Libraries, reading habits and library use in the past 50 years, based on data of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office
NEMES Erzsébet – BÁRDOSI Mónika
The authors survey library use in the period 1950 to 2004 in Hungary. Their analysis is based on the four basic service indicators of official library statistics (number of libraries, size of the book collections, number of registered readers and borrowed items) and the data showing the changes in way of living. The provision of library statistics is prescribed by a government regulation; the data-owner is the Ministry of Education and Culture, the task of data collection belongs to the Hungarian Library Institute.
In Hungary there are community, workplace, academic, school and special libraries, but from another point of view they belong to the following categories: public (open for all) and non-public, and partly-public libraries. The number of libraries was 9311 in 2004 with more than 2 million registered readers. The book collection has grown from 3 million to 158 million items in the last fifty years. The number of circulated items was 49.5 million in 2004, slightly stagnating.
The indicators of library use in public libraries show some declining tendency to a different extent, that corresponds with the increasing time spent on watching television programmes and using the world wide web (while the percentage of Internet use in Hungary is in the lowest 25% in the rank list of EU member states). It is to be noted that the library use of children under 14 is also decreasing, while the library collections are growing and circulations in school libraries are continuously increasing.
The library data of higher education institutions are characterised by an increasing trend as well, owing to an increase in the number of institutions and the number of students in the last decade.
All in all, the numbers of studying young adults over 14 have the best indicators concerning library use. The daily time spent on reading has declined further, while that spent on watching television programmes and computer use has increased.
Official statistics and the data of surveys on library use and reading habits, conducted by the Hungarian Library Institute (see Könyvtári Figyelő, 2006. nos 1 and 4, make up a picture from which many important conclusions can be drawn.
Special features of abstracting in the mirror of a survey’s data
LENGYELNÉ MOLNÁR Tünde
It was the aim of the survey to reveal the characteristics of abstracting for designing an automated abstracting programme. The author selected from two national LIS journals (Tudományos és Műszaki Tájékoztatás and Könyvtári Figyelő) one article each, and had them abstracted by different sample groups: LIS students from different library schools; practising librarians; as well as students from other courses of study as a control group (such as those studying Hungarian language and literature). It was examined if the outcome depends on educational degree or expert knowledge based on practice.
The professional articles dealt with different topics, and the task constituted in selecting important sentences of the text for the abstracts. The relationship between keyword choice and the sentences taken over to the abstract were also analysed.
It was found that abstracting was independent from the students’ educational specialisation, while a significant difference existed between the abstracts made by students and by library professionals. Students preferred the sentences at the beginning of the text, and their marking the ranking of lead sentences were more uniform than those of professionals working with whole text, and having specialised knowledge in several disciplines.
New web services in the National Széchényi Library. A new version of “Jeles napok”
The Neumann János Digital Library and Multimedia Centre Public Benefit Company (f. 1997) has gone through a significant transformation in 2005. It has integrated the National Digital Archive (NAVA) and the National Digital Database (NDA), and the proprietor has changed as well. From 2007 the digitising and content providing tasks were moved to other institutions. NAVA and NDA continue to belong to the Neumann Public Benefit Company, while the Petőfi Literary Museum took over the Digital Literary Academy (DIA). Other content provision services were taken over by the National Széchényi Library: the Balassi Bálint virtual exhibition (about the life work of a 16th-century Hungarian poet), the Bibliotheca Hungarica Internetiana (BHI), and the digital educational material Jeles napok (Holydays). BHI has become part of the Hungarian Electronic Library (MEK). The educational collection Jeles napok was developed to a knowledge repository, and may be extended based on the collections of the national library. The Internet catalogue WebKat.hu is to be continued.
Reading societies in the era of dualism (1867-1918)
Research into the activity of Hungarian reading societies between 1867 and 1918 – beyond its professional curiosity – helps us to understand the cultural and political environment of this era. The forms and scope of the activities of these societies always reflect the relationship between the state and its citizens. The development of societies began after the Compromise of 1867. After the legislative framework had been set up, the state did not interfere into questions of founding and managing, and declared that the choice of language used in the society was a citizens’ right.
A society was defined as a group organised with common aims in mind. Among the different (e.g. industrial, charity, mutual aiding, firearm etc.) societies the reading society was the real „classical“ type, because it was organised on a voluntary basis in a given micro-community, and it gave íts members no financial advantage – unlike the others. A survey in 1878 registered 3995 societies in Hungary. (There were nearly four times so many in Austria at the time.) The author analysed the societies by type, the type of their community, population size and the cultural niveau of inhabitants; and came to the conclusion that reading societies played a very important role in 19th-century Hungary by forming micro-communities, mediating culture and community life as they were autonomous and fulfilled existing demands.
Librarianship in Southeast Asia.
The study reviews the librarianship in four Asian, in Europe less known, dynamically developing countries (Vietnam, Malaysia, South Korea and Singapore). The review starts with general geographic, historical characteristics of these countries, then describes the library field, LIS education and important statistical data. At the end the reviewer highlights remarkable general trends.
Information literacy: an educational revolution in the library?
It is very difficult to give a single definition of information literacy (IL). The term is not identical with computer literacy, and there are some related misunderstandings as well, which are criticised by the author. IL is not identical with the competencies in information technology either. It is not true that students in higher education possess adequate skills in IL. Their IL education cannot be solved by library-centred training. The author thinks that IL must be integrated into the curriculum at every level of education, i.e. in primary, secondary schools and higher education as well. In the second part of the study the author reviews some significant models of IL.
The Szentgyörgyi donation and its role in the South Slavic collection of the National Library of Foreign Literature, Budapest
In 2003 the National Library of Foreign Literature (NLFL) took over most of Ivan Szentgyörgyi’s private library, who was a teacher and librarian in Subotica (Serbia). At the end of his life he donated the NLFL his valuable books, journals and his huge press-clippings collection. The material contains Serbian, Croatian, Slovenian and Macedonian books, as well as a remarkable Hungary-related material. According to the donation contract librarians of the NLFL catalogued the materials in the OPAC. The study describes the relevant work processes.
Who will be the „Patron Saint“ of Hungarian libraries?
An American model
Culture has always needed support from other resources in addition to state funds. The author illustrates the American charity approach with the example of the steel tycoon, Andrew Carnegie, who supported a library building programme at the end of the 19th century, and draws attention to the importance of similar support by the private sector for the libraries of our times.
Some thoughts on obtaining financial resources and being efficient
Financial balance in libraries can be reached in many ways, e.g. by extra financial sources or by enhancing effectiveness. The author overviews the main tools of reaching a financial balance. Based on the models presented he thinks that it may be worthwhile for libraries to consider some options: in his view developing fee-based services and increasing internal efficiency may be advantageous also in the long run.
The Berzsenyi Dániel Library’s activities for attracting sponsors
In financing its operation the County Library in Szombathely involves – beside state financial funds – various civil organisations, actors of the business life, support of the media and donations by its readers. The author reports on the ways of establishing contacts and fundraising.
What should we know about serials? Basic serials – and other continuing resources – management handbook
Szilvássy Zoltánné: Az időszaki kiadványok – és egyéb folytatódó források – könyvtári kezelése.
(Reviewed by Berke Barnabásné)
Reference works of the book trade
Pogány György: A könyvszakma segédkönyvei.
(Reviewed by Kégli Ferenc)
Yearbook of the József Attila County Library 2006
A József Attila Megyei Könyvtár évkönyve 2006 / ed. by Imre Monostori).
(Reviewed by Éger Veronika)