István Sallai’s views on village libraries
István Sallai (1911-1979) was a prominent figure of Hungarian librarianship after World War II. He is famous as the author of an excellent handbook for librarians (published in 1956 and 1965). He started his career with organising village libraries and has always found it very important to improve library supply to the population of villages. Instead of supporting people’s libraries he proposed to have village libraries which rely on the traditions of reading circles and provide room for all the cultural activities in a community. In his view village libraries could be developed only if they are attached to other institutions (namely the homes of culture) which are maintained from local sources. The first so-called club libraries (i.e. libraries attached to the homes of culture) were created in 1968. However, they needed support from district libraries. In a later period, after club libraries had lost importance, a network of library supply was set up to improve book offer in small libraries. In Sallai’s oeuvre 1968-1969 meant a kind of peak: he wrote his report entitled Development trend of Hungarian public libraries (1968), whose revised version was integrated into the document entitled Basic principles and requirements for the long-term planning of public libraries (1970) compiled for the National conference on librarianship, and into the Professional guidelines for the long-term development of public libraries maintained by councils (1972). In his last work he raised whether the successors have managed well Ervin Szabó’s heritage. His considerations are timely even today.
Symbols of the library
The author collected among librarians, children visiting the library and acquaintances the symbols of the librarian profession and the library. To this collection she later added the views of artists, authors, scientists about libraries, as well as images of the library that had been visualised during meditation.
Cultural rights of minorities in Hungary. On the ombudsman’s report
The ombudsman of the rights of national and ethnical minorities surveyed in 2009 how far the rights to culture, which include the right to library supply, are realised. He reported about the findings regarding libraries as part of his extensive report at the annual conference of the Association of Hungarian Librarians (Baja, 2010). The article reviews in detail and comments on the report of the relevant working committee on libraries. This report deals with the beginnings of library services to national minorities, book publishing for national minorities, various levels of supply, role of the Ministry of Culture and Education and the Library of Foreign Literature, the libraries of the national minority authorities, as well as library services to the Roma population. For the reports on other working groups – e.g. on museums, dance and film art etc. – see the e-version (http://ki.oszk.hu/kf).
WORK IN PROGRESS
What is a periodical item? Document typology in the past and today
A retrospective national bibliography of periodicals in preparation has to define its collection scope. In Hungary this collection scope roughly coincides with that of the national library. Another issue of importance is that of document types. Till now periodicals bibliographies have, as a rule, included merely newspapers and journals, while the current library regulations include annuals and a number of other periodical materials as well. The author reviews how the concept of periodicals has changed in past decades and interprets the concept of periodicals in today’s library practice. Dealing with annuals he votes for considering them as periodicals, together with other types of material as defined in standards. He also mentions avisi and pamphlets which are excluded because they appear on one occasion only. Nevertheless, he proposes to include the products of the press in manuscript form. In addition, he thinks it worth to include periodicals published for certain occasions.
Title problems in cataloguing periodicals
When constructing a retrospective bibliographic database of periodicals it is very important to match titles in catalogues which is a complex task in most cases. Earlier data have been recorded based on entirely different principles, and consequently, various bibliographic sources include different descriptions of the same work. This may make the searcher uncertain whether he/she succeeded in finding the desired title. Differences may occur in the date of the first or last issue, and also may be caused by document typology (i.e. in case of annuals). There may be differences in the way of writing (word order, spelling, writing in one word or separately or with a hyphen, changes in orthography etc.). About 27% of titles show problems during matching (they differ from the practice of the national library, cannot be identified, are missing etc.). The proportion of missing titles makes up approx. 12%, but in certain special bibliographies this ratio can reach even 16%. The article illustrates the practice of matching by examples, and emphasises that autopsy is inevitable in disputed cases.
Tibor Horváth (1935-2011)
BICZÁK Péter – DROBINOHA Angéla
Tibor Horváth worked as head of department at the National Széchényi Library Centre for Library Science and Methodology. In 1978 he joined the Eötvös Loránd University Department of Library Science as a faculty member, later was appointed Director-General of the National Pedagogical Library and Museum. His interest was always focused on information science, information retrieval languages, developing classification systems, the application of computers in libraries. He was the first to apply cluster analysis in Hungary, took part in elaborating the first Hungarian standard on thesauri, and co-edited the five-volume Handbook of librarians.
Dénes Kövendi (1923-2011)
Dénes Kövendi was a staff member of the National Széchényi Library Centre for Library Science and Methodology. He worked as a documentalist and at the post of editor-in-chief in the Centre’s special library. He acted as editor of the journal Könyvtári Figyelő for a short period. His main duty was editing the abstracting journal of foreign library literature (KDSZ). He often visited his former colleagues at the special library even after his retirement, and has assisted their work with his erudition, professional and language competences; in 2000 he decided to retire from library work in order to deal only with his private research on the poetry of Endre Ady and the oeuvre of the pedagogue Sándor Karácsony.
