The library supply systems in Hungary – results of a country-wide survey

TÓTH, Máté

 

Könyvtári Figyelő (Library Review), vol. 14. (50.) 2004. no. 4. pp. 719 – 761.

One of the main objectives of the Hungarian library strategy focuses on the improvement of the provision of library services in small villages.

In March 2004, colleagues of the Hungarian Library Institute conducted research on the operation of the local library supply systems. The research concentrated on supply systems that meet the three following criteria:

      1)   They supply small villages

      2)   They manage centrally coordinated acquisitions

      3)   They provide other centrally organised services

The research did not include the system of branch libraries in towns and the supply systems for libraries serving ethnic minorities.

The survey was based on a questionnaire and interviews. The questionnaires dealt with the following topics: data of document supply, financing, collections including rotating deposits, work processes, services, staffing and technical equipment.

In 2003, there were 27 library supply systems operating in 11 counties and 26 cities, serving 656 villages. The research revealed that supply systems are the most popular in the Transdanubian counties of Hungary that have a great number of small settlements.

Supply systems differ from each other in respect of ownership and management of the collections, supporting authorities, as well as the scope of services.

On the basis of the ownership of the collections, the supply system can be a consortium for joint acquisitions or it can operate rotating deposit collections. A third model mixes the characteristics of these two types. As for the scope of services, supply systems can be organised around county or city libraries. As far as financing is concerned, the research revealed that although the provision of library services should be supported by the local authorities, only 35% of the operational costs of the supply systems were financed out of local government budgets.

One of the advantages of the supply systems is that in addition to the supply of documents, they also provide guidance and expertise for the libraries of small villages. However, they are still not able to ensure equal opportunities in respect of access to information. One of the outcomes of the research was that the human resource and technical conditions of the supply systems are still not satisfactory. But they do offer a solution for small villages that wish to operate the library as a real community center.

Habent fata sua libelli et bibliothecarii
The life and librarianship of Farkas Gyalui

POGÁNYNÉ RÓZSA Gabriella

Könyvtári Figyelo (Library Review), vol. 14. (50.) 2004. no. 4. pp. 763 – 793.

The study deals with the career path of Farkas Gyalui, with special attention to his most important theoretical works (About the public libraries in foreign countries; Objectives and tasks of library sciences in Hungary). The article also presents the Transylvanian Museum Society and the Franz Joseph University in Cluj that played a leading role in the intellectual life of Transylvania and had a decisive influence on Gyalui’s career as well. All his life, Farkas Gyalui (1866 – 1952) was struggling to find the right field for professional fulfilment: literature or librarianship. He started his career as a journalist and worked for journals in Cluj and in Budapest, but he eventually swapped his ambitions in journalism for library sciences. He directed the Cluj University Library and the library of the Transylvanian Museum Society. From 1901, he was appointed as a visiting professor at Cluj University. He was awarded a state grant to visit the most famous libraries in Europe and he summarised his experiences in several books and articles. His undeniable merit is that he introduced library studies into university education. He was the first to draft a university course in librarianship.

Besides his courses in bibliographical studies, he also held lectures on the history of books and printing.

His views were influenced by Martin Schrettinger who saw library sciences as a practical, service-oriented discipline. Gyalui also divided library sciences into several fields: library studies (library buildings and equipment, display of collections, management and preservation of books); theoretical, historical subjects (printing, history of books, bibliographical studies); and research on reading (that would correspond to the sociology of reading in our days). He recognised the importance of training in librarianship and the professional journals. He considered the knowledge of foreign languages as an essential condition to library practice.

Despite the deceptions that Gyalui encountered in his life, his career path shows a remarkable example of professional dedication and commitment.

 

European values and perspectives
Providing support for project planning and management

BOBOKNÉ BELÁNYI Beáta

Könyvtári Figyelő (Library Review), vol. 14. (50.) 2004. no. 4. pp. 795 – 800.

The PUBLIKA Hungarian Library Group and the Medical Section of the Technical Division of the Association of Hungarian Librarians went on a study trip to Transylvania, Romania in summer 2004. The main objective of the professional visit was to discuss the possible ways of cooperation between libraries in Hungary and Romania.

Libraries of today need to adapt to new conditions and management principles. They need to get familiar with and apply new methods and practices in order to increase the efficiency of their operation. Calls for proposals also contribute to efficient management, as they invite libraries to design special projects for clearly defined purposes, within controllable conditions. Libraries need to lay out appropriate arguments and planning documentation in order that the funding body fully understand the purpose of the project.

The study deals with the different types of management. Operational management relates to the everyday running of an organisation. Strategic management defines the tasks that need to be undertaken in order to adapt to changing conditions. Project management is an occasional task, but it has an important role in carrying out innovative activities in the quickest and most effective way. Finally the author presents a concrete example of the planning and the technical implementation of a project.

 

The 10th anniversary of the Hungarian Electronic Library

DRÓTOS László – MOLDOVÁN István

Könyvtári Figyelo (Library Review), vol. 14. (50.) 2004. no. 4. pp. 801 – 805.

The Hungarian Electronic Library (Magyar Elektronikus Könyvtár – MEK, http://www.mek.oszk.hu) started ten years ago as a civil initiative and has been operating as a separate department of the National Széchényi Library for the last five years. The study summarises the ten-year development of the first Hungarian online text-archive and presents the long-term plans for a Hungarian electronic library network.
Collection development is supported from several sources. One significant source is those online and off-line electronic publications that are actually archived by the library. But more recently, many documents have been digitised by commercial companies or volunteers specifically for the Hungarian Electronic Library. Some authors and publishers even offer their documents in electronic format. As for its collection interest, the library aims to attract all kinds of user groups in various thematic fields. As a digital public library, it is building a representative collection that concentrates on core literature and documents.

