The situation and financing of special libraries with national responsibilities.
During the transformation of the Hungarian library system the situation of special libraries and the financing of their national responsibilities remained unsolved. This group of libraries is heterogenous from the point of size and functions. A working group of the Research and Special Libraries Section of the Chamber of Libraries and Information Institutes made a survey by questionnaire about the state of these libraries and about how they view their role, state and financing, and about their plans for the future. From among the 120 special libraries with national responsibilities 36 responded (30%). The following conclusions can be made: 1. There is a need for special libraries with national responsibilities, and for their cooperation in a system. 2. The libraries in question can at present fulfill only part of their national responsibilities. Their problems are most severe in the field of collection development, but they do not consider their services in the provision of special literature satisfactory either. 3. The libraries attribute their troubles to financial reasons. Although they all accept the need for library budgets relying on several sources, they expect the provision of central, state sources for the fulfilment of their national responsibilities. (pp. 361-372)
In defence of UDC. Proposal on the possibilities of development and cooperation.
Now that FID has transferred the management of UDC to the UDC Consortium, Hungarian librarians should reconsider the problems related to its use, development, automation – and justification. The Automation and Classification Group of the Association of Hungarian Librarians analysed the related issues and compiled a proposal. Some conclusions: UDC will be used by most of the Hungarian libraries for a long time, libraries expect that UDC-related development be carried out by a central institution. For the management of UDC in Hungary an interlibrary association should be set up, which would provide services for the member libraries, would coordinate the tasks. An expert group would investigate the opportunities of joining the Consortium, the issues of acquiring authority. A decision should be made about the publication of UDC in Hungary. (pp. 373-383)
UDC in the computerised system of the National Széchényi Library.
In the computerised system of the National Széchényi Library subject access is provided by UDC, based on the tradition of almost 60 years. The DOBIS/LIBIS software provided opportunities for the creation of a KWIC-index-like UDC index, dividing the compound UDC notations along subdivisions into “keywords”. In this way UDC notations and documents resp. can be retrieved according to the aspects represented by the subdivisions, even combining them by logical operators. Thenatural-language (alphabetical) index of UDC numbers is built into the permuted index. (pp. 384-388)
The activities and development of the Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library (MESzL). Expert report.
AMBRUS Zoltán – BÁTONYI Béláné – DOMOKOS Miklósné – SONNEVEND Péter
The Cultural Commission of the Metropolitan General Assembly entrusted in December 1991 experts with surveying the organization, economic management and professional activities of the MESzL. Their report was prepared in May 1992. Its findings: the library falls behind its equivalents (according to the community to be supplied) both in Hungary and abroad, in respect of building, staff number and technical equipment. A basic problem is the decreasing real value of the acquisitions budget too. According to the development proposals ownership issues should be settled, a new central building be constructed, computerised central services be provided for the system, and a reduced but more effective system model be realized by establishing 5-6 interdistrict libraries. (pp 389-402)
Report on the Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library.
The author is a Swedish librarian who carried out an investigation of the MESzL independent of the Hungarian experts. She found it necessary to separate more definitely the central library from the network, as their functions are basically different. She submitted two related proposals, for the case if the library succeeds or does not succeed in getting a new building. She considered that branch libraries are too many, their services are, however, too few. She suggested that a smaller number of bigger and better equipped libraries should be set up. In the central library books should be placed on free-access shelves. She spoke in high terms of the new services of the central library: the community information service and the information on training opportunities at American universities. Automation was found to be a key issue. It should be coordinated with the national library; computerized processing should be coupled with central acquisitions. The renovation of the central building (if possible, the construction of a new one) is inevitable. She met with profound professional knowledge among librarians, but in her view management knowledge should be increased. (pp. 403-409)
Comments on the expert reports about the Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library.
The heads of departments and of the main libraries gave their opinion about the above reports. The director-general compiled his additional, explanatory comments relying onthem. Because of the overburdening of librarians an increase in the staff number should be considered, professional extension training should be strengthened. Automation is a key issue, for which a considerable support from the authority is indispensable. Computerisation would solve the problems of central acquisitions and processing too, although the library will further rely on the Library Supply Agency. Reconstruction of the central building or the construction of a new one is necessary. (pp. 410-414)
Discussion of the expert report on the MESzL in the Cultural Commission.
The following resolution was passed on October 13, 1992: it is necessary to construct a new library (with an area of cca. 25,000 sq.m), for which MESzL should prepare a functional brief. (pp. 415)
In short about the “Comments on the expert report by Jeno Kiss.
The author stresses repeatedly: 1. the importance of opening towards the library system, 2. the need for the development of the Central Supply Service, 3. that efficient work can be guaranteed by a new library building only. (pp. 416-417)
In short about the comments of Péter Sonnevend.
The author leaves it to the reader how she/he judges – based on the materials published here – his “Comments”, and the additional remarks by Péter Sonnevend. (pp. 417)
The bibliographic control of fiction.
In Hungary bibliographic workshops of fiction and literary science have been established. The bibliographic control of fiction works published in serials has not, however, been organized. At the 2nd National Meeting on Bibliography (August 1990) the starting of a current fiction bibliography was raised and included in the recommendations. The present study suggests an organizational and methodological solution for its implementation and the institutional promotion of its use. The author holds the view that the retrospective and the current materials should be collected parallelly. In the organization of Hungarian bibliography a branch could be set up which would check the overlap between serials and collections on a regular basis, in order to better meet the needs of researchers. The author publishes calculations on the quantity of fiction publishing in Hungary and describes three versions for a current bibliography. He enumerates the organizations interested in the implementation and the preconditions of their mutually beneficial cooperation. It would be thus easier to find sponsors, to establish the system of data collection and services, based on modern technology. (pp. 418-424)
Should the reading material let us relax or make us active?
The study describes the expectations from a good novel, as expressed by 50-50 persons each of teachers of the Hungarian language and literature at secondary grammar schools, engineers, ironworkers, librarians and blue-collar workers employed in agriculture. The questionnaire offered 24 responses. They were grouped in three main categories: 1. acquisition of knowledge or intellectual function, 2. gaining experience, 3. emotional effect. Half of the responses were related to informative, intellectual expectations, 41.5% referred to gaining experience, and 8.5% was the ratio of expectation elements signalizing emotional effect. At the end of the 80s the attraction to book and library types is strata-specific. The findings of the research prove that the books chosen for reading satisfy different needs. While blue-collar workers wishing to relax are attracted by the ease of appropriation without resistance, teachers and librarians readily undertake the intellectual work required by the more complex relations of author-narrator-fiction. The group of engineers is divided in this respect. (pp. 425-430)