In an effort to strengthen already-existing channels of cultural partnerships, the National Library of Nigeria and its similar institution in Bulgaria, known as St. Cyril and Methodius National Library of the Republic of Bulgaria, have reached an agreement on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). On behalf of the two country libraries, Professor Chinwe Veronica Anunobi and Associate Professor Krasimira Aleksandrova, who are the national librarians of Nigeria and Bulgaria, respectively, signed the MoU in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Professor Chinwe Veronica Anunobi, who serves as the National Librarian and the Chief Executive Officer of the National Library of Nigeria (NLN), disclosed that the National Library of Nigeria has a total collection of more than 10 million materials in its possession. Mr. Vershima Orvell-Dio, Head of Public Relations at the National Library of Nigeria, who accompanied the professor, revealed to the Nigerian Tribune that the MoU would assist in strengthening cultural and diplomatic relationships between the two countries who have maintained official ties since 1964. Also present was Mrs. Christiana Okwuduba, head of the Digitization Project and other delegates.
MoU with Nigeria will strengthen both countries’ relationship.
His Excellency Yanko Yordanov, Bulgaria’s Ambassador to Nigeria, was praised by the Professor for fostering the processes that led to the signing of the historic MoU. It would also make it easier for the two countries to share materials, which would not only improve cross-cultural relations but also help librarians learn more about other places. Prof. Anunobi asserts that each national library is distinct from all other libraries within the specific nation. The relationship would also accord them the ability to discover more things from each other.
While remarking on the number of resources available at the national library, she spoke of other services provided in addition to those that encourage the development of a reading culture in Nigeria. She explained that the library is in charge of gathering all books published in Nigeria, as well as keeping track of their international standard book numbers and publishing a serial called the “National Bibliography of Nigeria.” She also claims that there is a virtual library available to its users, giving them access to information at any time and from any location.
Bulgarian National Library has seen significant progress in its operation.
Associate Professor Aleksandrova, In her remarks, extended a hearty welcome to all of her visitors and praised Professor Anunobi for having the opportunity to visit the National Library of Bulgaria. Prof. Aleksandrova gave her visitors a brief history of the Bulgarian National Library, noting that it was founded 140 years ago, relocated to its current and permanent structure in 1953, and now possesses over eight million books, including 1,500 original manuscripts from the 11th to the 19th centuries. She also mentioned that the library had seen an increase in patronage, with as many as 300 people using the facilities on active days.
Furthermore, she explained that they’ve signed over 20 MoUs with other countries, stating that the library is using a lot of cutting-edge technology to protect its collections and that she was particularly pleased by the progress being made in this area with Nigeria on the news agreement. The Bulgarian National Library afterwards gave the Nigerian team a tour of its facilities, taking them through the digitization studios, healing and restoration laboratories, archives, Nigerian segment, and storage facilities.
The delegate also took part in a workshop and courtesy visit.
Lastly, the Nigeria team took part in a workshop with the topic “Preservation of the Literary Heritage,” and they made a visit to the Minister of Culture as well as the Ivan Vazov Library in Plovdiv. Both of these events took place in Bulgaria. The leadership of the University of Library Studies and Information Technologies also met with the Nigerian delegation when they were at the National Library of Bulgaria. This meeting took place despite the fact that an earlier scheduled visit to the University of Library Studies and Information Technologies was later cancelled.
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