BTA News

BTA Honoured by Sofia City Library for Presenting Literary Heritage

The Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) was honoured at the ninth annual awards ceremony of the Sofia Library on Monday and it received the prize for original presentation of the library’s literary heritage, digital resources and cultural events. As he received the honour, BTA Director General Kiril Valchev said that a comprehensive programme is needed for filling up library stocks with new books – both in and outside the country.

Valchev said that in 2023 the Sofia City Library offered its readers nearly 22,000 new titles of books and one in four of those was by Bulgarian classics and contemporary authors. “The vast majority of libraries not only in Bulgaria, but also of Bulgarian communities abroad, do not have this opportunity. Therefore, the Bulgarian State should start buying books for these libraries,” he said.

He went on to catalogue initiatives by the Bulgarian News Agency aimed to popularize books. BTA has opened a mobile National Book Press Club, which moves together with the Book Fair to different locations in the country and has started covering all the accompanying events, including the Sofia Literature Festival. The BTA press clubs present books. BTA’s LIK magazine for literature, art and culture regularly writes about books as much as it writes about politics and economy, said Valchev.

He argued that the State must support the publications of literature, art and culture. “This also requires a national programme and responsible institutions rather than emergency measures every year. That is why BTA has restored its LIK magazine.”

He noted that starting this year, the paper version of the magazine will be available free of charge to about 300 libraries and other cultural institutions, and the on-line version will be available for to everyone at no cost on the BTA website. Archival issues will also be available for purchase in hard copy.

The annual awards of the Sofia Library honour the most widely read writers and the most active readers. The selection of the most read contemporary Bulgarian authors is made by the library’s readership based on statistics from the electronic catalogue.

The writer’s prize for 2023 was awarded to Georgi Gospodinov for Time Shelter, and the prize for the author of the most read book last year went to Zahari Karabashliev and his novel Rana [Wound].

Prizes also went to:

Ivan Landzhev for poetry;

Prof. Tsocho Boyadzhiev for scientific and popular literature;

Maria Doneva for children’s literature; Tony Nikolov for a book about Sofia.

The prize for original presentation of the literary heritage also went to  the bTV newscast, hte morning shows of Nova TV and of the Bulgarian National Television, the Zakuska na trevata [Breakfast on the grass] programme of the Bulgarian National Radio and to journalist Yana Spiridonov of Radio Sofia.

Vladimir Zarev and Georgi Konstantinov were awarded the special prize of the Director of the Sofia Library.

The Library reports that their readership is 91,000 people. In 2023 it has increased by 10,000 new readers. Over 60% of the active reading audience is young people up to the age of 28. The borrowed books for home are 630,000, and there are nearly 1,500 visits daily to the library.

In the nine-year history of the Sofia Library awards, the library’s readership has increased more than threefold, and the number of borrowed books – more than twofold, the library added.

In 2023, readers were mostly looking for contemporary Bulgarian fiction, history, philosophy and politics, applied psychology, books on self-knowledge, healthy lifestyle, ecology, travel and tourism, memoirs, biograph