Writers Set to March against Decay of Bulgarian Libraries
Bulgarian writers will stage a protest on Wednesday demanding adequate measures on behalf of the state regarding the condition of the country's libraries.
The event is to take place at the Nezavisimost (Independence) square in downtown Sofia at 11:00 am local time.
A campaign for the rescue of Bulgaria's libraries was launched a month ago. A total of 20 000 signatures have been already gathered by the organizers, while several thousand have supported it on the Internet.
Bulgaria's libraries are in a desperate need of funding in order to increase their book-stocks, the organizers have stated. They also demand that a standard be set for library and information services across the country.
"Libraries need not only books but also computers, cultural initiatives and education opportunities," Alexander Kiossev, who teaches cultural history of modernity at the University of Sofia, stated during a press conference, as cited by dnes.dir.bg.
Some 90% of Bulgaria's libraries have not acquired new books in the last three years. Just 10% of all Bulgarians have the habit of visiting libraries, as compared with the 60%-70% average for the European Union. Over the last 20 years, half of the Balkan country's school libraries have ceased to exist, according to statistical data shown by the campaign's organizers.
"Libraries should not only be rich in books and information, they should work on improving their image – they should become places where one is willing to go," Kalin Terziyski, one of the writers who will take part in Wednesday's protest, has commented.