Applications for the post of the Director-General of the National Széchényi Library
Könyvtári Figyelő (Library Review) vol. 55. 2009. no. 4. pp. I. – XXXII.
On September 1, 2009 the Minister of Culture and Education issued an invitation for applications for the post of the Director-General of the National Széchényi Library (OSZK). The applications of two professionals have been submitted: that of Mr. István Monok, who has acted for two cycles as director-general of OSZK starting with the year 1999, and that of Ms. Andrea Sajó, head of section at OSZK. The minister chose Andrea Sajó to be the manager of the institution in the next cycle.
The invitation included the following professional tasks: professional leadership of the activities related to the basic tasks of the national library; continuous development of the Hungarian Digital Image Library; developing the system of shared cataloguing at the national level, creating a joint search system of various library databases; managing and operating the portal „Könyvtárkapu”; providing the national location registries on the internet via a common interface.
István Monok’s application (I. – XVII.)
Andrea Sajó’s application (XVIII. – XXXII.)
Library image at the turn of the millennium. Hungarian-language encyclopaedias on libraries
At the turn of the 20th-21st centuries three encyclopaedias were published in Hungary: the Hungarian Encyclopaedia (Magyar Nagylexikon, volumes 1–19, by Akadémiai Kiadó), the Britannica Hungarica. World Encyclopaedia (Világenciklopédia, volumes 1–18, by Lexikon Kiadó) and the New Révai Lexicon (Révai Új Lexikona, volumes 1–18, by Babits Kiadó).
The author reviewed the library- and library work-related articles of these sources to find out how lexicon editors and the anonymous authors of articles view the world of libraries and what kind of library image they offer to readers. He got a rather mixed impression: while readers may learn a lot about libraries and library culture from lexicons, there are a lot of blank spots, and the suggested library image may be considered as rather incidental, and obsolete in certain respects.
It is the New Révai Lexicon which provides most information about libraries and library culture (e.g. it is the only source which includes an article on library-related information science and information technology applications), and presents a library image which corresponds to the environment and expectations of the new millennium.
Bibliographical centres for social science information
Könyvtári Figyelő (Library Review) vol. 55. 2009. no. 4. pp. 647. – 683.
The Section of Social Science Libraries at the Association of Hungarian Librarians organised a conference in June 2009 in the National Széchényi Library inviting traditional bibliographical centres to report on their current activities. Four of the conference papers are presented here:
Forty years of the Hungarian sociological bibliography
The essay summarises the traditions, accomplishments and development tasks of the bibliographical activity in the field of sociology at the Metropolitan Szabó Ervin Library (FSZEK).
After a brief historical overview the author takes account of the special bibliographical and subject bibliographical ventures having started in 1968 when FSZEK had assumed the role of a special library with national responsibilities in the field of sociology. The computerised bibliographical processing of sociological literature started with the analytical processing of international sociological literature (books and journals). A work carried out in parallel was the bibliographical processing of the history of sociology in Hungary. Later digitisation started as well with the project to create a Digital Archive of the History of Sociology. Current Hungarian publications in the field of sociology were included in the publication entitled “Szociológiai információ”, followed by a CD-ROM-edition, and later by the database named SzocioWeb. The materials from the period 1970–2006 can be searched in the SzocioWeb database, from 2007 in FSZEK’s Corvina integrated library system (option: Szociológiai bibliográfia).
The responsible department’s plans include integrating processing work within FSZEK’s library system and the SzocioWeb database, complementing records with links to full text, and supplementing missing items retrospectively for the periods 1930–1945 and 1948–1969 etc.
Homepage of FSZEK’s Collection of Sociology: http://www.fszek.hu/konyvtarink/kozponti_konyvtar/szociologiai_gyujtemeny
Statistical bibliographies in Hungary and abroad
Most of the basic statistical data can be found in national and international statistical yearbooks, nevertheless, a lot of statistics are published in hidden sources which are difficult to identify. The article reports on the achievements of national and international statistical bibliographies, on the tasks ahead, and on plans for the long range.
