User satisfaction survey in the National Széchényi Library

In May and June 2007 the Library Institute carried out a survey initiated by the management of the National Széchényi Library on the use of the national library. It was the aim of the inquiry to obtain a picture about user habits, expectations and satisfaction with library services. During a period of five weeks, on a randomly chosen workday every reader was given the questionnaire (everybody could answer only once). 543 questionnaires were evaluated by the researchers.
The majority of readers were students and researchers with an average age of 33, however, the number of users over 60 was quite high (more than 10%). Among young readers there were more women, among older people – on the contrary. 71% of users took part in some kind of organised education, 23% worked in research institutes, education or public collections.
User habits were tested by questions on the frequency and aims of the visit, the services accessed, use of the library’s homepage and databases accessed. 47% of users came more than once into the library: their 63% to do research, 57% to learn. The most used services were the traditional ones (reading books and journals), and there was a very high need for Xerox copies. Students preferred the online catalogue and electronic information search. 17% of readers were using their own laptop, and the use of reading room workstations was popular as well.
User satisfaction was surveyed with two open (which library services they were satisfied / not satisfied with) and one closed questions (ranking on a five grade scale). The majority of users were satisfied with the library environment, the richness of collections and helpfulness of librarians, but unsatisfied with the opening hours and the recently introduced limitation of magazine services. Answering the closed question other issues were raised: the high price of some services, long waiting times, the limited number of PCs and their varying quality. The most critical readers were researchers, students, however, were understanding these difficulties.
All in all, the judgement of the library has improved, it increased from 4,0 to 4,1 since the last survey.

Supporting politics by weeding and destroying books (book lists 1949-1950)
SIPOS Anna Magdolna

In the post-war years between 1945 and 1950 there many times significant book destruction took place in Hungary. The weeding books from libraries and bookshops that were published before the second world war and reflected its mentality was regulated by a decree. (About the first two years – 1945-1946 – see the study Banned books in post-war Hungary, 1945-1946 by the same author in Könyvtári Figyelõ, 2007. no. 3. pp. 413-435.)

This study follows up later years: the steps taken between 1949 and 1950 to weed some more books with an ideological purpose from cultural institutions. As it is known, four official lists were published in the years1945-1946; after that no official list was made between 1946 and 1950, but after the socialisation the weeding continued in school and public libraries. The aim declared was to destroy the „undesirable“, i.e. fascist, antidemocratic, anti-semitic, revisionistic, anti-Soviet and „bourgeois“ literature.

Analysing the relevant book list one can see that this activity was part of a growing cultural change, with the main task to „adopt“ Soviet culture in Hungary. The list compiled in summer 1950 included books of foreign classical and contemporary writers (leading to an international scandal and a later revision). In 1951 and 1952 some weeding took place and some „correction lists“ were prepared, but after that weeding became slowly forgotten. About the facts of these weeding acts, that well characterise the given times, very few written materials and references have remained; this study intends to recall these events.

User survey in the Special Library of Pedagogy in Zalaegerszeg

The survey analyses the answers given by 104 users about their expectations, the library services provided and the operation of the Special Library. 75% of the sample were students, beginners in work and young middle-aged with a degree from higher education, 60% were employed as teachers. The users often needed professional literature for teaching or studying. The most used resources were textbooks and the internet. The most frequently accessed service was lending books, but reading room and reference service were very popular as well. Lacking foreign language knowledge 81% were using only Hungarian-language materials. User needed the help of librarians for using catalogues and the collection. All in all, users were satisfied with the collection, the services provided and the helpfulness of librarians.

Mediation roles : name spaces and the bibliographers’ tasks
Könyvtári Figyelő (Library Review) vol. 17. (53.) 2007. no. 4. pp. 723–735.

The article points out the role of proper nouns in information organisation and retrieval systems. It explains the basic concepts and processes, such as name space, metadata and authority control which are relevant in maintaining name files. Authority control of proper nouns covers different aspects such as the semantic structure (e.g. name of type classification), reference (e.g. added data/descriptions for identifying an entry), form (e.g. order of name elements, script, the dissection of name parts) and syndetic relationships. The article mentions initiatives aiming the aggregation, sharing, linking and developing an interoperability of name spaces. An integration of significant domestic reference sources may contribute to the development of the Hungarian National Name Space project. In spite of today’s changes in the roles of library services, maintaining name data remains one of the main tasks of bibliographers and cataloguers. A wide-spread use of Web 2.0 technology could contribute to library partnerships, promoting the sharing and management of proper noun data in collaborative frameworks.

Methodical questions of the Pázmány-Péter bibliography

In recent years the interest for the rich life-work of Péter Pázmány (1570–1637) has grown among the researchers of old Hungarian literature. It was the reason to explore his work and the literature written about him in a bibliography. The students of the Department for Hungarian Literature at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University have enlarged the Pázmány-bibliography (413 records, edited by László Polgár, 1987) with newly published works. The result is a three times more extensive bibliography: with its 1152 records the most complete Pázmány-bibliography to date.