FROM OUR PAST
Issues of culture, reading and librarianship in the journal Magyar Szemle (1927-1944). Part 1
The Prime Minister István Bethlen, having implemented the consolidation of the Horthy era, started in 1927 a journal in co-operation with Gyula Szekfű, with the aim to provide thorough information to the middle class, under the aegis of reformed conservatism. The journal was ceased at the time of the country’s German occupation in March 1944. The journal discusses the socio-political issues of the period in a demanding essay style. The editors succeeded in motivating young talents as well. This first part of the article describes the period in question and the journal’s ambitions, highlights the main problems of the period (the Treaty of Trianon, the land issue, middle class, situation of young people), later reviews the articles on education (illiteracy, elementary, secondary and higher education). Then follows a discussion of the new media (radio and film) which provide a context for readers in more detailed professional issues.
A review on collecting and preserving the information content of the web
Currently the materials published in Hungarian online journals and news portals is not preserved for the long term, as is the case with their printed counterparts, so they are lost for the future. It would be a solution to create a national web archive. This would involve several issues to be solved (institutional background, legal regulations, the materials to be preserved, as well as the required technical conditions). Following a literature review the author conducted a questionnaire survey in the national libraries and digital archives of Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Ukraine. She inquired about the following issues: the existence of an internet archive, responsible institution, legal regulations, collection coverage, preservation period, technical conditions, way of harvesting and who may have access to the materials. Having summarised the answers she lists the requirements of creating a Hungarian internet archive. The answers to her questionnaire are to be found in the annex, see the e-version (http://ki.oszk.hu/kf).
Information centres and illiteracy. A librarian-tourist visiting libraries in India
The author visited libraries of various types and in a variety of situations. He consulted librarians, readers and non readers, while experiencing the multicultural nature of Indian society. He does not review the Indian library system as a whole, and does not attempt to describe the country in general. Instead, he summarises his impressions from visited institutions – elite, special, school and public libraries (Delhi, Panaji, Ooty, Mamallapuram, Darjeeling) –, as well as his discussions there. He reviews the rules, habits, unorthodoxy, the acquisition practice, and sums up the experience gained.
Web impact factor and link analysis of selected Indian universities
JALAL, Samir Kumar – BISWAS, Subal Chandra – MUKHOPADHYAY, Parthasarathi
(Reviewed by Péter Dévai)
Investigates the effectiveness and relevance of web impact factors (WIFs) for Indian universities’ websites. Reviews web impact factor as to how this link-based metrics is developed and is applied. Reports a case study on universities in West Bengal. SocSciBot 3.0 is used to generate link data in order to develop/form micro-link topology under study. Result shows that all the NITs are closely related in the topology frame-work/their activities whereas nodes are not linked significantly for the case of state universities and central universities. (Original abstract)
The „Wealth of Networks” and institutional repositories: MIT, DSpace, and the future of the scholarly commons
DURANCEAU, Ellen Finnie
(Reviewed by Éva Viszocsek-Péteri)
This article draws on Yochai Benkler’s The Wealth of Networks to examine the concept of the commons as it applies to scholarly communication, and in particular to the phenomenon of institutional repositories and how they align with evolving practices in the exchange of information. It discusses how a culture of openness at MIT is manifested in its institutional repository, DSpace, and how the MIT Libraries have transformed positions in support of scholarly publishing initiatives and the development of a scholarly commons. (Original abstract)
The Library Services to People with Special Needs Section of IFLA: an historical overview.
(Reviewed by Éva Viszocsek-Péteri)
The Library Services to People with Special Needs Section of IFLA was founded in 1931 as the Sub-committee on Hospital Libraries. It was the first sub-committee IFLA formed for a special user group, that is, hospitalized people who could not use external libraries. The young sub-committee soon saw, however, that due to a range of disabilities often secondary to the cause of hospitalization, some patients required special reading aids, for example, sensory or mobility aids. Those needs also became evident among community members, confined or not. Wanting to address them, the sub-committee expanded its focus overtime to include people who, for whatever reason, could not use conventional libraries, materials and services. This paper traces the sub-committee’s evolution from sub-committee, to committee, to sub-section, and finally section that today promotes library resources and services for a broad range of special needs people. Its growth in part reflects the expansion of the Federation itself. (Original abstract)
75 years of the Hungarian Librarian Association
A Magyar Könyvtárosok Egyesületének története 1935-2009. Jubileumi kiadvány. Ed. Miklós Bényei. (Bu-dapest : MKE, 2011. 758 p. ill.)
(Reviewed by Ferenc Kégli)
A Festschrift for Péter Agárdi
A kultúra anatómiája, a kultúra anatómusa. Tanulmánykötet a 65 éves Agárdi Péter tiszteletére. Ed. Anna Magdolna Sipos et al. (Pécs : PTE FEEK, 2011. 310 p.)
(Reviewed by Anna Magdolna Sipos)