As first, the author presents the main statistical bibliographies published abroad (Index to statistics and probability, Current index to statistics, Statistics sources), the bibliographies compiled by the Central Statistical Office of Hungary (KSH; Statistical data sources, Hungarian statistical yearbook, the series Statistical pocket books) as well as the relevant journals published by KSH. In 1985 the Library of KSH started to compile a bibliography as a pilot, entitled STAR (Catalogue of statistical publications), which has registered relevant sources in a structure similar to Statistics sources, but, because of difficult use, this venture has not been continued. In the Library’s series entitled Great Hungarian statisticians 23 volumes were published till 2009.
In 2007 the publications of KSH were changed, some of them were ceased, others have been renewed as regards their structure. Because of electronic data processing some groups of data are accessible in the KSH database only. It is an urgent task to edit the next volume of „Statistical data sources” which is to list also sources external to KSH.
The bibliography on state security (1945–1990)
The Hungarian Parliament set up in 1997 the so-called Historical Office, whose successor is from 2003 the Historical Archives of the Hungarian State Security. This institution wishes to offer an opportunity for those interested to get acquainted with the work of the former secret services (the political police) acting in the era of state socialism.
Within the Historical Archives a library was founded to support archival processing work and scientific research, as well as to catalogue and make available the books, small prints and written documents originating from the earlier collection of the Ministry of the Interior.
The collection interest of the library includes, in addition to resources assisting processing, the documents dealing with the events in the second half of the 20th century. The library consists of three collections: name and address directories from the 20th century; methodological publications for education purposes; current literature on the subject.
The database currently under development consists of four subsystems: the publications data store, the data store of publications meant for education, current literature after 1990, plus current and retrospective press reviews.
The methodological publications on state security are organised by subject. The groups of subjects were defined according to the bibliography of state security edited by the relevant library in the GDR. The bibliography contains ca. 500 items, the work has been practically finished, no additions are expected.
The current special bibliography on state security (1945–1990) registers literature about the subject, written after the change of the political system. The aim was to collect and present literature related to the structure and operation of the one-time state security organs. The bibliography is organised according to types of publications. In the future local history relevance and foreign Hungarica materials should be considered as well. It is a future option to organise the material by subject, as with the educational materials.
HUMANUS: an opportunity for the co-operation of bibliographical centres
The HUMANUS database (of essays and articles in the humanities) is responsible for registering articles in a nationally co-ordinated manner in certain subject fields (literary science, linguistics, history, military science, political science, library science, book history, philosophy, religion, theology, art, education, folklore, local history) in order to avoid parallel efforts. (The list of participating institutions is not yet complete, there are some fields waiting for a contributing library as a co-operating partner.)
The database relies on the Bodza software framework which has been developed for the very purpose of processing parts of documents.
Co-operation is implemented within the framework of a consortium, with the Humanities Bibliography Department of the National Széchényi Library as the co-ordinator. The author outlined the advantages of co-operation between the National Széchényi Library and external bibliographical centres as the working method, and illustrated the levels of co-operation and processing with examples from the HUMANUS homepage (www.oszk.hu/humanus).
The first step in co-operation is to co-ordinate journal processing, the next one is to plan the co-ordinated processing of collections of essays. The paper is illustrated by a step-by-step guide to the analytical processing of a multi-volume work.
After ten years – about the regional libraries founded 60 years ago (Part 1)
In Hungary the system of regional libraries was elaborated by Géza Sebestyén (deputy director-general of the national library in the 1970s). In the 1930s several examples of regional libraries could be found in Western European countries as well. The system implemented in Hungary followed essentially a Western European pattern, although it was named as the Soviet model in communication.
Sebestyén’s concept was ready as early as 1942, he proposed to implement it as part of the national cultural programme in 1946, but the official introduction took place in 1949 only. Cultural policy in the era after World War II considered it as its main task to re-organise people’s libraries destructed during the war in the form of regional libraries. Sebestyén attached special importance to the network principle and the unity of librarianship, and devised a complex library concept covering village and town libraries. He intended to set up library supply for the village population at a similar standard as in towns: he declared that village libraries should also have their own books (a standing collection), while regional libraries should see to changing and refreshing the book stock, as well as to securing a well-educated staff that transports books (to be deposited) and which can offer professional assistance.
