Jenő Kiss’ library
TÓTH Gyula

Jenő Kiss (1933–2003) was responsible for public library supply in Budapest in the period 1980 through 1998 as director-general of the Metropolitan Szabó Ervin Library (FSZEK). The era under his leadership was characterised by reforms, and his innovations have led to fundamental transformation.
When he took over the management of FSZEK, he had to cope with severe difficulties in operation, as well as with the tension between the central library’s functions as a special library (in the fields of sociology, local history and music) and the partitioned library system in which an approach of popular education was dominating. By demolishing the over-hierarchical organisational structure, by delegating decisions to the level of action he made efforts to develop a new management style based on involving staff members.His reforms were directed at creating a user-centred library. With his staff he has elaborated new functions for the central library, and, to strengthen the operation of the library system, he has designated six libraries to perform central roles (as regional centres). His measures – aiming at a stock adapted to user needs, at the alternative arrangement of library holdings (family library, double-decker library, foundation of the Central Supply Unit KESZ), a brave weeding policy, the operation of community information services, the introduction the fee-based multimedia and specialised services – have all been directed at implementing user services corresponding to a European standard.
What he had left as his bequest to his successors included the conceptual development plan of FSZEK, an up-to-date library policy adapted to potentialities, plans for the reconstruction of the central library, and an adaptable model for further developing the member libraries of the metropolitan library system.

Government libraries in the Hungarian library system

Government libraries and their staff exist as rather hidden institutions in today’s Hungarian librarianship. They are underrepresented in library literature, one third of them do not provide regular statistical data, they do not have a professional forum or a special section within the Association of Hungarian Librarians, where they could discuss professional issues.
As part of a survey carried out by the Hungarian Library Institute into libraries not open for the wide public, 13 libraries at ministries (and other bodies) were investigated, their situation is presented here supported by statistical data. Ten libraries use integrated library system. OPACs are accessible typically via the relevant organisation’s intranet, and are thus integrated into the governmental information system. For these special libraries to become real information centres within the governmental information system – among others – their closer co-operation is absolutely necessary.
When establishing the institutional bases of electronic public services these special libraries require special attention. They should become the primary transfer points and knowledge centres in this new environment. To this end, the range of dynamic, interactive and user-friendly services should be enlarged in special libraries as well.
It is a prerequisite of a successful and efficient future operation that government libraries become more open, and their services (or part of them) become accessible for all citizens, i.e. these libraries become visible and citizens become acquainted with their information products and resources.

An overview about the world of modern online audiovisual services

Technological advancement gives way to new ways of use and consumption transforming content provision. User behaviour has superseded legal solutions related to obsolete technological environment. It will, in all likelihood, compel the old players to develop new business models, and will make it inevitable to reconsider the issues of copyright protection.
The article provides a systematic overview of the complex world audio services accessible on the internet: illegal broadcasting based on file-sharing versus one-way broadcasting (legal and illegal versions) with frontal (traditional) servers; the operation of video-sharing portals and their connection with traditional players; the operation of online film services with examples from Danish and Norwegian libraries; problems of the transformation of audiovisual services (issues of hardware and software compatibility), successful business conditions for copy-protected products. The role and use of podcasting (transportable playing devices) in the information work of libraries and museums is discussed as well.
The author points out that these services require a solution which does not lead to acts of crime by the internet-using community, and, at the same time, creates legal regulations which can be complied with, and benefits traditional market players. Libraries and publishers can, in co-operation, offer rich content to users on the internet.

János Molnár and his Magyar könyv-háza

János Molnár (1728–1804) was a Jesuit monk, canon at Szepes (translator, cultivator of the Hungarian language, pedagogue, and author of church history works). He played an important part in Hungarian culture in the period of Enlightenment. From among his life work his undertaking entitled Magyar Könyv-háza (House of the Hungarian Book); having appeared in the period 1783–1804 deserves special attention. As regards its genre, the Magyar Könyv-háza is a transition between a journal and a multi-volume book, is a periodical publication which includes predominantly texts by the editor. The content of contributions is of encyclopaedic nature; their structure is similar to lexicons and dictionaries, while their role is similar to recommendatory book lists.
The antecedents of this genre include the work entitled Myriobiblos by the 9th-century Constantinople Patriarch, Photius. Myriobiblos published the presentations of and criticisms on books read by the patriarch himself. In the Magyar Könyv-háza Molnár did not provide critical evaluations because he presented only works which he had deemed acceptable, worth reading. He reviewed first of all books on religion, education and ethics, later he published the biographies and career descriptions of famous people, and included works on geography, science, literature and linguistics.
Molnár was interested in book culture and the history of printing. He was acquainted with Michael Denis’ textbooks on book history (Einleitung in die Bücherkunde) and the collection list of old books compiled by György Pray.
In 11 years 22 volumes (issues) were published of the Magyar Könyv-háza, and the first four volumes can be considered as recommendatory bibliographies. The article analyses in detail the subjects of individual volumes, and refers to the bibliographic aspects of Molnár’s oeuvre.
The study reviews the subjects of individual volumes, and describes Molnár’s commitment as a bibliographer.

