Géza Sebestyén about village libraries (1942, 1947, 1956)
The library supply to rural population was an evergreen theme of the 20th century Hungarian librarianship. Géza Sebestyén (1912-1976) has always devoted much attention to organising library services to people living in small villages (at a high standard, at level of cities), and kept himself informed about foreign practice.
His writings on the subject are reflecting how the issue was raised and what the response was in certain – very different – periods of history. In this article his essays published in 1942, 1947 and 1956 are compared. These essays propose different levels of library provision, starting with a single, independent small library through a travelling library to the vision of a district library. The ideas, sentences and data of the first essay are repeated (two thirds) in the following two essays as well. Focus on the library‘s educational function is a recurring element in all the three essays, so is the statement that atomised people’s libraries cannot solve the library supply of rural inhabitants.
Research and information acquisition in the digital age, in and beyond libraries
The study explains that the digital age has not changed the fundamental mission of libraries, however, the traditional methods cannot be applied any more. In the digital age, in addition to acquiring and providing knowledge aiming at completeness, it is important to structure and prioritize information for users. To paraphrase Ranganathan: “Every library its reader”, whom it can convince that it is worth visiting libraries, because they provide additional methods or knowledge that can never be gained on the internet. The libraries’ dissemination work is increasingly appreciated after losing the epistemological basis of the printed world. Libraries may become winners in the digital age if they retain their mission and user-centered approach, and are able to embrace the zeitgeist. In a modern library there is the promise of access to knowledge, but whether this promise comes true, depends basically on the librarian’s attitude. The author concludes that by openness to professional developments, solid knowledge, empathy and sense of vocation libraries are able to maintain their role in information provision.
WORK IN PROGRESS
Our “hidden potential”
It is the aim of the K2 (Könyvtár – i.e. Library – 2.0 in short) experimental workshop to spread information about the LIS research done at academic institutions, and to provide a forum for talented students and researchers to present themselves at its events. The next two articles come from presentations at a K2 workshop.
Personal information management
The essay describes the use of mobile devices (smart phones and tablet PCs) in Personal Information Management (PIM), and also deals with library applications. Till now libraries have used mobile devices for reading electronically, for publishing magazines and other materials. Presenting the PIM functions of Android smart phones and tablet PCs in detail, the author outlines an information environment which could assist the work of library professionals.
Developing a cemetery registry system as a resource of local and cultural history
The techniques used in library work, which assist cataloguing and retrieval, can be applied to a range of non-library materials as well. The author has built a database of tombstones in a cemetery and prepared a related website. He made of survey of 419, mostly older than a hundred years, dilapidated tombstones in the Kecskemét Trinity Cemetery, which had been qualified as a historical monument. First, he compiled an inventory of tombstones with detailed descriptions. To facilitate search he compiled a detailed map of the area so that users can easily navigate across the site. As an output, so-called tomb cards with a concise description can be printed from the database, which are essentially similar to catalogue cards. This enterprise – to archive electronically the historical monuments in the graveyard – contributes to preserving deteriorating graves, and, in a wider sense, to protecting a small part of cultural heritage.
FROM OUR PAST
Remembering István Kereszty
Today’s professionals do not often recall the 20th-century successors (Árpád Hellebrant, Sándor Kiszlingstein, Imre Barcza, Ignác Horváth) of the great generation of bibliographers in the 19th century (Károly Szabó, József Szinnyei, Géza Petrik). They were not as active school founders as the big trio members, but their devoted work has become part of professional history. This second generation included István Kereszty (1860-1944), who worked in the newly created Newspaper Collection of the National Széchényi Library, and some decades later, in 1920, organized the Music Collection as his last professional task. His work is remembered by bibliographers, at the same time he took an active part in music and sports life, and was well-known as a writer, critic, translator, teacher and composer. The article presents Kereszty’s work in the newspaper collection and as a press bibliographer, as well as his initiatives for setting up the national library’s music collection and starting a special bibliography on music.
The life and bibliographic oeuvre of Károly Kertbeny
POGÁNYNÉ RÓZSA Gabriella
Károly Kertbeny’s (1824–1882) unfinished bibliographic work is not of the scale of the famous trio of great bibliographers (Károly Szabó, József Szinnyei, Géza Petrik), but his bibliographic concept and theoretical efforts deserve the attention of successors. He focused on disseminating information abroad about Hungarians and intellectual life in Hungary. He followed the same aim when acting as a translator, journalist, lexicon and journal editor. He travelled extensively and during his long journeys abroad he started to register works of relevance to Hungary from the collections of European large libraries.
