and solutions through reading have always been unifying. Today, there are many bibliotherapy projects that have been developed with therapeutic, educational, and recreational purposes and implemented in both clinical and non-clinical sectors.

Bibliotherapy as a discipline has established traditions in many countries and is part of the training programmes of various specialists. Its main focus is the ability to help people with different problems in a non-invasive way. In Bulgaria, in an academic environment, bibliotherapy is an integral element of the curriculum of certain disciplines, but as an independent discipline it is taught only in the Master's program of Library Information and Cultural Management (LICM) programme at the Department of Library Management and Archival Studies (DLMAS) at the University of Library Studies and Information Technologies (ULSIT).

An analysis of universities where the discipline of Bibliotherapy is studied has been conducted under the project entitled “Study of Attitudes to the Therapeutic Potential of Reading in Atypical Situations for the Individual” financed by the National Science Fund of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Bulgaria with Contract № КП-06-Н45/2 dated from 30.11.2020. This study turns out to be extremely relevant in the context of the global crisis in which we all find ourselves nowadays.

The purpose of the report is to present the results of this study at the level of presentation of bibliotherapy in academic context worldwide. A brief analysis is made of the available curricula of specialties from different fields in which the discipline of Bibliotherapy is studied. The results can serve as a basis for the development of bibliotherapy in a university environment including the one in Bulgaria. Using the established trends and world experience in this field, good working practices can be used in the teaching of this discipline and to observe whether its status can change during the pandemic.
Bibliotherapy, academic, environment, discipline, pandemic, specialty.