A new phase in the preparation of the new library law
The library act regulating Hungarian librarianship was issued in 1976. Preparations have been going on since 1990, the political change, in order to elaborate the text of a new draft library law, which were halted for various reasons. The Associatian of Hungarian Librarians wanted to contribute to getting beyond this situation by organising a conference on the preparation of the Hungarian library law as a continuation of the seminar on library legislation held by the Council of Europe in autumn 1994. The seminar, the aim of which it was to elicit alternative solutions and to enhance further efforts with the participation of those involved, was attended by outstanding figures of Hungarian librarianship, representatives of the departments, and 16 foreign experts. Fundamental questions were raised: is there need for a new library act; if there is, what level of detail is necessary; what should belong under the scope of the act; what legal responsibilities should maintainers have; how should libraries be financed; what types of libraries should be enumerated; what services should be covered, etc. It was confirmed that there was need for library legislation, but it was realistic only if no extra expenses were involved. The starting point could be the constitutional rights of citizens. It needs to be decided how deep the law should go. Since a comprehensive library law has more chances, matters out of regulations have to be settled by guidelines and professional consulting. The draft will probably involve libraries financed from public funds. Financing will be the right and responsibility of the maintainer, but only a few existential guarantees can be included in the act. The draft law should also regulate the types of libraries and their services in less detail.Current issues of the Hungarian National Bibliography system
The key issues of the problem indicated in the title are related to the submission of legal deposit copies, to the collection interest, coverage, and the services based on the HNB. The submission of legal deposit copies has become irregular in spite of administrative control, therefore the current national bibliography lost the completeness of its coverage. Only a minor part of missing documents can be detected, and even less can be purchased retrospectively. In order to ensure national registration and make up for missing items higher-level, intervention is needed which covered the submission of new media as well. The collection interest of the HNB has not changed for the past 18 years, while there have been lots of changes in the field of the publication of newspapers and periodicals. Some of the more recently founded publishers issue typologically ambiguous publications, of which it is hard to decide which bibliography they fit into. So far as services based on the national bibliography are concerned, it is a step back that the printed version of HNB. Bibliography of books has been issued in a simplified form since 1992, the set-up of the National Széchényi Library’s OPAC. The reason to this was that at that time the computerised system of the National Széchényi Library, DOBIS/LIBIS did not have a program supporting the display of the national bibliography that has since been developed. Today there is a program enhancing the compilation and display of entries. The CD-ROM version of the computerised national bibliography (1976-1991) was produced, and the Hungarian MARC format, HUNMARC, was also elaborated. The floppy disk edition of HNB; Bibliography of books will be issued first in 1996.
Patronage or financing – chances of national special libraries
The time of state financing is over, national special libraries are supposed to find sponsors. Special libraries may lobby in this situation to acquire extra-budgetary resources. Lobbying should take place not only in the Parliament, but also at institutions, and with private persons who would be willing to invest in libraries. A circle of patron institutions should be established around libraries following foreign patterns. For example, the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences is supported by “Pro Bibliotheca Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae”, and the Friends of the National Széchényi Library also deal with such an activity. It is important to find domestic resources. Abroad there are specialists members of the staff dealing with development, public relations, and also with exploring financial resources. We should also follow the practice of employing staff especially for this task. Library managers should think it over how they could make economic management more efficient (e.g. collection analysis, state-of -the-art reports could help a lot). A part of national special libraries are suffering of disfunctionality since they have university students of the field as their users, but they cannot cope with them in terms of the number of copies, seats, etc. It is also possible to further investigate reserves in cooperation and to utilise them better.
The thread of Ariadne in the labyrinth of textbook editing
Textbook supply has become very colourful after the formation of market economy, and it has also become very difficult to survey the choice. The article introduces organisations dealing with textbook publishing and distribution, enumerating the lists they issue, and databases on textbooks. The Ministry of Culture and Education plays a central role by coordinating the extensive textbook market, and makes the selection process easier for schools by its central lists. However, the problems of school libraries are not solved completely by this. TANOSZ (Tankönyvesek Országos Szövetsége – ca. National Association of Textbook Producers and Distributors) is also an important agent generating cohesion among all the organisations related to the publication of textbooks by inviting them to its events. The compilation is supplemented by a list of sites where textbooks are exhibited.
The 125-year-old Library of the Hungarian Parliament
The Library was established as an exclusive special library with the aim of enhancing the work of legislators and MPs. The library used to be an organisational unit of the Parliament until 1952. Its operation was managed by a library committee in close cooperation with the Parliament. The members of the committee were representative figures of the cultural and political life of the time who were dedicated to the cause of the Library. The Library controlled by the Cultural Ministry between 1953 and 1990. It had become the national special library of politics, law, and 20th century history. Since 1991 the library has been an institution of legislation again, however, the so-called MP Information Centre vas established in order to improve information services offered to members of the Parliament: It has also been working as a deposit library of the UNO since 1956, keeping UN documents in a special collection. Further remarkable special collections: special. collection of the Hungarian Parliament, ensuring. the use of legislative documents; special collection of foreign parliamentary documents containing similar materials from foreign, mainly European Parliaments. The Library has been open to the public since 1952. Efficient information services have been offered to the users since 1982 in the form of computerised databases.