Leadership for municipal public libraries

On June 27-28, 2011 “Leadership for municipal public libraries” workshop was held at Ivan Vazov Public Library – Plovdiv. The training is the second step of BLIA’s project, supported by IFLA.

After training of 12 trainers in April (http://www.lib.bg/en/Mews/35-News/76-Training-of-trainers-in-leadership-for-municipal-libraries) BLIA organized a pilot seminar for municipal library managers from different sized municipalities of Plovdiv and Pazardzhik regions (Asenovgrad, Stamboliiski, Karlovo, Sadovo, Sopot, Hisarya, Brezovo, Kuklen, Parvomai, Saedinenie, Rakitovo, Batak, Bratsigovo, Septemvri, Panagyurishte). Anna Kozhuharova – Director of Kazanlak Municipal Library “Iskra” and Angelina Stavreva – expert in Plovdiv Public Library Methodological department were the key trainers.
The workshop put an emphasis on the following topics: Leadership styles. Effective leadership characteristics, What is 21st century leadership, Leader and manager – is there a difference?, The library leader and local authorities, The leader in fundraising for the library, Library’s media presence. The organizers became aware of the fact that good practices from leading libraries here, in Bulgaria are the best teachers – practices, successfully realized in the present unfavourable conditions for the libraries. Anna Kozhuharova convinced her colleagues that professionalism, commitment and communication ability are the key for fundraising, making positive library image and building community’s trust – all of her just one year’s experience as a library manager. She pointed out that with the enforcement of The Public Libraries Act in 2009, “there has never been more favourable prerequisite for the development of municipal libraries”. It is now up to the leaders, who must be skillful communicators to attract librarians, municipal committees for library service development and other libraries as partners in order to transform the library into a vital space for knowledge, information and recreation.
Special guest of the workshop was Slava Draganova – director of Rodina Library – Stara Zagora. She talked about the difficulties they faced in building an effective team – recollections of major events from the history of the library, which motivated librarians to give their best. Those present felt the heart of a devoted leader, who has worked for 37 years for the recognition of the library, and realized that the present library’s success has not come at once,  but has been consistently pursued for years, day by day, with a lot of imagination and perseverance.
The real stories of library directors showed how leaders turn out to be the most important factor for funding, community support, and the library high profile. This once again proved the need for leadership training, for developing new skills and shifting the approach in communication with the environment.
The other guest of the workshop, Kalina Todorova – Head of Regional studies department of Hristo Botev Public Library – Vratsa, supported Angelina Stravreva’s lecture “Libraries and the media” with a presentation on the new media policy of the regional library, reflection of the energy and the vision of its modern leader. In 2010 the library’s name appears in 240 articles of local and national media. For city’s population this conveys the message: “There is constantly something interesting at the library! Why not to be a part of it?” That’s the way for Vratsa’s librarians to put forward the value of always keeping with the changes library.
The results and the conclusions from this pilot training will be considered in developing Leadership Program of BLIA’s Centre for Continuing Education for Librarians.

BLIA expresses gratitude to all guests and participants in the workshop, to Angelina Stavreva as a lecturer, host and organizer, and to Ivan Vazov Public Library and its Methodological Department for their warm reception and collaboration.

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