- We have over 10 million resources in our holdings – Prof. Anunobi
- We have 8 million books, 1,500 original manuscripts – Assoc. Prof. Aleksandrova
The National Library of Nigeria and its Bulgaria counterpart, known as St. St. Cyril and Methodius National Library of the Republic of Bulgaria, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, aimed at boosting already existing forms of cultural exchange
The Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, between the two National Libraries which was signed by Prof. Chinwe Veronica Anunobi and Associate Prof. Krasimira Aleksandrova, the National Librarians of Nigeria and Bulgaria respectively in Sofia on 28th March 2023 will help deepen cultural and bilateral ties between Nigeria and Bulgaria, which established diplomatic relations since 1964.
Speaking during the ceremony, Prof. Anunobi who led a delegation of three from Nigeria, thanked the Bulgarian Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency Yanko Yordanov for facilitating and nurturing the processes that culminated in the historic signing of the MOU that will facilitate the sharing of resources between the two countries in order not just to deepen cross cultural relations but to also expand the vista of librarianship practice across geographical borders. According to Anunobi “Each National Library is unique to itself, be it amongst other libraries in the particular country, or be it amongst other national libraries. I therefore see this relationship as affording us a peep into what your national library is doing that we can learn from, and of course we shall gladly share with you, what we are doing and how we are doing it.”
Prof. Anunobi further informed her hosts that the National Library of Nigeria has a total stock of over 10 million materials in its holding. Of the other services rendered, apart from activities that promote the inculcation of a positive reading habit in Nigeria, she stated that the Library is responsible for the collection of legal deposit materials, administration of international standard numbers, bibliographic control which results in the publication of a serial known as the National Bibliography of Nigeria, which captures all books published in Nigeria. Other services, according to Prof. Anunobi, includes a virtual library that makes it possible for people to access materials irrespective of their location and time.
Speaking earlier, Assoc. Prof. Aleksandrova who warmly welcomed her guests, thanked Prof. Anunobi for being able make out time to visit the National Library of Bulgaria. Briefing her guests about the Bulgarian National Library, Assoc. Prof. Aleksandrova stated that the Library which was established 140 years ago, moved into its present and permanent building in 1953 and has over 8 million books, 1,500 original manuscripts from 11th to the 19th centuries. She also stated that there has being an upsurge of readers’ visit to the library, some days up to 300 readers seating.
Assoc. Prof. Aleksandrova, who informed that they have signed over 20 MOUs with different countries, further stated that Library is deploying so much technology in the preservation of its resources and is glad for the burgeoning relationship with Nigeria in that regard.
The Nigerian delegation was later taken on a guided tour of the Bulgarian National Library facilities including the digitization studios, the healing and restoration laboratories, the archives, the Nigerian corner as well as the storage rooms. The delegation also participated in a workshop on the theme, Preservation of the Literary Heritage”.
The delegation also paid a courtesy visit on the Minister of Culture, the Ivan Vazov Library in Plovdiv. An earlier scheduled visit to the University of Library Studies and Information Technologies was later called off, and the management of the University rather met with the Nigerian delegation at the National Library of Bulgaria.
Prof. Anunobi was accompanied on the official visit by the Head of Public Relations, Vershima Orvell-Dio, and that of the Digitization Project Mrs. Christiana Okwuduba.