Library provision of small settlements in Hungary. State of the art.

FEHÉR Miklós

Könyvtári Figyelő (Library Review) New Series 12. (Vol. 48.) No. 3. 2002. pp. 367 – 428.

Hungarian librarianship got new foundations with act CXL. of 1997 on public libraries. The Library Institute started to investigate the state of library provision of small settlements in Hungary in Spring, 2001 upon the request of the Ministry of National Cultural Heritage. The profession, the cultural administration must have a clear idea of how the framework of provision, included in the act, and the expectations come through in the daily practice of the library provision of small settlements. This is indispensable from the point of view of the development of the library system, and from that of ensuring equal opportunities to get quality services, and to access documents and information independently from the place of living. The survey report is complete with two literary reviews. One shows the international practice of library provision for small settlements (see the review by Alíz Mihály in the present issue), while the other compilation offers a historical perspective of the problem based on articles issued between 1960 and 2000 in two leading journals of Hungarian librarianship. The article based on the study discusses the issue as follows: demographical characteristics of Hungary (settlement structure, distribution of population; statistical data on the provision of small settlements); the present practice of provision; characteristics of settlement libraries; librarians (their education, conditions of employment, motivation); collections (size, composition, sources of acquisition, processing); library use; double-function libraries in operation; their role in the provision of small areas; provision for national minorities; technical equipment of small settlements’ libraries; opening hours (duration, frequency, scheduling); role of provision systems and county libraries, their role in the provision for small areas. The problems of library provision for small settlements are the same all over the world (long distances, poor communication and infrastructure, limited resources, lack of trained personnel), the differences can be detected rather in the ways of solving these problems. At the time of the survey, 1948 libraries were registered in the list of public libraries (a fact indicating operation), while there are 3135 settlements in Hungary. This shows the need to know what kind of library provision is offered for the 1200 settlements “missing” from the list. 80% of the existing small libraries does not have a separate building, and the rate of registered users does not reach 10% of the population in many cases. However, there are positive examples, but in the majority of cases the overall picture of the use of these libraries cries for urgent intervention. The motivation of the librarian is always determining the situation, since the role of the librarian seems to be more important than any other factors (collection, financial status, level of processing). Provision systems perform only certain library processes (collection development, processing) centrally, which are offered to the members of the same circle of cooperation. The legal background of their operation is not clear. County libraries have better opportunities in provision, but practice shows great differences here as well. The last chapter of the study gives proposals and possible ways of solving the problems.

Librarianship and linguistics: some thoughts on the relationship of these two disciplines


Könyvtári Figyelő (Library Review) New Series 12. (Vol. 48.) No. 3. 2002. pp. 429 – 440.

It can hardly be denied that linguistics belongs to the disciplines related to librarianship. It is amazing, however, that in spite of the relations between linguistics and librarianship, bibliometric surveys suggest that linguistics had a minor impact on librarianship, and these relations were limited mainly to the computerized processing of texts, that had been and still is in the focus of interest. The article seeks an answer to the question whether there is really so little relationship between the two disciplines. Computerized text processing and many other fields of linguistics related to libraries and librarianship belong to the sphere of applied linguistics. Applied linguistics can be defined as a use of linguistic theories, methods, and ideas for satisfying some social need. The interest in information and communication, including the relevance of mathematical information theory belong to the common features of librarianship and (modern) linguistics. Communicative linguistics also makes a distinction

between primary and secondary messages. There is much similarity between the interdisciplinary relations of modern linguistics and librarianship. Subject processing plays a distinguished role in the meeting point of librarianship and linguistics.

A part of librarianship – first of all subject processing – means the understanding, and interpreting of the content of texts, and the formulation of surrogates representing them. However, it is not the same as content analysis, though it has to be taken into account, when it offers more than a quantitative approach to texts. Text and textology is important for librarianship as well. Semiotic textology offers a framework taking the rich interdisciplinary relationship of texts into account. The article depicts informativity and intertextuality from

among the characteristics of textuality. It also deals with the role of psycholinguistics and cognitive linguistics in detail, highlighting their possibleadditions to librarianship.

Ákos DOMANOVSZKY on the theory of cataloguing. (Homage on the 100th anniversary of his birth)


Könyvtári Figyelő (Library Review) New Series 12. (Vol. 48.) No. 3. 2002. pp. 441 – 456.

