There is no contradiction between “library” and ,electronic library”. Reply to Géza Bakonyi’s article (published in Könyvtári Figyelo, 1994. no.4.)
National Széchényi Library, Development Department
Networking is a new challange for libraries. Besides financial constraints it is also very difficult to establish adequate cooperation among libraries. Systems development specialists are familiar with their own fields and are often unaware of one another’s problems. The thoughtful study of Géza Bakonyi is debated mainly with respect to the HUNMARC data exchange format.
Thoughts on interlending
National and international interlibrary lending is regulated by the Departmental Order 19/1981. (X11.8.) that considers this service a basic one, and appoints the National Széchényi Library to be its centre. Some of the regulations of the order in force have become obsolete. For example, ceasing the currency limits have made the enumeration of libraries with right for international interlibrary lending meaningless. The rejection of lending the originals also requires regulations. Libraries are counter-interested in the lending of originals. However, the most significant issue is that of fees and the related practical problems. The order mentions fees only in relation to the provision of copies, and the only cost occurring in it is that of the transportation of original library materials. The fees for international lending are also fundamental problems. The article shows how different the practices of various countries are in this respect, and also with regard to the methods of payment.
The 45-year-old Special Library for Library Science on new paths
The Special Library for Library Science of the National Széchenyi Library, Centre for Library Science and Methodology, a national special library and documentation centre, was 45 years old in 1994. Already at the time of its founding documentation in library science belonged to its main goals, the tools of which (bibliographies, abstracting journals, bibliographic databases) have undergone great changes since the beginning. Today there are three branches of bibliographic information: a database, an abstracting journal and an accession list of pertinent foreign literature, a database and a current national bibliography of domestic literature, and a database and a selective bibliography of foreign literature related to Hungary. This extensive documentation is based on the rich collection of the special library that consists not only of books and periodicals, but also of various non-book or non-print materials organised into special collections. The library is an Eastern-European clearing house of IFLA. Computerisation aids processing: the library has been using the computer for various purposes since 1986, and is just about to install an integrated library system. Besides processing and information services, factual data banks are also being developed. The major Hungarian journal in the field of librarianship, Könyvtári Figyelo, is also edited here. The library is open for students of library and information science as well as practising librarians, researchers and lecturers.
County library couriers in MAKSZAB, “A magyar könyvtári szakirodalom bibliográfiája” (Bibliography of Hungarian library literature)
Besides national library journals, couriers, newsletters of county libraries are also issued in Hungary which constitute an important part of the database of the current bibliography, MAKSZAB. Couriers appear 2-3 times annually edited by county libraries. Professional journals, newsletters including studies are periodicals issued beside or instead of the former ones, and are significant mainly due to the novelty of their news. A number of county couriers have ceased for the past few years without any successors, and the ones remaining struggle for their survival, and amalgamated issues are frequent. The article attempts to analyse the content of these journals, and to find their position in national library literature. County library couriers are supposed to describe librarianship in the county, however, there are many studies worth nationwide attention in them. The journals deal less and less with village libraries most sensitive to the negative impacts of economic and social changes; the ones that required methodological aid also through these journals the most. Libraries other than public libraries working in the county, the training of librarians, the relation between the university and the county library, etc. would also deserve more attention in the county library couriers. It is positive that almost all the news deal with the history of the libraries of the county, helping national research in the field of library history. The article provides some ideas to be tackled, and stands for the existence and necessity of these journals.
The Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library in Könyvtári Hírado (Library Courier), and Könyvtári Híradó in the Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library
The Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library and its network is responsible for the public library provision of the inhabitants of Budapest. Könyvtári Híradó (Library Courier) serves the internal professional information of the staff of the Metropolitan Library. The survey analyses articles that appeared between 1989 and 1993 from the point of view of their contents. The process of a democratic transition had also started in Hungary in the given period. Political and social changes had an impact on librarianship, and the difficulties (such as organisational changes in the central library and the network, restricted financial resources, introduction of a number of varied ways for raising funds, preparation for computerised processing, the consequences of the new civil servant act on the payroll, waging of employees, etc.) can be felt in the libraries of the network, too. The Courier has the positive feature that new authors appear beside the usual ones, and are allowed to express their views, even their contrary opinion. It is also the peculiarity of the Courier since these professional discussions reflect the present state of librarianship and its administration truly.
Without a nest. A case study
Until 1994 the Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library has run eight double function libraries at schools of housing estates that functioned as school libraries on the one hand, and as public libraries for the communities on the other. These suburban libraries served primarily the students and could not perform their double function perfectly. Due to the budgetary constraints of the Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library, the maintenance rights of these libraries have been given to the local governments. Depending on the way of transferring the libraries, there are three groups: 1. Some schools simply accepted the decision without any objections. 2. At other schools the library remained a member of the network due to the joint efforts of the local government, the school and civil organisations, and is even offering better provision for the adult population of the community since they received financial aid from the local government. 3. One single library was simply closed down. Those involved tell their opinion and experiences in the case study.
Five years of the training in library informatics in Debrecen through the eyes of an old student
A student from among the ones graduating in library informatics first at the Lajos Kossuth University, Debrecen tells her opinion on the training. She considers the course an important element of the graduate training of librarians in Hungary, since it is a non-conventional, more up-to-date form of education. She examines the changing curriculum reflecting modem needs, and compares the new curriculum with the former one, compiled with respect to the experiences of the five years. Comparison is made with the curriculum of the postgraduate training of information experts at the Lóránd Eötvös University, Budapest, which is an example of teaching practical knowledge. She also mentions the conference held in Debrecen in October, 1994 under the title “State and trends of the training of librarians in Hungary”. The conference was organised because full time training in library informatics was introduced at the Lajos Kossuth University for the first time in Hungary. The employment rate of the first students graduating, and the appearance of students in various professional forums show that the training was successful.
Recommendations of the conference “State and trends of the training of librarians in Hungary
Vicissitudes of the one-hundred-year-old Fraknói Library of the Hungarian Academy of Rome
The foundations of the library of the Hungarian institute working in Rome were laid by Vilmos Fraknói 100 years ago with 4-5000 volumes from his library containing precious rare books as well. The organisation and listing of the collection of the institute was started in 1914, though it could not work for a long time, due to World War I. It was first in 1924 that students were received on scholarships. The institute moved to its present headquarters in 1928, and it was then that its name was changed to Hungarian Academy in Rome. The collection of the library consists basically of books in the humanities. The conception of Fraknói could not be carried on after World War Two in the traditional manner since more and more strict orders came from Budapest, the number of political publications increased, and moreover, some members of the staff were persecuted. The administration of the institute was moved from the Cultural Ministry to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1950. Until 1959 the Academy worked as a unit of the Hungarian Embassy in Rome. The items (incunabula, ancient and rare books) of the collection considered “endangered” were sent back to Budapest. They got partly to the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, partly to the National Library Centre. However, some of these rarities got lost. Later the library got under the auspices of the Institute of Cultural Relations, and after it has been closed down, it got back to the Cultural Ministry. It was a problem that the collection had not been processed professionally, there was no collection profile defined, it had not been lead by professional librarians, acquisitions had been haphazard, etc. When the National Széchényi Library was asked to supervise the libraries of Hungarian institutes abroad, promising professional work started. During all these years a minor part of the books kept in chests during the reconstruction of the building got wet, and the precious collection part stored downstairs has also been seriously damaged. The aim is to restore the one-time state of the Fraknói Library though the complete recovery of the old library is impossible. The article stands for the preservation of our spiritual heritage.