The role of libraries in the process of communication. Part 1


The central idea associated with the 1996 Budapest World Fair is “man and communication”. “What is the role of the library in the modern world of communication?” – that is the question to which the author attempts to find an answer, discussing at the same time some fundamental problems of communications theory. He concludes that a library system serving the interests of the whole society is a prerequisite of the modern information society. The library is a means of indirect communication for a great number of potential users, regardless of the time factor.Development plans for the National Periodicals Database

TÓSZEGI Zsuzsanna

The National Periodicals Database (Nemzeti Periodika Adatbázis, NPA) was created in 1984 at the National Széchényi Library (NSZL). Since then the updating of the database has been going on offline, for the NSZL, not having a mainframe, contracted out the management of the database to a local computer center. Consequently, there is no online access and since the database is updated only once in a year, the new entries must be handled manually. In order to change this situation a development plan was prepared with the following key objectives: the data transfer between the supplying libraries and the NPA should be carried out by means of magnetic media; establishing the conditions of online data entry; development of an online interlending subsystem as well as user-friendly output formats, preparation for the introduction of a shared cataloguing system. The streamlining of the data reporting procedures is also considered.

On interlibrary lending


The national library law on interlending (19/ appeared in 1981, to which, in the next year, a detailed rule interpretation was published by the National Széchényi Library in order to help ILL librarians. In 1990 the publication of a corrected and extended edition of this guide became necessary. In the article a practising librarian shares her views on the critical issues of the topic: problems of financing, ILL fees in Hungary and abroad, problems concerning the completing and routing of ILL request forms.

Problems of international interlending

KÜRTI Lászlóné

In November 1991 the National Széchényi Library organized a conference for the twelve Hungarian libraries having international interlending responsibility. At the meeting it came to light that these large libraries do not take advantage of all the possibilities provided by the law. The basic causes of the low circulation figures are the lack of funds and the inadequate language skills of the staff. (pp. 419)

Financing interlibrary lending


Commenting on the topic of ILL the author, a county librarian, criticizes the library practice that charges fees to readers to recover the costs of interlibrary lending. According to her views libraries should find other ways to finance interlibrary transactions.

Prospects of a current press bibliography

KÉGLI Ferenc

Since the publication in 1885 of the first press bibliography prepared by József Szinnyei, the need for the bibliographic control of newspaper articles has been expressed several times. The Bibliography of Periodical Articles (Idoszaki Kiadványok Repertóriuma) has been processing the most important articles of the central daily newspapers since 1962, but some organizations prepare specialized and local history bibliographies independently. The high number of newspapers by the early 1990 (470-480 titles instead of the approx. 30 existing formerly) multiplied the volume of information and, at the same time, the needs of the potential users also changed. The response to such a challenge could be a shared, integrated articles bibliography based upon a computerized bibliographic database, being a subsystem of the national bibliography. Cooperation among the participating libraries should rely on the existing bibliographic networks, providing comprehensive services e.g. online searching, printed indexes and full text.

Conflict situations in the management of the National Széchényi Library


Being a national library, the National Széchényi Library differs from other Hungarian libraries. The factors resulting in management conflicts are inadequate funds, unfavourable location, the transfer to computer-assisted processing, the increasing number of users and the problems concerning centralized services. The author deals with some of the typical cases, presenting also her solutions to the problems. It can be concluded that the number of conflict situations requiring changes in the organizational structure has increased, therefore the reconsideration of the decision-making levels as well as the development of new statutes for the organization and functions of the Library are suggested.

The library journal Könyvtári Figyelo – as evaluated by fifty subscribers

KOVÁCS Katalin

Aiming at rationalization and for economic reasons some fundamental changes have been carried out in the structure of the library quarterly Könyvtári Figyelo in the year 1991. The most remarkable change was the starting of a new column intending to replace the discontinued abstracting journal KDSZ (Könyvtári és Dokumentációs Szakirodalom – Library and Information Science Literature). A year later, in order to evaluate the changes, a questionnaire was mailed to each subcriber. The low number of returned questionnaires indicates a great deal of indifference, however, those responding were satisfied with the selection of topics, the style of the articles, and the outward appearance of the journal. Several important topics were also suggested for coverage. The respondents rated Könyvtári Figyelo as the leading source of information in the field of library and information science.

“The stem and the branches.” Knowledge organization and syntax. A review of Tibor Horváth’s thesis for candidate’s degree. Part 2


The first part of the review was published in the No.1 1992 issue of this journal (pp.50-58). This part deals with the PRECIS indexing language and its application in Hungary, describing the indexing system developed by the staff members of the Országos Pedagógiai Könyvtár és Múzeum (Central Library and Museum of Education) for the indexing of literature in the field of education. The PRECIS syntax can be applied to different kinds of indexing units e.g. free text, descriptors or keywords, the goal being the construction of a synthesized subject heading from the independent indexing elements, similar to a sentence in the natural language. Due to the peculiarities of the Hungarian language, suffixes as well as the transformation of predicates caused special problems. The reviewer presents excerpts from the thesis, providing some comments and explanations on the relevant parts.