Ákos Domanovszky (1902-1984) is a distinguished figure of standardized cataloguing in Hungary and internationally. His name was well-known abroad as well, as he had been active in the standardization activities of IFLA since 1964. The study outlines the corner stones of the theoretical work of Domanovszky on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth. From the 1950s there had been an ever increasing demand for the international harmonization of major national cataloguing rules. Domanovszky based his thoughts on the expectations of users, consequently they were closer to the Anglo-American principles, than the Prussian ones. The International Cataloguing Conference in Paris, 1961 was an important stage of the work of Domanovszky where the basic principles valid until now were formulated concerning the functions of catalogues, the relationship of a book and a work, the problems of authorship (especially that of corporate authorship), the functions of the descriptive catalogue, and their ranking, and the tools of fulfilling these functions. The common aim to be achieved was that the unity of formal and standard features enhance the use of catalogues in their threefold functions. The study also deals with the most important principles and guidelines of standardization, the requirements of users, that have to be taken into account so far as possible, and the honoring of traditions. Domanovszky took part in the elaboration of the ISBD-based standards of bibliographic description in Hungary, and aided this work with his widespread theoretical knowledge.

The secrets of name selection in libraries


Könyvtári Figyelő (Library Review) New Series 12. (Vol. 48.) No. 3. 2002. pp. 457 – 474.

In the Library of the Faculty of Arts, Pázmány Péter Catholic University the name records of ancient and medieval (in many cases ecclesiastic and canonized) persons deserve special attention. In order to ensure standard description, guidelines for the selection of data, and the formulation of standard filing elements had to be elaborated. Due to the characteristics of the collection, the original, historically taken national form of authors’ names are given priority, though it is sometimes difficult to find this form out. It is also an obstacle that in spite of international standardization efforts, there seem to be great differences in the form of the two large periods among countries and even libraries. Hungarian rules for selecting the main filing element differ to some extent from the Anglo-American and Western European practice. The Hungarian standard offers in some cases several solutions or is more permissive, i.e. the selection of data is not compulsory. There are many up-to-date printed and online tools for standardization (national bibliography, authority files, catalogues, reference tools), but the forms of names as filing elements differ widely in these tools, too. The greatest differences can be found in the selection and writing of the names of non-Latin ancient and Medieval persons. The relatively frequent modification of transliteration standards also poses further problems. Without a standard aid meeting Hungarian expectations the formulation of each and every name element requires much consideration. Making entries of different name varieties is a key issue in the building of union catalogues and use of common search protocols.

An ephemeral publisher in Transylvania: Haladás Lap- és Könyvkiadó Betéti Társaság
(Development Journal and Book Publishing Investment Company)


Könyvtári Figyelő (Library Review) New Series 12. (Vol. 48.) No. 3. 2002. pp. 475 – 482.

The study, relevant from the point of view of press and cultural history, follows the fate of an ephemeral publishing enterprise. Following the Trianon treaty, Transylvania got under Rumanian lead, thus the institutions of literary and cultural life had to be created. As compared to Voyvodina and Slovakia, there were stronger literary and cultural traditions to rely on, still there was need for the organization of new printing offices, publishing houses and journals, and for the attraction of readers as well. At the beginning of the 1920s new journals started one after the other, though most of them ceased after a short while due to the lack of financial resources. There were only two among the publishers (the conservative Minerva and the Erdélyi Szépmíves Céh) which survived for a longer period. The first Hungarian publishing cooperation named Kaláka was formed in 1921 in Rumania. In 1923 the authors’ group related to them managed to pacify the literary right and left wing, and to take them under the same publishing umbrella. As a result of this, the Haladás society came into being in 1923 under the directorship of Jeno Szentimrei. The publication of two journals, Pásztortuz and Vasárnapi Újság belonging to the predecessors, has also been transferred to Haladás. The first successes encouraged literates in the Vayvodina and Slovakia to join the Transylvanian enterprise. However, the ability for cooperation soon decreased due to controversies between persons and approaches, and the lack of resources also made the operation of the society difficult. Finally conservatives started to overcome the Kaláka group, and by the Spring of 1924 Haladás ceased to exist. The study gives an account of the successful last venture of Haladás, the so-called Authors’ Olympics, in which Transylvanian writers were given an opportunity to present themselves for the general public.

