Research, publishing, and libraries

The traditional process of scholarly communication librarians had been accompanied by librarians: they were present at the birth of articles, at providing the publications for users and even prepared relevant impact analyses. In the last 10 to 15 years scholarly publishing has undergone major transformation, and, as a consequence, librarians had to redefine their roles. As open-access (OA) information is available on the Internet, researchers nowadays apply alternative strategies in research and information seeking, and their new generation with rich IT experience has different needs. Researchers provide open access to their findings by publishing their articles in OA-journals, or depositing them with digital repositories. In addition to subject repositories institutional ones have recently appeared, and large providers (as Elsevier Scopus, and Scientific Commons) joined in too. Simultaneously new forms of peer review have gained ground. In case of OA-publishers the period of publishing has become shorter, and when assessing one‘s scholarly output OA literature is now increasingly included in citation analyses and impact studies. Libraries can contribute to co-ordinating the research work in their institutions by establishing databases of publications and/or institutional repositories.

Competencies, attitudes and levels of qualification for LIS professionals

The LIS Euroguide by CERTIDoc is a potential evaluation tool against professional expectations, and at the same time a system of professional qualification which guarantees the equivalence of diplomas, learning and professional experience for European information professionals at an all-European level. In 2003 a survey was conducted on the existing levels of professional qualification in the LIS profession in Europe, and on how a new, unified system of qualification would be received. On behalf of Hungary the Association of Hungarian Librarians took part: it acknowledged the importance of the project and recommended the consideration of national, unique traditions. The essay describes in detail the structure of the LIS Euroguide and illustrates it with examples. The LIS Euroguide has been so far translated into 14 languages. The competencies discussed are grouped by fields of expertise and at four levels (assistant, technician, manager and expert in information services). The guide describes 33 fields of expertise in five comprehensive categories (Information, Technology, Communication, Management, Other scientific knowledge). Competencies have been defined at four levels (awareness, knowledge of practice, effective use of tools, effective use of methodology). Qualification may be granted from 2005 on by the organisations mandated by the CERTIDoc Consortium only. Currently there are three organisations (ADBS, DGI and SEDIC) engaged in qualification. (The essay describes the qualification process as well.) In June 2007 at the meeting of the CERTIDoc working group in Paris participants reported on the state of preparations to introduce the system in their countries. A new version of the LIS Euroguide is expected to be published in summer 2009. Hungary is negotiating participation in the revision and on the possibilities of qualifying Hungarian information professionals.

The roles of small-town libraries

The Hungarian Library Institute (HLI) carried out a survey in 2007 in the public libraries of some small towns. In the first phase researchers collected information in the libraries of towns with fewer than 5000 inhabitants, that had recently been qualified as cities. The research revealed, applying sociographic methods, the roles which town libraries must play in our times; how the expectations depend from local circumstances; what is the prestige of the library and the librarian like; what is the relationship between statistics and local reality. The subjects of semi-structured interviews were: the library managers and their staff, the mayors, local cultural managers and library users. It was found that the different functions undertaken and the efficiency of work were primarily determined by human resources. The quality of library services is not defined by needs, rather by local opportunities. The factors necessary for efficient activity are as follows: a qualified library manager with good communication skills, a supportive funding body and good professional connections. Viability is measured by the harmony between services and local needs. Statistical data provide only basic knowledge on how the library operates, but are not sufficient to outline a differentiated image. The researchers of HLI will continue this survey in the libraries of traditional towns and in those of the so-called towns with county rank.