The essay presents the history, preliminaries and background of this solution of services having been used for three years.
150 years of the Transylvanian Museum Society (Erdélyi Múzeum Egyesület)
The Transylvanian Museum Society (TMS) was founded in November 1859 in Cluj (Kolozsvár). Its first president was Count Imre Mikó, the „Széchenyi of Transylvania”, who had donated his house and garden to the Society. In the first statute of TMS Mikó has laid down the following aims: to set up and operate a museum, to cultivate and disseminate sciences and culture in the mother tongue. After 1867 the political importance of TMS has decreased, but after founding the university in Cluj the possibilities of co-operation in the field of research and public collections have been extended. In 1905 the Society received state support as well. TMS published a journal, an annual and scholarly works. The 1920s and 1930s were characterised by a struggle for survival. After World War II TMS had to face severe and increasing difficulties which led to its closing in 1950. The re-foundation of TMS took place forty years later, in 1990.
The library of the Transylvanian Museum Society (1859–1950)
Among the collections of the Transylvanian Museum Society the library collection was very rich already at the beginning – as it relied on the bequest of János Kemény –, it included more than 15 000 books, 1083 manuscripts, charters etc. Transylvanian society was proud of the society, and considered its library as the written memory, the representative collection of Transylvanian history.
The essay presents the library’s activities from the beginning to its closing in 1950. It deals with the professionals having had a major role in its operation (Sándor Mike, Károly Szabó, Zoltán Ferenczi, Pál Erdélyi). The golden age of the library was the time of its moving to a new building in 1909 when the collection got into the most modern new library building of historical Hungary, together with the university library. Political and historical changes have later brought about severe difficulties and damages. After re-foundation in 1990 the legal status of the library collection is still waiting to be solved.
GIBBY Richard – GREEN, Andrew: Electronic legal deposit in the United Kingdom
(New Review of Academic Librarianship, vol. 14. 2008. no. 1–2. p. 55–70.) (Abstract by Éva Viszocsek-Péteri)
Alliance of the library and the reader
From among the constituent parts of the library (collection, reader, librarian, service, infrastructure, maintaining body) the role of librarian is determinant. Librarians should therefore reconsider their duties in a rapidly changing world (different reader priorities, different materials, new services, financial restrictions, new opportunities of information technology etc.). If libraries and librarians do not act in alliance with readers, they may loose their main supporter. During the development of the Gutenberg galaxy the library’s role was definitive in access to materials by readers, especially in the past century. Today, however, readers are not satisfied if they can rely on the library during its opening hours, for 30-40 or, eventually, 50-60 hours a week only. They need services which can be accessed at any time from anywhere because technologically it is feasible in the information society. New tasks require continuous “rebirth” of librarians: during a career of forty years one has to (should) completely renew oneself four times. The alliance mentioned survives if librarians can create again and again harmony with their readers.
LANKES, David: Credibility on the Internet: shifting from authority to reliability
(Journal of Documentation, vol. 64. 2008. no. 5. p. 667-685.) (Abstract by Péter Dévai)
BROWN, David J. – BOULDER-STONE, Richard: The impact of electronic publishing. The future for publishers and librarians.
(München, Saur, 2008. 355 p.) (Reviewed by Anikó Dudás)
Digital literacies for learning.
Ed. Allan Martin, Dan Madigan. London, Facet, 2006. 242 p. (Reviewed by Tibor Koltay)
Cultural efforts at Transylvanian reform parliaments, 1834-1848
BÉNYEI Miklós: Művelődési törekvések az erdélyi reformországgyűléseken 1834–1848. Debrecen, Erdély-történeti Alapítvány, 2008. 270 p.) (Reviewed by András Lajos Róth)
Library partnerships, issues of communication
VIDRA SZABÓ Ferenc: Könyvtári partnerkapcsolatok, kommunikációs kérdések. Budapest, Könyvtári Intézet, 2008. 143 p. (Reviewed by Katalin Kovács)