By 1862 he collected about 50 thousand cards about Hungary-related works in foreign languages. He was not only a prominent contributor to national bibliography in the narrower sense, but also the first significant creator of Hungarica bibliography whose foundation work is to be respected. His bibliographical work was not appreciated in his life, nevertheless, his concepts became later integrated into the framework of bibliographic control.
Kálmán Brogyányi’s handbook for Hungarian librarians from 1941
This librarian’s handbook published in Pozsony (Bratislava) in 1941 is not among the well-known ones. Its author, Kálmán Brogyányi (1905–1978) was head of Pozsony City’s Hungarian Library, and was a determining figure of Hungarian cultural life in Slovakia. As his work was not reviewed in Hungarian professional journals, and was only just mentioned later on, it remained practically unknown. He summarised practical knowledge for and the tasks of those working in public libraries, and at the same time offered modern theoretical knowledge. The essay presents the handbook, and – to explain its importance – outlines the cultural efforts of Hungarians living in Slovakia, as well as the life of Hungarian libraries in Slovakia. This handbook is an important cultural document of Hungarians living in Slovakia.
Meaning, truth, and information
BUDD, John M. (Reviewed by Tibor Koltay)
The author analyses based on international literature – articles by Tarski, Rorty, Predelli, Dretske etc. – the relationships between meaning and truth as they may contribute to a constitutive definition of information. He raises for example, whether „information” can be defined without the context of meaning and truth. There are a variety of approaches to the relationship of meaning and truth to information. According to analytical philosophy the relationship between meaning and truth lies in that there is no truth without meaning because a true statement has got a sense. Reference is important as well although not the only component of meaning. Information is consequently a communicative action with sense, which is aimed at creating true statements and conditions; it includes also those communicative actions which the target audience qualifies as sensible.
The CERTIDoc trial, or shall we adopt the European qualification system of librarians and information specialists?
HAIZLERNÉ PARDI Beáta
CERTIDoc (or the LIS Euroguide) is a model of competences, having been elaborated by French professionals, based on skills and abilities expected from librarians and information specialists. The author made a survey about how far Hungarian professionals are aware of the self-evaluation opportunity based on the LIS Euroguide, and of the European qualification system itself, and whether its introduction in Hungary is feasible. The analysis discusses the following issues and questions: the aim of qualification; the relationship between a qualified librarian and a qualified library; the arguments for and against adopting CERTIDoc; the steps to be taken for introducing the system; the barriers to introducing it; the tasks related to localisation for Hungary; whether it is important to have as many as possible qualified information professionals here; finally, whether qualification should be implemented with or without CERTIDoc? The author, as participant to the qualification process during the CERTIDoc trial in Hungary, is definitely in favour of localising the system in Hungary.
Challenges for libraries in difficult economic times: evidence from the UK
JUBB, Michael (Reviewed by Jenő Mohor)
The last decade has been a period of unprecedented change for university libraries. The growth in numbers of students and staff has been accompanied by the move to a digital environment. Since 2009 they have had to cope with problems caused by a decreasing budget as well. They have to meet the increased demand for content on the one hand, and have to provide new digital services on the other, while keeping closer contact with their users. Among financial restrictions and personnel cuts there is a need for continuous innovation, for giving up old routines and for inter-library co-operation. Most of academic libraries are hybrid ones, holding both printed and digital content, because part of the content for researchers and students is not available in a digital form yet. Rarely used printed materials may be provided for the readers of a group of libraries, based on co-operation agreements. In the long term, providing open access may decrease costs, however, for the time being, it costs a lot to operate repositories.
It is important for libraries to show that their services are closely related to the institution’s success. The essay presents examples and ideas of how British academic libraries deal with this situation.
Libraries are for users
GUERRINI, Mauro (Reviewed by Jenő Mohor)
One of Ranganathan’s laws declares that Libraries are for use. Relying on this statement the essay sets out that in the digital environment libraries have to continue to provide access to content because they are for users. The current paradigm of the library is open access to knowledge for everyone: i.e. access to library space, to traditional and digital collections, to local and online services.
Diary and studies of Károly Szabó
Szabó Károly: Napló és tanulmányok. Kolozsvár, Kriterion, 2010. (Reviewed by Miklós Bényei)
35 years of higher education for culture mediation in Pécs
Kulturális valóságismeret és EKF 2010. 35 éves a pécsi kultúraközvetítő képzés. Tudományos konferencia és emlékülés. Szerk. Koltai Zsuzsa, Pécs, PFEEFK, 2011. (Reviewed by Dóra Egervári)
FROM FOREIGN LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCE JOURNALS