State Institute of Library Studies andInformation Technologies THE EDUCATION OF LIBRARIANS IN BULGARIA IN THE CHANGING ENVIRONMENT AFTER 1990 – ACHIEVEMENTS AND ISSUES Dr. Dobrinka StoykovaDr. Kristina Dencheva Education in a Changing Environment Conference 12-14 September 2007 University of Salford
MAIN GOALS • to reveal how the political and economic changes in Bulgaria has influenced the social environment, the libraries and the reading and the education of librarians (curricula, programs and the teaching methods); • to illuminate how the impact of the global technological environment changed the requirements for new skills of the future librarians and as a result - the contents of the curricula and the syllabus in information technologies; • to inform how our experiences in intercultural communications helped us to improve the quality of the librarian’s education in Bulgaria
MAIN POSITIVE CHANGES IN THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENT WHICH INFLUENCED THE LIBRARIES AND THE READING • changes in book publishing, concerning variety of themes, genres and types of books and electronic editions like reference books, textbooks; videos; computer games; cassettes with music; • changes in the curricula of secondary schools with the adding of new subjects like religion, informatics, ethics, more foreign languages; in some schools - marketing, tourism or likely practical disciplines; • the including of new authors, new themes and new interpretations of literary works in the textbooks; also the editing of alternative textbooks on all subjects; • the possibility to access and use of information from different sources like the Internet, the radio, the press, TV, especially their education TV programs
MAIN NEGATIVE CHANGES IN THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENT WHICH INFLUENCED THE LIBRARIES AND THE READING • in the publishing - Foreign authors were badly translated; many attractive, but with less informative value reference books were published; Some valuable educational journals stopped to issue; entertaining or even pornography journals came into the market; • in school - complicated textbooks were written, which lead to many hours for learning the complex material. As a result there is a deficit of free time for other reading; • the unlimited access to different electronic medias (TV, Internet, computer games) is leading to an unsuitable, consuming and even damaging or dangerous for the behaviour of the children information perception; • the raising of the prices for the new media and the lessen of the funding of the libraries made it impossible for many public and school libraries to renew their collections appropriate
NEW REQUIREMENTS FOR LIBRARIAN’S SKILLS IN CONNECTION WITH THE NEW LOCAL ENVIRONMENT • they have to be able to make rigorous selection of media for her/his library; • it is expected to have excellent communication skills; • they have to know the rules of the practical marketing; • they have to be able to find alternative funding; • it is expected from them to have knowledge about folk and religion celebrations or traditions; • they have to choose appropriate library services for different users groups and to use them creative; • they have to use the new information technologies in his/her work
CHANGES IN THE CURRICULA (ADDING NEW SUBJECTS) • Communication skills - obligatory • Public relations • Retrieval in Internet • Sociology • Software, used in the libraries • Librarian communication technologies • Project management - elective • Information brockerage- elective • Library services for the disabled -elective • Library services for children and schoolchildren • Web design -elective
CHANGES IN THE PROGRAMS (ADDING NEW THEMES OR ASPECTS IN OLD SUBJECTS) • Building of library stocks • Bibliography • Reference work • Marketing and management instead of Organization and Control in the library • Applied software • Library Services
METHODS OF EDUCATION • Exercises (most practical – learning by doing) • Using role plays to imitate a real situation; • Learning by the method of case studies • Using a lot of brochures, leaflets or other products, made by Bulgarian or by foreign libraries as to learn the students how to evaluate them; • Using some annual reports from the libraries as to learn how to make an situation analyse; • Visit some libraries and giving the students a task what to be made in the library; • Study the good practices from the libraries in the library; • Using self-dependant home-works to present products; • Making interviews with groups of users and situation analyses and after that - proposals for improvements in the library collection; in library services or promotion; • Evaluation of web pages of Bulgarian or foreign libraries as to learn about their present state in the Web space
FORMS OF CONTROL OF THE KNOWLEDGE • Exams (practical in several of the obligatory disciplines) • Exams (traditional) • Assessment of self dependant home works • Assessment of the activity of the student by discussions; role plays; situation analyses; • Assessment of course projects • Assessment of tests • Assessment of online tests
THE PROCESSESS OF GLOBALISATION HAVE AN EFFECT UPON: • the change of the mission, goals and tasks of libraries. That has an influence on the contents of the teaching subjects, on the terminology, on the priorities in the library services, which are now more customer oriented; • new requirements towards the teaching process, connected with the membership of Bulgaria in the European Union like the mobility of students and teachers; the ESCT (changes of curricula on module principle; more self-dependent home-works given);
