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About Snejana Ianeva – Always with Respect and Gratitude

Memories by Nelly Stoilova, a longtime Director of the Regional Library “P. Pavlovich” and a leader of the city of Silistra. 

“Hello Nelly, I have an idea”, this was almost always the start of my conversations with Snejana Ianeva. And by sharing her idea she effortlessly was making me a part of enriching, developing and execution of that idea. She was capable to inspire, to focus on the best of each proposal and bring it to scale and fruition. She was tireless in generating ideas and making them happen without delay. Always well-meaning and supportive, having a genuine authority, she was a down-to-Earth person and a remarkable professional. All her ideas and plans were always about the libraries – material resources, funds, qualifications, exchanges, partnerships, human resources, programs, and projects. The focus of her work for decades without any pay was the development and modernization of all Bulgarian libraries as part of the democratic process, increasing the importance of libraries and the prestige of librarians.

In her unique manner she was very successful in developing in all of us confidence and self-respect, she helped us advance our careers. We had long conversations about the need of interaction between librarians and the local authorities. She urged us to reach out and inform the authorities about our successes and problems and to make our libraries a sought-after partner of local communities and leaders. Anything new or experimental in the international library practices Snejana made known and accessible to all libraries. She was helping bring all the innovations to libraries all over the country – big and small in very different localities.

She was a tireless and inspirational leader for the modernization of the libraries and librarianship, she urged us and helped us buildthe contemporary modern image of our libraries.The study of the best international practices, the sharing of resources and their adaptation to our conditions was at the foundation of many projects and programs she inspired and developed in Bulgaria: ABLE (American-Bulgarian Library Exchange), Sister Libraries, Global Libraries -Bulgaria, American Corners, Make Your Library Green.She also created a section of The Bulgarian Library and Information Association named “American Experience for the Libraries” to be able to research, share and implement good practices of American Libraries.
And all her efforts worked! We, librarians learned a lot, introduced many modern changes to our libraries and library work and we ourselves changed for the better as professionals.
It was an honor and a privilege to know and work with Snejana Ianeva!