The computer network of the National Széchényi Library

The development of the computer network of the National Széchényi Library has been determined by the supply and conditions of the 80s. The library installed the DOBIS/LIBIS integrated library system on an IBM 9221 mainframe computer. The internal network has been developed continuously. PCs have been connected to a Novell network, and a n X.25 connection has also been established to be able to access national and international networks (such as Internet). it is planned that instead of the packet switched lines, networks will be accessed via leased lines that creates more favourable conditions for use. Simultaneous access to 21 CD-ROMs is provided by a CD-ROM server, and a fax server is just being installed. Multimedia cannot be used in the present Ethernet network, therefore their use will be bound to a given workstation. Linking the two Novell networks is also a part of their plans. External access to some databases has to be solved still, and decisions should be made with regard to capabilities. The problems of the Hungarian National Bibliography, let it be printed or in machine readable format, are still unsolved: the conversion of the Hungarian National Bibliography to DOBIS/LIBIS is going on. Holdings having been acquired since 1992 can be searched in the OPAC. There are problems still to be solved such as character sets, printing in the network etc. The erection of a service system run under Unix on a Sun computer is also considered. (pp. 507-511)

Databases of the National Széchényi Library

BERKE Barnabásné
The study describes the state of the computerized databases of the National Széchényi Library in 1994. The database system of the National Széchényi Library, called NEKTÁR (short form for the comprehensive information system of the National Library), consists of the following parts: DOBIS/LIBIS integrated library system (modules: cataloguing, acquisition, circulation, serials, mail); Hungarian National Bibliography. Books (the HNB had been built on an external computer between 1976-1991, it was closed in 1991, and has been compiled with DOBIS/LIBIS online since 1992. Hungarian National Bibliography. Books on CD-ROM has been issued, and after having solved the conversion, the database will be loaded to DOBIS); National Periodical Database (It is also a database compiled on an external computer, containing records for foreign periodicals available in Hungarian libraries. It has been developed since 1981. Today it is produced in the computer centre of the Information Infrastructure Development Project, though it is not prepared online. It is also available on CD-ROM.); databases based on MicroISIS: Serial Database on Hungarian serials, not available from external workstations yet, the index database of the bibliography of periodical articles is not available from external computers either. The OSZK-Katal database contains records for foreign books having been acquired by the National Széchényi Library since 1987. It will also be loaded into DOBIS. Hungarica databases: HUN (Hungarica Information Database articles published abroad on Hungary) and HUNG (Hungarica Personal Names — on prominent Hungarian personalities born after 1880). These are available only at the Hungarica documentation unit. Extra-network databases: publishers’ database compiled as a byproduct of the Hungarian National Bibliography. Other databases: MANCI (database of Hungarian and foreign articles in library and information science), Könyvtári Minerva (facts on and services of the major Hungarian libraries). (pp. 512-521)

Library and/or electronic library

The electronic environment of Hungarian libraries has become a determinant during the past years. The automation of the processes in the libraries has set up new demands and has required new types of co-operation. Satisfying of the cataloguing needs of libraries has become especially important. Hungarian libraries can choose from among three options: shared cataloguing with a union catalogue of bibliographic records, maintained by the participating libraries; shared cataloguing with the help of an external company or institute; building a virtual catalogue. There are two other areas to be mentioned in connection with the problems of cataloguing: a traditional and a new one. On the one hand, using the new tools of library automation and networking, we have to examine the possibilities of co-operation in the interlibrary loan: on the other hand Hungarian libraries must follow European libraries as much as they can in digitalizing, delivering and disseminating materials. The electronic library is already a fact of the present and at the same time it shows the way towards the libraries of the future. The virtual library of the future needs something more than simple technology: more strict co-operation in elaborating standards, protocols and proposals. As a consequence Hungarian libraries would need a board of their own (a so-called Committee for Hungarian Library Networking) that could play a leading role in this field. (pp. 522-535)
Current issues in library policy in Hungary

