Thursday, 6 June 2013

The Library at the Slaveykov

Slaveykov Square, named after the tandem of great Bulgarian writers Petko (father) and Pencho (son) Slaveykov, is right at the centre of Sofia. The name of the Bulgarian capital means 'wisdom' in Greek - perhaps it is not accidental that the residents of this city are particularly book-loving. The Slaveykov Square is known for its open air book market.

Slaveykov Square, Sofia.

Every day, rain or sun, one can browse through hundreds of printed materials, both second hand and brand new, and/or strike a conversation with the dedicated book dealers. Besides them, the square is a popular meeting place and a crossroads. Tourists love taking photos of themselves sitting at the bench along with the writers' statues.

Father and son.

This square, number four, is where our library is located. The tall, five-storeyed former Communist Party building has hosted Sofia City Library since 1990. The library has two entrances. The main one is on the right; while the left one leads to the Children's Department and the American Corner, and is shared with a medical centre.

Library's main entrance, the one on the right.

Besides being a source for the usual library staples - books, albums, records, videos - Sofia City Library has got its own busy theatre with nightly performances; a gallery - exhibition room; and even a live music bar. Indeed a one truly public institution, as it was intended by its founders 85 years ago.

Booking office of the Library's theatre.

Going back to the books, on the fourth floor of the library (main entrance) there are some foreign language reading rooms: Spanish; English, Chinese and Portuguese; Turkish; German and Scandinavian.

Turkish language reading room.

Spanish reading room.

On the second floor of the same entrance there is the Russian Centre as well as some books in a few other languages. In addition to this, international readers can find more English language books and periodicals at the aforementioned American Corner.

Presentations' room at the American Corner.

Our, the EVS volunteers', activities are centered mainly around the library's foreign resources, events, and the Childrens' Department. Besides doing general work at the library all of us run our own personal projects. However busy - or not - we may be, we are always open to suggestions and invitations from the library's readers. We are here to promote international friendships and to make this nice library even more attactive to the general public. 

At the Children's Department.


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