Short history of Hungarian dictatorship: indexes and library weeding
SIPOS Anna Magdolna
The author published the history of politically motivated book withdrawals in the period 1945 through 1950 and a content analysis of indexes in the earlier issues of this journal (3 and 4, 2007). This time she presents the lists published in 1952-1953 as well as the lists of library weeding in the period 1962-1966. She outlines in short the social and political processes in the background, as well as the distorted relations in literature and the arts. Then follows an analysis of works included in the lists from the points of contents and subjects, and a comparison with lists issued earlier.
The three lists published in 1952-1953 included 14 487 works. It was the aim of withdrawals to discard works serving the tastes of „philistines”, and to keep in libraries the works which reflected the principles of Socialist realism. From the collections maintained from public money many works of fiction and youth literature have been evaluated as valueless, although popular with readers, thus disregarding the pluralism of tastes.
In the period 1962-1966 five central lists appeared about the withdrawal of a total of 2 700 works. The lists were actually not about withdrawal but about weeding, and were prepared in co-operation with the newly established Library qualification committee. The lists included vulgar works of political agitation from the fifties, as well as scientific and non-fiction works outdated from a professional point. The relevant lists are analysed in detail.
Views about information literacy
International literature deals a lot with the interpretation of information literacy and its development – first of all as regards academic students. The author presents the model of C. Bruce, C. Maybee and L. Limberg which focuses on information use, relying on the objectives and presumptions of library users while collecting information. Library use has been the subject of some earlier surveys in Hungary (Katsányi, Gereben, Horváth). The author compares the relevant models. The practice of information seeking depends on the situation, the problem to be solved and the personality of the student/user. It can be carried out mechanically, objectively, looking for the right answer, and at the highest standard, trying to comprehend the problem in a complex manner.
Library image was characterised in the past 50 years by a humanist-educatory, liberal-service providing and socially obliged approaches. In our days we meet traditional (paper-based), modern (document-based) and postmodern (information-oriented) library images. Constructivist pedagogy focuses on cognitive structures and their development processes. Its achievements may assist in improving the philosophy behind user education and constructivist library pedagogy.
Library blogs as virtual community spaces
BOGNÁR Noémi Erika – KOZMA Zsófia – TORMÁSI Gabriella – TÓTH Máté
A library blog is an „official” blog managed by a library. The authors, three students and their tutor undertook to analyse a few blogs of public libraries in Hungary, they looked for answers to two questions: if the blogs help in creating virtual communities around library web pages (i.e. if they act as community spaces), and what is the role of a librarian blogger in operating virtual communities (i.e. whether the blog form or the operating person determines the success of a service).
During the survey, in the period January to April 2010, 17 public library blogs in Hungary and in the Hungarian communities of neighbouring countries were analysed. The entries and comments were counted by months, and their content was disregarded. As a control, a book-related blog of a well-known news portal (with book reviews and related reflections) was used, around which attracted an active community.
The survey found that most of the Hungarian public library blogs do not function as community spaces, users can be involved in generating content only infrequently, and the average library user does not take part in exchange at all. A well-operating library blog requires much effort from librarians, without their continuous and intensive presence no lively community space can evolve.
PISA 2009: results and correlations
The Hungarian Office of Education published the summary data of the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) 2009 survey; the present article provides its quick analysis. PISA assessments focus on 15-year-old students and on three areas of knowledge: text comprehension (reading), mathematics and science. During the survey a minimum of 4600 tests are collected from given OECD countries.
The performance of Hungarian students has been constant during previous surveys (2000-2006); they reached the OECD average, however, in one area only, in science. The indices have improved by 2009, and Hungarians succeeded in reaching the average of OECD countries in all fields. From among the states of its narrower region Hungary’s achievements have proved to be outstanding. We got from the earlier „weak” category to the „average” group in the field of text comprehension; we remained at the “medium” level in science with an identical performance, and with the same scores we got into the „medium” group (the averages of countries have namely deteriorated). The reviewer summarises at the end the factors contributing to improving text comprehension.
MESSAGES FROM THE PAST
Who was Károly Szabó?
Károly Szabó (1824–1890) is considered to have been a bibliographer of old Hungarian prints by the library profession. His personality and activities are less known, although he was an acknowledged researcher, philologist, historian of his time. His librarian career started at Nagykőrös where he was responsible for the library of the secondary grammar school, in addition to his work as a teacher and researcher. His career continued in Kolozsvár (Cluj, Romania today) where he was librarian of the Erdélyi Múzeum Egylet (Transylvanian Museum Association). He selected the pre-1711 books from the collection, and compiled the library’s catalogue which became the foundation of his three-volume bibliographic work to be published later. An item of lasting value in his oeuvre is his Régi magyar könyvtár (Old Hungarian library) which became an indispensable work of Hungarian retrospective bibliography. Its first volume includes Hungarian prints published in the period 1531-1711 (1879). The second volume registers prints from Hungary, not in Hungarian, from the period 1473-1711; it was published in 1885. Commissioned by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences he began to compile the third volume, about the works published abroad before 1711 in languages other than Hungarian, but he died before he could finish this venture. The collected materials have been edited by Árpád Hellebrandt into two volumes (1896-1898).
