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HISTORY

The public, social, economic and technological changes in Bulgaria after 1990 have a vital effect on the functioning, the social role and the whole state of the System of University libraries. These changes had reflected variously in the work of the individual libraries and did not allow their synchronized development. The entering of the new information and communication technologies also exerts great influence on their activity. The transition from the traditional printed to electronic catalogues had been made and the entering of numerous information resources, based on the Internet-technology, enforced new forms of access and use of the information from the main users (students and lecturers) of the academic libraries.

Nowadays the libraries to the High Schools in Bulgaria are in a different stage of automation of the library-information processes, in a various stage of technological provision, of completeness and richness of the library funds, in the qualification of the library staff, etc.

The analysis of their common development leads to the conclusion for reducing the financing of basic activities of the libraries as the acquisition of the library funds and ensure of subscription of scientific periodicals and electronic resources. This is the basic difficulty in front of satisfying of increasing requirements of the users from the academic society.

Other basic problems are connected with the necessary equipment of the academic libraries. With some exceptions, in respect of buildings, available areas and technical equipment, they are far from the contemporary requirements. The dominant part of the university libraries do not dispose of specially designed buildings for their needs and are located in the educational corps in adapted premises. The deficiency of space for reading-rooms and depositories is typical for a great part of the libraries. The places for the readers are also limited. There are serious problems with the lack of finances for activities of preservation of the library funds such as book covering, conservation and restoration of the library materials.

In respect of the technical insurance of the university libraries also must work hard for achieving the world standards. The new information technologies are difficult to be implemented because of the limited finances. Seriously successes in this relation achieved some libraries via participation in projects of the World Bank, the TEMPUS and Phare programs, Open Society Foundation and others.

The leading library practices indicate that to meet the requirements of the information society and the United European educational space is necessary to follow subsequent strategy for development of the university libraries, directed to building of telecommunication connections between the libraries, of integrated library systems and to creating of databases for interlibrary exchange. It is necessary to be introduced new models of organization of the access to the scientific publications with effective mechanisms of management of the financial and information resources of single libraries as well as of groups of libraries.

In 2000 initiated by University library St. Kliment Ohridski was established Association of the University Libraries in Bulgaria (AUL) with president Prof. Ivanka Yankova, PhD. The Association of the University Libraries is a natural continuation of the common work in the formed in 1978 under the management of University library, Board of Directors of the libraries by the High Schools and of its activity of building united information system in Bulgaria.

2006-2009 AUL