INCREASE OF THE INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION TROUGH: • the exchange of valuable ideas and teaching methods during an joint Bulgarian – American workshop (discussion, team work; role play; brain storming; meeting with official authorities; informal meetings; use of the Internet and video-camera); • hearing lecturer (from USA, Russia, Germany, Serbia); • making the best from visiting libraries and library courses in USA or Germany; • participation in a virtual project “Collaboration across borders” www.cabweb.net (in JILID and in HELP);
Participation in “Collaboration across borders” (JILID) - Problems and conclusions • The huge number of participants made it very difficult to follow up the discussion; • The email box of the participants were full of important or meaningless messages, which made communication impossible; • The topics area was not enough wide – only 200 words could be seen in front of the page and additionally 300 words; • The topics were formulated too broad and some of the participants sent their answers not to the exact topic; • For the Bulgarian participants the problems were organizational; linguistic and technical;
Participation in “Collaboration across borders” (JILID) - Problems and conclusions (cont.) • The information on the Bulgarian websites on the topics wasn’t enough concrete and were only in Bulgarian; • We had to search additionally in printed media about the meaning of colors in different messages; • We have succeed to apply different meanings and interactive methods in the education of the students; • We made a lot of useful contacts with tutors from different countries; • We could promote our culture in the world; • Our students had established curiosity and a truly interest to virtual interactive learning.
THE USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES IN THE TEACHING PROCESS • to present the curricula, syllabus, some school- and teaching aids; • as a communication instrument (e-mail); • as illustration of the retrieval trough Web – based education; • as a form of assessment through online tests
MAIN NEW TASKS FOR THE USE OF COMPUTERS IN LIBRARIES: • Creation of e-content for presentation of libraries and their information resources; • Providing access and using own and external information resources; • Cooperated and full-right participation in the international information exchange
THE PROBLEMS OF USING THE NEW INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES IN TEACHING ARE INFLUENCED BY: • the condition of the libraries, in which these technologies are dynamically introduced; • the need to study a variety of software, used in the libraries; • the lack of appropriate computer bases in many of the school and public libraries; • the existence only of few electronic catalogues of Bulgarian libraries, which could be used in Internet, which makes it difficult to retrieval information in them; • the fact, that the Bulgarian libraries’ Web content presents only its own stocks and services, while the access to electronic resources is too limited because of their still small volume;
POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS • teaching about the tendencies in the use of information technologies for communication in foreign libraries; • show the students the existing good practices in some leading Bulgarian libraries – for example - the tendency towards cooperation of the efforts for acquisition and providing online access to the biggest databases of the Bulgarian Information Consortium, including the 5 biggest university libraries; the trend of presentation of the cultural and historical heritage in the leading regional libraries; the successful development of the American Bulgarian virtual project of Information Centre (ABLE project);
POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS (CONT.) • teaching the students how to make a multiple criteria analysis of the sites of the regional and university libraries in Bulgaria or of the websites of some foreign libraries. • design differentiation, content and communication, which embrace the initial stage of planning of design with the use of the XML technology; • the students have to learn how to find various information – from text to multimedia for different user groups or for creation of different versions of the site – for instance, in Bulgarian and in English.
LOCAL AND GLOBAL IN TEACHING THE STUDENTS • We arrived at the conclusion, that the globalization has a catalytic effect for acceleration and enrichment of training and respectively the acquiring of knowledge and skill by the students. Nevertheless the opposition of the global and local leads to extremes – from depersonalization to conservation. • The putting of general stereotypes, caused by the irreversible processes of globalization must be domesticated by the national identification and accordingly to the local conditions. In that case not only originality and colouring, but also enrichment and diversification of the dialogue between different schools and trends would be achieved. In this way the local would have preserving and creative effect upon the potential of the global.