The structure of the bibliography was intended to be simple and easy to use: the titles are grouped by document types, chronologically. The article compares the two Pázmány-bibliographies, and describes the methodical problems arising during editing.

Character recognition on raster maps. The Sintagma project
PLIHÁL Katalin – JANCSÓ Tamás

The quality use of scanned cartographic documents is supported by optical character recognition programs (OCR). The Map Collection of the National Széchényi Library has recently begun to scan the most valuable items of the old map collection, thus giving a practicable tool for the researchers. Search effectiveness can be increased with gazetteers linked to the maps. This needs an automated character recognition device. The Sintagma project in question solves the annotation and retrieval of texts of rastered maps in a web-based environment.

The main difficulty in designing such a software was the management of differing forms in case of natural languages and cartographic expressions (alpha-numerical data). There are very different types of size, colour, and proportion on maps. With old maps attention has to be given to special solutions of designers or cutters. To manage the problems and obtain an optimum display, the author worked out a special CR algorithm, the so called Sintagma project.
In the first part the authors describe the problems of the algorithm of character recognition and the advantages of the chosen solution, in the second part – the special features of maps, and the problems to be solved during digitisation as well as the experience gained using the software.

The Research Library of the Haáz Rezső Museum in Odorheiu Secuiesc (Székelyudvarhely) in Transylvania

The Research Library at the Haáz Rezsõ Museum in Odorheiu Secuiesc (Székelyudvarhely) founded in 1670 is one of the important collections of Reformed Church Colleges in Transylvania. The library holds rare books, journals and a special collection of school yearbooks, that are valuable parts of the Hungarian cultural heritage. The end of the 19th century and the decades after 1920 brought many events, that had made the operation of the library difficult. The collection was closed before the public for a long time; this made research more complicated, but helped the collection to survive. The collection overcame the socialisation of the library and the decades of socialism without greater losses. After the change of the political system in 1989 the relations with similar collections and professional organisations in Hungary were rebuilt. The retrospective cataloguing of materials and the digitisation of valuable items has begun recently.


Russian library panorama: after a crisis? (A review)

The study is a review article based on rich traditional and electronic sources about the current state of the librarianship in Russia. The author describes as first the economic, social and cultural background, well demonstrating the situation in Russia that is struggling with many economic and social problems, then follows with the presentation of Russian librarianship dealing with the following subjects: reading, private and family libraries; general data of librarianship; the situation of computerisation and digitisation, national development programs; national and research libraries; public libraries; professional education; journals, professional organisations, international relations, participation in international programs. In the conclusion the author predicts that Russian librarianship will deserve attention in the coming years.

Library and Information Science education in Europe. Part 2
TÓSZEGI Zsuzsanna

The author describes the project European Curriculum. Reflections on Library and Information Science Education (European Curriculum). There are very significant differences between the education solutions in European countries. The lack of transparency and equivalence hinders the widening of co-operation between institutions, therefore a dialogue between LIS schools is needed about the structure and content of curricula. The report was written with the contribution of 150 European professionals. The conclusion deals with the following themes: the situation of LIS-education in Europe; the proportion of theory and practice; the content of education (digitisation of cultural heritage; information literacy; information retrieval; information society and barriers of free access to information; knowledge management and information management; knowledge organisation, librarians in a multicultural society, library and information history; mediation of culture, the place of practice in professional training; library management).

Disruptive beneficence : the Google Print program and the future of libraries, and The Google Library Project at Oxford

Summary of the articles by Mark Sandler (Disruptive beneficence : The Google Print program and the future of libraries) and Ronald Milne (The Google Library Project at Oxford) published in the Internet Reference Service Quarterly, vol. 10. no. 3-4.
(The summary was written by Péter Dévai)


Hungarian publishing, press and libraries in Slovenia 1945-2004
Zagorec-Csuka Judit: A szlovéniai magyar könyvkiadás, sajtó- és könyvtártörténet 1945–2004-ig. (Reviewed by Ferenc Kégli)

A guide on library services for small communities
Könyvtárellátási Szolgáltatási Rendszer (KSZK). Tájékoztató a kistelepülések könyvtári ellátásáról. (Ed. by Ilona Richlich). (Reviewed by Jenõ Mohor)

Digital literacy education in childhood
Körösiné Mikis Márta: A digitális írástudás gyermekkori megalapozása. Ajánlások a 3–10 éves gyermekek nevelőinek. (Reviewed by Veronika Éger)

Let‘s talk! Evenings in a library club
Ottovayné Ecsedi Kati – Mayer Vivian: Volt egyszer egy Laza klub. Beszélgetőkönyv. (Reviewed by Katalin Kovács)

Könyvtári Figyelő (Library Review) vol. 17. (53.) 2007. no. 4. pp. 813–880.