The essay also presents Károly Szabó’s activities as a historian, local studies researcher and translator.
The Memoria typographiarum (1818) of János Németh
POGÁNYNÉ RÓZSA Gabriella
János Németh (1778–1848) teacher, priest and teacher of religion was the author of a long forgotten work about the history of Hungarian printing in Latin, the Memoria typographiarum, which was a unique accomplishment in its age related to the earlier published, modest works. When registering the books printed in Hungary it was Németh’s aim to take stock of the Hungarian cultural heritage. His sources included the works published, existing bibliographies and printed library catalogues. The opinion of successors was not favourable, his work was not considered as a work on printing history, just as a bibliography which listed the prints alphabetically by towns, and included imprecise data.
The essay presents the history of how his work had been compiled and the work’s assessment in professional literature. In the author’s view Németh’s work deserves respect and is an essential part of the literature on printing history.
Bibliometrics in practice: assessing scholarly activities with library tools
HAJNAL WARD Judit et al.
The essay analyses the references of research articles published on a special field of science (addictive diseases) in three databases (Google Scholar, SCOPUS and Web of Science). The authors investigated the special features of these databases from the point of authors having written the articles, the journals having published them and the research findings. It turned out that it is not sufficient to use a single database for bibliometric analyses. The validity of citation indices and the usability of performance indicators in general are questioned by the differences between databases regarding access to authors and articles, and imprecise references. Using a single database it is not certain that a real research performance is reflected, while the database may serve as orientation for comparison with other research ventures.
Young people with equal chances: what can libraries do? Projects and best practice examples from European countries
Libraries provide services to support the social inclusion of disadvantaged people. They pay special attention to young people and to those threatened by social exclusion. The Metropolitan Szabó Ervin Library, Budapest started a mentoring service for young people in an endangered life situation. At a related conference the author described some useful European projects and examples for participants, focusing first of all on successful project such as the Partners for Change (Great-Britain) and on the programmes of The Reading Agency. She presented some non-traditional helping services (Idea Stores, Studio 12, Kirjasto 10) as well. In the Scandinavian countries there are special library services for ethnic minorities and immigrants with the aim to keep their mother tongue alive, to teach the receiving country’s language, and to bridge the digital divide. In the four countries participating in the project Libraries for All local advisory boards have been set up at some of the pilot libraries, and the members were also actively involved in implementing related activities (i.e. in providing multicultural services). From the Czech Republic examples from two city libraries are quoted, where programmes are in progress on the inclusion of Roma youth.
Terrorism and terrorists in the library, or the PATRIOT Act’s (double) impact in the USA. Conflicts between state security and freedom of speech
The essay investigates how far citizens’ rights are asserted in libraries and how far they can be restricted. Libraries face namely severe conflicts; the principle of free access to information may be damaged if the collection, storage and preservation of information become tools in preventing terrorism.
SCHWAMM, Hartmund, STEPHANS, Derek – CLEEVE, Marigold: Marketing orientation of national libraries.
(Abstract by Éva Viszocsek-Péteri)
This study investigates how far European national libraries have adopted marketing principles and developed a marketing orientation to face new challenges. The degree of a marketing orientation was analysed in the websites of 14 national libraries, the national library buildings of Austria, Belgium, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal were observed and rated, and managers of these organisations interviewed. Analysis showed varying attitudes to marketing, with the British Library having the most advanced approach in developing a marketing orientation. Other national libraries had adopted certain aspects of a marketing orientation, but lacked a coherent approach. Recommendations made in the area of website design included the better use of digital re-sources and introduction of Web 2.0 features. In regard to national library buildings it was recommended to have one central point of access from where the visitor is guided through the building. Developing a marketing orientation was a major but beneficial step in the evolution of a national library. It required a shift of perspective from inward to outward looking and the willingness to learn from other markets. A marketing orientation was a way of addressing the future challenges successfully.
National bibliography of newspapers and journals published in Hungary, 1921-1944
A magyarországi hírlapok és folyóiratok bibliográfiája 1921–1944. (Ed. Ferenczyné W. Lídia)
(Reviewed by György Pogány)
Online information on shipping
KISZL Péter: Hálózati révkalauz: a magyarországi hajózási információforrások az interneten (Reviewed by Klára Vörös)
Introduction into the bibliography of Hungarian books on science
GAZDA István: Bevezetés a reáltudo¬mányok magyarországi könyvészetébe
(Reviewed by Sándor Szabó)