The primary mission of the Hungarian Electronic Library is to offer free and uninterrupted access to its collection (currently 2114 works) available by any user in any part of the world. The system is based on open software. On the basis of the experiences of the operation of the Hungarian Electronic Library, a new digital document management system has been developed with support from the National Information Infrastructure Development (NIIF) Program. The system called eleMEK is a Java-based modular library sofware that can be used in Linux as well as Windows environment. The Hungarian Electronic Library offers a user-friendly searching interface with up to 10 search options and results can be viewed in various formats. The library has recently launched its version for the blind and visually impaired, using the “Világhalló” online reading system. The library offers a separate service called the Electronic Periodicals Archive and Database that collects and preserves Hungarian or Hungary-related digitised journal articles. Users visiting the library’s portal and wishing to browse beyond the content of the collection can find useful links to other services, such as the national online reference service called Libinfo and various useful library-related resources in the section called Világkönyvtár.

Thanks to the Open Archives Initiative protocol, the collection of the Hungarian Electronic Library is also available and can be retrieved via the search engine of the Hungarian National Digital Archives.

 

An overview of professional codes of ethics for librarians in foreign countries

PAPP, István

Könyvtári Figyelő (Library Review), vol. 14. (50.) 2004. no. 4. pp. 807 – 824.

The committee working on the first code of professional practice for librarians, commissioned by the Association of Hungarian Librarians and the Hungarian Library Institute (see more information, in the issue 2/2004 of HLR) studied the codes of ethics of a number of foreign library associations. Examples of codes of ethics are presented from the United Kingdom, Costa Rica, Estonia, Iceland, Japan, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Thailand and the United States. The article offers summaries in table format in order to facilitate the comparison of the various standpoints regarding core values and missions, as well as the answers to issues like meeting user needs, collection and service development, ways of cooperation, professional prestige, the relations between employers and employees, legal issues and attitudes towards the code of professional conduct.

 

The entry “Librarians and Information Professionals” in “Encyclopedia of ethics”

Summary by IVÁNYI, Kristóf

 Könyvtári Figyelo (Library Review), vol. 14. (50.) 2004. no. 4. pp. 825 – 831.

The article reviews the entry related to librarians and information professionals in in the “Encyclopedia of ethics” (ed. by Lawrence C. Becker, New York, London 1992) according to the following topics: general principles for librarians and information professionals; statements of the American Library Association, examples of ethical issues relevant to libraries; issues related to special collections; as well as ethical questions of the information sciences.

 

IFLA Statement on Open Access to Scholarly Literature and Research Documentation

Translated by BALOGH, Anna

 

COMBA, Valentina: La valutazione delle pubblicazioni: dalla letteratura a stampa agli open archives
(In: Bollettino AIB, 2003. 1. no. 65-75. p.

Summary by Mohor, Jeno

 

Könyvtári Figyelő (Library Review), vol. 14. (50.) 2004. no. 4. pp. 835 – 840.

The author presents her views on measuring the value of scientific research as well as rating scientific communications first with examples of citations and impact factors related to articles in the medical field, then on the basis of her own experience as an author of scientific publications. The article pays special attention to the role of librarians in this process.

 

BJÖRK, Bo-Christer: Open access to scientific publications – an analysis of the barriers to change.
(Information Research, 2004. 2. no.)

Summary by Koltay, Tibor

Könyvtári Figyelő (Library Review), vol. 14. (50.) 2004. no. 4. pp. 841 – 850.

The publishing of scientific content has been significantly enhanced with the advent of the Internet. Open access means that users do not have to pay for accessing the scientific publications provided that they do not further distribute them. From bibliographies, one can link to the full text of articles free of charge. Scientists are greatly motivated to make open access a general practice. The main channels of open access are: peer-reviewed scholarly journals in electronic form; the pre-print archives established in specific scientific fields; the article repositories of individual universities; and the authors’ websites. The barriers to open access are: unclear legal frameworks; the lack of the adequate IT infrastructure, business models and indexing standards; the inadequacy of the system of promotions for scientists; the insufficiency of marketing strategies and the lack of critical mass of participants.

 

Museums on the Internet

KOVÁCS Valéria

Könyvtári Figyelő (Library Review), vol. 14. (50.) 2004. no. 4. pp. 861 – 864.

Museums use exhibitions as the main channel for communication with visitors. However, the Internet has opened new perspectives both for large museums and smaller special collections. The virtual visit of museums has become widely popular. One way to find museums’ pages is to link to them via the directories called Virtual Library Museums Pages (VLMP) that allow access to more and more museums and galleries worldwide. Many visitors start their search on the homepage of the International Council of Museums (ICOM). A Hungarian example of virtual museums is the Web Gallery of Art (http://www.wga.hu/ ) that is a searchable database of European painting and sculpture of the 12th-18th centuries.

 

BÉNYEI Miklós: Genius loci. About the cataloguing of local information

URBÁN László: Books in the space and related issues of library management

Reviewed by J. Mohor

Soziale Kompetenzen als Leitungs- und Managementqualification (Hrsg. Gerd Paul)

Reviewed by V. Éger

Drehschreibe e-Mitteleuropa

Reviewed by V. Éger

 

Könyvtári Figyelő (Library Review), vol. 14. (50.) 2004. no. 4. pp. 873 – 881.

Information, Produzenten, Vermittler, Nutzer. Tagunsberichte vom. 9. Österreichischen Online Informationstreffen und 10. Österreichischen Dokumentartag. (Hrsg. Von Eveline Pipp)