8.4.2 Cultural houses and community cultural clubs
Chitalishte is a typically Bulgarian institution including a library and all sorts of cultural activities, such as lectures, meetings, different study groups, clubs etc. Their functions are similar to those of community centres. They are famous for their democratic tradition and their libraries have the functions of basic public libraries, accessible to all people (in 2000 there were 3 414 chitalishta libraries). More information under: http://www.chitalishte.bg/index.php?&set_language=2 (Chitalishte Project)
The UNDP Project BUL/00/002, Community Development and Participation through the Chitalishte Network 2001-2004, is among the most important grant schemes to develop the Chitalishte-infrastructure in Bulgaria. By building on the Chitalishte's existing network, the project envisaged an expanded and sustainable role for the Chitalishte. By building on its traditional strength, the potential exists for increasing grass-roots participation and local development. Some of the strategies for improving the capacity of the Bulgarian Chitalishte include ICT grants for "model projects which demonstrate good practice" and public awareness initiatives.