We admit that sometimes it could be difficult to navigate the maze of registries, funds, reading and flying leaflets, which we have to fill with unmistakable meticulousness to find a book here. And how else could it be? The treasury of the National Library St. St. Cyril and Methodius stores over 9 million books, magazines, Oriental and Slavic manuscripts, sound recordings, photographs and much more. Let’s give one to every Bulgarian – they will still remain. On the Day of Bulgarian Letters, Literacy and Culture we take a look at the notebook with a few numbers and interesting facts related to the oldest and largest library in Bulgaria
In 2020 alone, the library’s collection added 1,572 new Bulgarian and foreign books on its shelves through purchase, book exchange or donation. Holders of reader cards are exactly 19,313 – 3,000 more than the previous year. 52% of them are specialists, and 37.3% – high schoolers, students or retirees. Most often they pursue knowledge in the field of history, social sciences, literature and philology. The pandemic limits physical visits and we are not surprised by the impressive online activity during the five months of lockdown.
If you’ve spent the last few years in a cave, you may not have heard of the benefits of the digital age. The whole world seems a few clicks away, but contrary to popular belief, not everything floats on the Internet. A more in-depth study inevitably leads us in the spacious corridors and the massive offices of the libraries – the national, regional, university or dozens at the Sofia community centers. They themselves are also up to date – in 2020 alone, 207,819 documents have been digitized in the National Library, virtual exhibitions are being held (such as Behind the Scenes of “Under the Yoke”), while movies, presentations and virtual events are running.
The National Library is easy to love. Especially when we find ourselves in the music reading room, the corners of Pencho Slaveykov and Boris Hristov, among the mountains of old newspapers and their specific aroma. Its magic can embrace us every day, as long as we give it a chance.