BULGARIAN LIBRARIES IN EMERGENCY CONDITIONS
University of Library Studies and Information Technologies (BULGARIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 9-10 November, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:The crisis, which has occurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, has changed and continues to change every sphere of social, political, economic and cultural life in the whole world. Library institutions at the beginning of 2020 were faced with a difficult choice connected with the forms of work and ways of access to services offered by them. The question how to restructure their work in order to be most useful in a period of global pandemic was extremely important.
Decisions about closing and limiting library services sparked different reactions in libraries all over the world. In Bulgaria they were closed down for users in the period of the emergency situation from March 13th to May 13th 2020. But this did not reduce the capabilities of these institutions, but only gave them the freedom to test new forms of working with consumers. It has provoked the rethinking and remodeling of many services and made libraries flexible enough to respond to new conditions. Free registration, free access to documents in the digital environment, bibliographic and other types of reports, remote access to database, extension of deadlines for returning of borrowed documents, etc. were provided.
The report presents a current topic connected with trials which libraries are exposed to as institutions in times of crisis . This is happening for the first time in such proportions after the World War II. Along with global rules and regulatory frameworks, defining the functioning of libraries in an emergency situation, attention has been paid to the national strategy in terms of public libraries and how it is applied in Bulgaria.
Emphasis is placed on various library services and lessons learned from their real performance. In this way the new appearance of the library may be outlined ‒ without readers, but executing its library information function. Thus, a new type of user can be talked about more and more eloquently, which inhabits the virtual space more boldly.
Keywords: COVID-19, Bulgaria, libraries, library services, online resources.