PAPP István
The article is an overview of the state of Hungarian librarianship after the transition. Hungarian librarianship has more or less followed European trends with some delay. Typical socialist mistakes occur: virtual solutions, wasting of money, efforts, centralization, low effectiveness. The national library moving to a new building was a great event, though libraries expect more of the national library so far as central services are concerned. There is need far the development and computerization of central services. Higher education libraries are of varying standards, though they are automated more rapidly than other types of libraries. They deserve special attention in development projects, and should be looked upon as possible nodes when the sectorial and regional networks of national library provision are built out. An organic relationship must be established between major university libraries and public libraries (shared cataloguing, resource sharing). The state of special libraries is not even either. Local special libraries used to belong to the state. Today they survive only if their mother institution considers them necessary, if it does not, they are closed down. The government can only create the possibility for joining the national library system. Public libraries have developed more dynamically in the countryside than in Budapest. Libraries of smaller settlements were threatened severely after the transition, since local governments have become responsible for their maintenance. The existence of public libraries maintained by trade unions at workplaces has been questioned, they are likely to be integrated with public libraries. School libraries also show uneven development depending primarily upon the approach of the director and teacher community of the school. A bifunctional – school and public library may be an option for small settlements. The precious collections of ecclesiastic libraries are considered a part of the national culture and heritage. The trend must be reinforced in library policy that the basic issues of librarianship and information policy must be dealt with at the government level. The state must aid libraries with targeted financial help bound to conditions. A national library fund must be established for this end. So far as information provision is concerned, sectorial (disciplinary) and regional approaches should prevail. The new library act may help systematic work, however, no great expectations should be nourished. The training of librarians has been modernized from the curriculum point of view, but the place of the training of library assistants should be clarified. Graduate training is possible only in the frames of the school system. It should be made clear if users had to pay for library and information services. No doubt, the full-scale marketing of services runs counter to national interests, but it is acceptable that users contribute to services occasionally. The operation of libraries should be under social control, and a body has to be appointed to this task. The Library and Information Chamber with 130 member libraries, and the Association of Hungarian Librarians with 2300 individual and 30 corporate members will continue to play an important role in the future, too. (pp. 536-546)

Continuity and change in the information provision of the Academy. The 1994 network meeting of the institute libraries of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

The article surveys the network of the institute libraries of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, gives an account of the creation of the unified network, of the level of staffing, acquisition, ordering periodicals, etc. The new act on the Academy reformed the operation of the Academy in several respects. The new Academic constitution, being compiled, has to decide questions still open. One of them is the new form of the relation between the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and that of research institutions. New documents will be made for the libraries keeping in harmony with the would-be constitution. There is a need for the co-operation of the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and that of research institutions though in different forms. The act on the Academy modifies the organization of the information provision for the Academy. It is closing a historic period characterized by the organization and consolidation of the network. Continuity and change must be emphasized together. Automation has to be underlined from among the development projects. The possibilities of computerized database develop meat have been created for the last two years in the Academic Library. The Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences may contribute to the computerization of institute libraries where it is needed. (pp. 547-555)

Network cooperation in Baranya

Baranya is a medium-size county with many small settlements of which 297 had a library. The traditional library network has been disintegrated, methodological work and supervision have become senseless since the transition until now. Small, independent settlements have ceased library provision one after the other. It has become obvious for the county library that new ways and forms of cooperation must be found. The organization of a network on voluntary basis, focusing on services was planned. The 1992 government act has also contributed to this. The Baranya county government offered the county library as a network and methodological centre for all the town and village libraries working in the county, thus those libraries will belong to the network the maintainers of which accept the offer and sign the cooperation agreement with the county library. The rest of the libraries remain independent of the network and will work so. The result is promising: 60% of libraries have joined the network. Today the greatest problem is the lack of financial resources. (pp. 556-561)

Report on the activity of the Library Board of the National Cultural Fund in 1994

The National Cultural Fund has brought about its special boards in Spring, 1994 with the aim of preparing decisions on applications professionally. According to the Library Board, those fields of librarianship should be emphasized the modernization of which contributes to the development of the whole of librarianship, such as computer networks, central services: The library funds (25 million forints) of the NCF are far below the expected amount. The Board attempted to promote developments that would serve the updating of an autonomous field, hoping that it is the first phase of a 3-4year development programme, and that at least the same funds will be available every year. (562-566)