The role of books and reading in the life of educated persons in the first half of the 20th century, based on Hungarian-language manuals of etiquette

The manuals of etiquette from the 19th and 20the centuries have regulated how to properly behave in private life. The author investigated how the concepts of books, reading and libraries appeared in these manuals. Those from the 19the century dealt with reading just in a peripheral way, in relation with educating children, and did not keep the role of reading materials important, nor did they recommend them as a topic of conversation.
The importance of reading started to be more frequently mentioned in the manuals of etiquette after World War I, in the chapters on culture. Reading was considered as an important activity for developing erudition. It is parents and teachers who recommended proper reading materials, which included mainly Hungarian classics and general works on cultural history. The manuals in this period already propose books as a conversation topic. Some authors, nevertheless, warn against the dangers of reading, because, in their view, greedy reading may mean an escape from life’s trials. Unemployment as a result of economic and social problems, as well as an increase in leisure time have both gave an impetus to reading. Non-fiction works have become popular, and the interest in these has signified the appearance of a new group of readers. The author of another manual mentions reading as a tool of self-education, and finds that, in addition to fiction, travel descriptions, art books, biographies are desired reading materials, while he recommends that pulp fiction and adventure books should be avoided. Libraries started to be discussed in two contexts, referring to the lending library on the one hand, and promoting to set up family libraries on the other. One of the authors attached a list of reading materials from the works of Hungarian and foreign authors. When promoting the reading of newspapers and journals it is mentioned that the tabloid press should be excluded, however, it is worth collecting, even binding volumes of journals with rich content.
In the pre-World War II years the authors warn that reading materials may exert an influence on ideology. The manuals of etiquette appeared again after a long break in the 50s and 60s, with books and reading being mentioned with less emphasis: reading has become again an individual activity not regulated by the etiquette.

Dave Hume as librarian
KOVÁCS Béla Lóránt

David Hume (1711–1776) was a major figure in British Empiricism. Few people know that the writing of his work History of England was enabled by his years spent as Keeper of the Edinburgh Faculty of Advocates’ Library.
The Advocates’ Library was opened in 1689, originally as a special library of literature on legislation in Scotland. When the library moved into the building of the Scottish Parliament, the collection was substantially enlarged with works on history in addition to law. According to the Copyright Act of 1710 it acquired also the books distributed by merchants on the British Isles. Hume acted in the period 1751–1757 as the Keeper of this library of national importance which had, however, operated as a private foundation.
The library’s acquisition principles and the librarian’s independence were at stake when the Library‘s Trustees reprimanded Hume for purchasing several “indecent French books unworthy of a place in a learned Library”. As a result, it was ordered that all acquisitions needed the approval of the Library’s Trustees. Hume’s sphere of responsibility has been restricted by the interests of the Library’s Trustees, and he regarded it as a personal insult. The debate ended by Hume selling the criticised works, but after that the Library’s Trustees had no say on purchases, so the work became governed by Hume’s enlightened approach.

Remembering Pál Bóday (1921-2009)

A tribute to the librarian and journalist Pál Bóday (1921–2009), innovator of the documentation of library science literature in Hungary, who has initiated to publish an information bulletin about special literature from Hungary and abroad for librarians. He was a leading staff member of the Centre for Library Science and Methodology in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Journal Népművelés (1906–1918) for modern public libraries, Part 2: 1911

The first part of this article was published in Könyvtári Figyelő 2008. issue 4. (pp. 641-658.) and presented the life of the journal in the period 1906–1910. In this part the author analyses the library-related articles of the 1911 volume, among them the studies in a special issue on libraries. The authors in the relevant issue include prominent librarians. Ervin Szabó in his article What do they read and what should they read? acknowledges respect to readers’ needs, but calls attention to the „educating” role of libraries. Béla Kőhalmi discusses the relationship between libraries and liberal education, based on the practice of the Oxford training school of workers (Ruskin College) and the Vienna People’s House (Volksheim). Frigyes Ozorai deals with issues of the relationship between public libraries and schools, another article with the importance of children’s libraries. László Dienes investigated library centralisation, referring to American and German examples. Theoretical studies are followed by reports about public libraries in England, the public library network in Russia and library development in Germany. The series of articles continues in the next issue.