MIHÁLY Alíz: Library provision for small settlements – foreign solutions
Review of literature

Könyvtári Figyelő (Library Review) New Series 12. (Vol. 48.) No. 3. 2002. pp. 483 – 510.

This review is a part of the small settlement survey of the Library Institute carried out in 2001. It aimed at presenting the library policy of societies more developed than Hungary, and the practice of small settlements’ provision systems. Besides relative similarity, the diversity in the provision of rural areas was also an important factor in selecting the countries, thus the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France and the Scandinavian countries had been selected. (The Hungarian situation is summarized by Miklós FEHÉR in the present issue.)

MURÁNYI Péter: The processing of periodical articles in the Hungarian and Latvian national bibliography databases

Könyvtári Figyelő (Library Review) New Series 12. (Vol. 48.) No. 3. 2002. pp. 511 – 526.

The article is a more elaborate version of a presentation prepared for the conference entitled The national bibliography from print to the digital age, held on the 75th anniversary of the Latvian national bibliography in Riga, 12-13 September 2002. It is related to the study in which the author compared the processing of periodical articles in the print version of the Latvian and Hungarian national bibliographies. It is not enough to compare the database versions (i.e. the Latvian Data Base of National Bibliography Analytic and the Hungarian IKER Repertory of Hungarian Periodicals), since in Hungary the national bibliography database and a number of databases developed from the bibliographies of various disciplines are responsible for covering periodical articles together. Beside applied disciplines (medicine, agriculture, technical sciences) not included in the national bibliography article database, there are databases in other social sciences (sociology, literary science, translation, national minorities, library science, education, law) as well. It is sated that from the point of view of the currentness of processing and the quantity of the material covered, the PRESSDOK database built by the Library of the Parliament can be compared with the Latvian database. The findings of Roger K. Summit and Péter Jacsó are used as the conceptual frames of the comparison.

In the case of the Latvian database processing material very soon, the limitations of the system used can be mentioned as a problem. In the case of Hungarian databases there are good information retrieval systems in CD-ROM databases as well as in Internet based databases, but in general the abundance of systems (many of which are difficult to use) can be confusing, and in many databases there is a great time lap between the publication date of the articles, and their inclusion in the database. Due to the great number of databases there are unavoidable overlaps, while there are fields (e.g. Hungarian literary pieces) which are not covered in any of them.

Erik Vajda in his study of 1994 outlines an imaginary article database built in cooperation (for which the Latvian solution can be an example) that seems to be more difficult to carry out that at the time of writing the article. The article is closed by mentioning some positive tendencies of the period that passed since the survey had been made in August, 2002.

TÓTH Erzsébet: Efforts for data mining in the library field

Accessing quality information hidden in databases presents an ever increasing difficulty for users. Data mining filters out useful information from the changes of elements to be found in the database, and has many useful tools that can be used in the library field as well. The article gathers writings concerning data mining, primarily from American literature, and on the bases of these summarizes developments in the field of data mining, the data store and the „web farming“ technique, and technical issues related to data mining, as well as the future of data mining.

CRONIN, Blaise: Information warfare: peering inside Pandora’s postmodern box

(Information warfare: peering inside Pandora’s postmodern box. In. Library Review. Vol 50. No. 6. 2001. pp. 279-294.) (Abstr.: Mohor Jenő)

The study offers an introduction to the idea of information warfare, presents its principles, and how it is used outside the traditional scenarios e.g. in space or in the virtual world. The author highlights social, political and ethical issues related to the information warfare. In fact, the article shows how information warfare is domesticated, how it becomes part of our everyday life.

A remarkable enterprise: booklets of professional training. On the volumes of the series “Booklets of non-school professional training” (Rev.: Sonnevend Péter)

Studies on education and the practice of the profession.
Forty years of library training in Szombathely. Studies on education and the practice of the profession.
Ed.: Csáki Pál.
(Rev.: Kovács Katalin)

Pages from a diary from 1950
Gerő Gyula: Library in the county hall. (Rev.: Kovács Katalin)

Kategória: 2002. 3. szám | A közvetlen link.