Virtual Library – Bulgaria Project. I stage
(Building an Unified national library and information system)
On the 28th November 2006 Prof. Boryana Hristova – Director of the St. St. Cyril and Methodius National Library, signed in Maribor, Slovenia, Agreement on the Inclusion of Libraries in Bulgaria in the Free Exchange of Bibliographic Records within the COBISS.Net Network. According to this agreement the National Library engaged to implement the programme product COBISS (Detailed information about the project on COBISS.Net).
In January 2010 was adopted Plan for the work of the employees in the National Library in implementing COBISS.Net and were made Proposals for the work in implementing COBISS.Net in the National Library and other libraries in the country.
Information about the conversion of the electronic catalogues of the National Library
The real first step in Bulgaria in creating a separate library and information system in the frames of the COBISS system is the creation of a database, which the union catalogue will be based on. So, it is necessary to have the records in this database in the COMARC format, which it supports. The bibliographic records will be firstly converted in the form and will be the base of this catalogue. This will be done in connection with the big size and importance of all the collections in the National Library.
The beginning of the project was in 2007. Few months later (in February 2008) an employee of the National Library was sent in IZUM to assist for achieving better quality of the conversion.
As a result of these joined efforts 864 545 bibliographic records have been successfully transferred and tested in the COMARC/B, COMARC/A and COMARC/H formats so far. These records are of Bulgarian books and books in foreign Cyrillic and Latin; periodicals; articles from Bulgarian newspapers, journals and collections; a part of the dissertations; control files of the names and subject headings.
In order to achieve these results the National Library passed trough different stages. The basic ones are:
creating transferring tables from the form, used in the National Library to the COMARC format;
creating additional algorithms in addition to these tables;
creating equalizing tables about the information, which has to be coded in the process of conversion;
conversing in IZUM;
testing and approving the results from the conversion by the National Library, according to the algorithms, set at the beginning;
addition and correction of the algorithms.
After having made the experimental conversion, the National Library has to perform the real conversion of the electronic library catalogues. This will be done when the Slovenian partner is ready. All the algorithms has been applied, tested and approved in the experimental conversion.
From the 12th April to the 29th May 2010 in the National Library were organized the following training courses. The aims of these courses were to educate and train the library’s employees how to work with the COBISS system:
Usage of the COBISS/Cataloguing Software – basic course;
Usage of the COBISS/Cataloguing Software – extended course;
Usage of the COBISS/Transfer of Records and Data for the Funds Software;
Usage of the COBISS/Funds – Serials Software.
The official award of the certificates for work training with the system for shared cataloguing is still forthcoming. These certificates give rights to the employees to create and edit bibliographical records. The employees have to have been successfully passed the Usage of the COBISS/Cataloguing Software – basic course; to have created 30 records of books; to have successfully passed an exam on creating bibliographical records in the COMARC/B format.