Common ways. Library services to the Roma in the North-eastern part of the Czech Republic

The Goethe Institute Prague organised in November 2008 a conference in Ostrava under the title „Common ways”, with the participation of librarians from the Visegrád countries, about library supply to minorities. The host country presented a library having been set up on the example of the Gandhi Secondary Grammar School (Pécs, Hungary), with the assistance of Mrs. Elizabeth Macan (Goethe Institute) in Ostrava Vitkovice, specialising in library services to Roma students living in the neighbourhood. The article reports on the implementation of this undertaking.

The foreign language acquisitions experience in American libraries

Non-English language books require a special treatment in American libraries because their acquisition is different from the quick and high-standard practice in the case of American publications. The author as a practising acquisitions librarian discusses in detail the process of book ordering at the international book market, presents the databases assisting cataloguing, the possibilities of ordering bibliographic records, the electronic management of orders and invoices, the search for antiquarian copies, the follow-up of delivery, the quality factors of book distribution services etc. She praises the creative and liberal practice of European book traders. Acquisitions librarians active in the international arena also have to be creative, possess problem-solving skills, in addition to being well-informed in the fields of both language and culture.
SCHRADER, Andreas – SIEWEKE, Beate: Hybrary – The hybrid library of the future. = http.//
(Reviewed by Éva Viszocsek Péteri)

COOKE, Nicole A.: Web-based organizational tools for professional librarians. = Public Services Quarterly, 4. vol. 2008. 2. no. 137–150. p. (Reviewed by Éva Viszocsek Péteri)

Libraries and international co-operation. The Italian campaign
FALCINELLI, Daniele – BAZZOCCHI, Silvia: Bibliotheche e cooperazione internazionale. La campagna „Bibliotheche solidali”. = Bollettino AIB, 47. vol. 2007. 4. no. 485–492. p. (Reviewed by Jenő Mohor)

SETH Renu: Storehouses of knowledge to educate the Masses.
The Indian library system: a present day scenario. = BuB – Forum Bibliothek und Information, 58. vol. 2006. 9. no. 622-628. p. (Reviewed by Jenő Mohor)

COYLE, Caren: Managing technology. E-reading = Journal of Academic Librarianship, 34. vol. 2008. 2. no. 160–162. p. (Reviewed by Péter Dévai)


The monograph on the history of the Budapest city library now complete
KATSÁNYI Sándor – TÓTH Gyula: A főváros könyvtárának története 1945–1998. (Reviewed by Miklós Fogarassy)

Post-modern library – from traditional building blocks
BRUIJNZEELS, Rob – TIGGELEN, Nicole: Bibliotheken 2040. (Reviewed by Sándor Katsányi)

Attracted by library and society: a tribute to Gyula Tóth on the occasion of his 70th birthday
Könyvtár és társadalom vonzásában: köszöntőkönyv dr. Tóth Gyula 70. születésnapjára. (Ed. Czövek Zoltán, Koltay Tibor, Pálvölgyi Mihály) (Reviewed by: György Pogány)

Catalogus librorum ante 1601 impressorum, qui in Bibliotheca episcopatus Alba-Regalensis asservantur (BEpAlb Cat.)
VELENCZEI Katalin: A székesfehérvári Püspöki Könyvtár 1601 előtti nyomtatványainak katalógusa (BepAlb Cat) (Reviewed by Szilvia Bánfi)

New books from the Hatágú Síp Foundation:
Sources of Hungarian linguistics and literature; Sources of research into book culture; Sources and literature of history, religion and Bible editions; The art of map printing from the beginnings to the late 19th century
SZABÓ Sándor: A magyar nyelv- és irodalomtudomány kútfői; POGÁNYNÉ RÓZSA Gabriella: A könyvkultúra kutatásának kútfői; POGÁNY György: A történelem, a vallási irodalom és a Biblia-kiadások kútfői és szakirodalma; PLIHÁL Katalin: A térképnyomtatás művészete a kezdetektől a 19. sz. végéig. (Reviewed by Mária Kovács)

Wikis: tools for information work and collaboration / Jane KLOBAS (et al.)
(Reviewed by Péter Dévai )
To our readers

From 2009 the selected articles of international LIS journals are catalogued in a new database HUMANUS (instead of the MANCI database). As the change-over to the new database, and the production of a printed version of abstracts in this journal (in the From foreign library and information journals section) takes longer than usual, you do not find abstracts in this issue 1, however, issue 2 will contain abstracts again, including those meant for issue 1. Thank you for your understanding!

The Editors