Annual Forum of the National Academic Library and Information System Foundation




15 May 2013 (Wednesday), 9:00 – 14:00

 Serdika Hall, Sheraton Sofia Hotel Balkan, Sofia






Opening and welcomes:

Dincho Krastev, Executive Director of NALISF

HE  Marcie Ries, U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria

Carl H. Pforzheimer III, Co-Chairman of America for Bulgaria Foundation

Sinikka Sipila, President-Elect of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)



Prof. Boryana Hristova, Director of the St. St. Cyril and Methodius National Library

The National Library’s Digital Library: Reality and Dream

The digital collection of the Bulgarian National Library exists from way back and is actively used by all kinds of readers in the country and abroad. The contents digitalized are divided into two big groups – cultural heritage (including Cyrilic manuscripts from the 10th to the 18th century, old photographs, old maps) and serials (from the National Revival). So far these are about 300 000 files, completely free for users, without any restrictions of access, and could be seen also in “Europeana”, partly in the World Digital Library. The total number of digitalised files of periodicals is  200 000 in 132 titles and efforts in digitization will continue.


Prof. Robert Darnton, University Librarian, Harvard University

The Digital Public Library of America and the Digital Future as Seen from Harvard

Despite a lot of loose talk about the death of the book and the obsolescence of libraries, books and libraries are more important than ever in the current digital environment; and their importance will increase as we design the digital future—if only we can get it right. One way leads through excessive commercialization to a future in which the public will cease to have access to most of the material that belongs in the public domain.  Another way is to democratize access to knowledge.  The Digital Public Library of America, which went online on April 18, exemplifies the possibilities of democratization. It is a distributed network of digitized collections from research libraries scattered across the U.S., and it aims to make America’s cultural heritage available, free of charge, to all Americans and in fact to everyone in the world.



Coffee break



Ann Thornton, Andrew W. Mellon Director of the New York Public Libraries

Transformative Digital Library Collaborations

Collaborative digital content partnerships are an ideal way to increase the exposure and use of digital collections, but they also have the ability to transform libraries in the following ways: how collections can be used; what is understood about the collections; and even the ways in which librarians work. The New York Public Library has experimented with different types of digital content partnerships over the last few years, and these collaborations are making collections more accessible, helping to maximize educational impact, and providing a glimpse into the future of library practice.


Oren Weinberg, Chief Executive Officer of the National Library of Israel

The National Library of Israel: Leveraging the Israeli Digital Library to Impact the Education System

The National Library of Israel (NLI) is engaged in creating a national network of cultural heritage materials relating to the spectrum of communities in Israel and the Jewish People throughout history. As part of its current initiatives, NLI is building a National Digital Preservation Repository, constructing a national network of historically significant digital archives and digitizing a range of materials that include thousands of books manuscripts, maps, archival documents, and photographs. With the awareness that creating a massive digital library is not alone sufficient to generate user involvement, NLI is working to promote and ensure ongoing and increasing use of its digital resources. One of the ways in which NLI has set out to achieve this is working with the Israeli education system to integrate the use of primary sources into the Israeli K-12 curricula, and inspire new generations of students to connect with the cultural heritage treasures of Israel and the Jewish People.


Prof. Alexander Sotnikov, Deputy Director of the Interdepartmental Supercomputer Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences

The Scientific Heritage of the Digital Library of Russia

During its history Russia has created a great number of cultural and scientific values that are part and parcel of world culture. Russian Scientific Heritage Digital Library is one of the biggest Russian project for digitizing, archiving and preservation of library’s collections and making them available for science and education. It is an effective tool for association of different types of digital resources: books, manuscripts, museum and archive collections, bridging research and education. Russian Scientific Heritage Digital Library is a contributing partner in Worldwide efforts towards making knowledge open and free.

Assoc. Prof. Martin Ivanov, Chairman of the Archives State Agency

Archives 2.0 in the Digital Era

Long perceived as inward-looking, traditional institutions, and guardians of the national cultural treasures (1.0), libraries and archives all over the world are now moving towards open access and engagement with the public (2.0). This new trend aims at harnessing the knowledge and expertise of the general public. Bulgarian libraries and archives are also subject to the world-wide trends of drastic reduction in on-site visits. In less than 20 years the Internet has seriously undermined memory institutions threatening to make them obsolete. Libraries and archives, however, believe that new technologies create not only challenges, but also vast opportunities to contribute their expertise and information to the global pool of knowledge via the use of Web 2.0 technologies.

Matti Shem Tov, President and Chief Executive Officer of ExLibris Group

Moving to the Cloud: Challenges and Opportunities for Libraries and Vendors

Ten years ago, very few libraries would consider hosting their applications outside institutional boundaries. Nevertheless, as cloud-based solutions started to become popular in other areas of information technology, libraries quickly grasped the potential benefits and began adopting such solutions as soon as they came on the market. This talk will focus on the cloud-related requirements and considerations that are unique to libraries and will discuss changes in the development processes, infrastructure, support services, and business and sales models at Ex Libris to best support the evolving needs and perceptions of the library community.


General discussion