Our debt to Máté Kovács (and to ourselves)
TÓTH Gyula

Máté Kovács (1906–1972) was Chair of the LIS Department at the Budapest Roland Eötvös University, a library-politician and scholar of library science. His oeuvre was remembered on a number of occasions in 2006, the centenary of his birth. It was an important stage in his lifework when he compiled, together with his staff, the anthology on the history of the book, libraries, printing and the press (A könyv és könyvtár a magyar társadalom életében), as a theoretical background for LIS education, and as a basis for a potential professional manual. The quantity of texts collected has exceeded the planned size, so a decision was made to publish the anthology in two chronological volumes: From the beginnings to 1848 (1963), From 1849 to 1945 (1970). From his correspondence with the publishing house it is known that in 1970 the materials for the third volume (From 1945 to the present) were also practically complete. Unfortunately the manuscript has disappeared and could not be traced ever since. The essay describes – by analysing Máté Kovács‘ legacy – how the volumes were compiled, the structure of the anthology and its pedagogical objectives. The author considers what the profession could do for producing a supplement for the missing third volume, for compiling an overview of the era in question. He also suggests that the anthology‘s two original volumes should be digitised.

A message from our predecessors

Professor Michael Denis and his student, George Festetics

In the period of Enlightenment many scholars possessing an extensive and universal knowledge in science, arts, philosophy and bibliography were acting as librarians. One of them was Michael Denis (1729–1800), a Jesuit monk and teacher at the Collegium Theresianum in Vienna. The essay describes the modern educational principles of this institution, with special regard to the knowledge for collecting, classifying and cataloguing books, that had been elaborated by Denis, working among others as a librarian. It was his merit that the teaching of literary history and bibliography was introduced into the curriculum. He worked out the themes of the subject in 1775 under the title Grundriss der Bibliographie oder Bücherkunde…. He taught his students how to use libraries actively and how to use the knowledge inherent in books. In 1777 he wrote the first college textbook on library science: Einleitung in die Bücherkunde, vol. 1: Bibliographie. In the Theresianum there were many Hungarian students from the aristocracy and the nobility, who later became famous book collectors and founders of libraries, and played an important role in national culture. Among them was Ferenc Széchényi, who founded the Hungarian National Library (1802), and George Festetics, the founder of the agricultural academy in Keszthely (1797).


Books as trophies. The fate of German library collections taken into the Soviet Union.
A review article

In 1945 and 1946 Soviet military troups captured a big amount of valuable rare books from libraries in Germany. This action has become famous as the Operation Trophy, but its details were published in the nineties only. The review – which relies on journal and newspaper articles, as well as conference materials – summarises the events, unravels their preliminaries, presents the consequences, and describes the motives of those involved. It describes the statements made by Russian librarians regarding whether or not the books in question should be returned. In 2006 a symposium was held on the topic under the title “Libraries and cultural goods taken away during World War II”. A joint manifesto was issued that emphasised: no agreement on essential issues had been reached between German librarians and Russia and Poland respectively. German librarians do no longer fight for a practical restitution of books, but for the cataloguing, making accessible and preserving the collections taken away. However, they have not given up the objective of getting back the books, but this question needs a more differentiated professional approach. Currently the discussions deal with two different approaches: one supporting the universal access to digitised texts, the other maintaining that the books in this dispute are parts of a city‘s, region‘s or a country‘s collective memory.

The rise of intellectual property, 700 B.C. – A. D. 2000: an idea in the balance
HESSE, Carla
(Translated by Zsolt Bánhegyi)

The study was originally published in the journal Daedalus, Spring 2002, p. 26-45, and its translation has been authorised by the author and the editor.

CALLICOTT, Burton – VAUGHAN, Debbie: Google Scholar vs. Library Scholar. Testing the performance of Schoogle; YORK, Maurice C.: Calling the scholars home: Google Scholar as a tool for rediscovering the academic library
Internet Reference Services Quarterly. Vol. 10, No. 3-4, 2006, pp. 71-88 and 117-133. 
(Reviewed by Péter Dévai)


1000 good books
1000 dobrych knih. Zost. Stefan Kolivosko, Jana Amrichová. (Reviewed by Szabolcs Dancs)

KENDRICK, Terry: Developing strategic marketing plans that really work.
A toolkit for public libraries. (Reviewed by Péter Dévai)

French studies about the Internet
Az Internet francia szemmel : Válogatás Éric Guichard és munkatársai írásaiból. Szerk. Pajor Enikõ. Ford. Szabó Enéh. (Reviewed by Györgyi M. Mátrai)


Kategória: 2008. 1. szám | A közvetlen link.