The landscape of information literacy. Theory and the findings of Hungarian research
It is essential to get acquainted with the views on information literacy within the framework of a constructivist approach to library pedagogy. Hungarian cognitive science research has not addressed this area so far.
It was found in a survey that the concept of information literacy is not present in the minds of 13-year-olds. Related information is elusive to them in general terms, but they are positive about it. In contrast, their answers related to libraries and the internet indicate richer motives. These pertain to information functions as well, however, are full of prejudice. Their positive and unconditional attitude towards the internet deserves attention. Negative attitude towards libraries can be observed in high proportion, but there is a clearly detectable group of people who think in a more nuanced way about their role.
Based on a factor analysis dealing with information seeking, libraries and the internet, the research identified three types of views on information literacy. The first focuses exclusively on the internet. The second one is interpretive and information-centred, approaches information functions in an open and prudent way. The third one concentrates on methods and tools, with the information content remaining in the background.
It is important to detect and interpret the differences between the views of certain groups (pupils, students, librarians and teacher-librarians), and it is advisable to design the broader and narrower learning and library environment, as well as the activities to develop information literacy accordingly.
Ten years of the Metropolitan Szabó Ervin Library’s Sociology Collection (2003-2013)
The Metropolitan Szabó Ervin Library’s (FSZEK) Sociology Collection celebrates the 40th anniversary of its foundation this year. On this occasion, the study provides an overview of the most important efforts and achievements of the last ten years, also citing earlier articles about the first thirty years of the department. The author describes their collecting principles and presents international databases, e-materials and online reference works subscribed. The article analyses the situation of bibliographic work having been carried out from 1970s, presents the online database called Socioweb, as well as the plans for unifying it with its successor, the sociological bibliography being built from 2007 in the library’s Corvina catalogue, and the results of digitisation activity in the past more than ten years. The reconstruction of the building of FSZEK’s Central Library, completed in 2001, has created not only new opportunities, but resulted in an increased interest and document turnover, as documented by statistical data and user surveys. The Collection’s website greatly promotes the Collection’s central role in information on sociology in Hungary. Most services on the website are remotely accessible, and the website offers further reference sources. The same goal is achieved through regular user training.
On the occasion of the Collection’s anniversary, a virtual Festschrift was published on the website (http://www.fszek.hu) with the department’s heads, former colleagues and sociologists, researchers recalling their memories of the past forty years.
IT research at universities. Introduction to K2 papers
At the K2 (i.e. Library 2.0) event organised by the Hungarian Library Institute students of Hungarian LIS schools presented their research findings on technology applications in libraries and other public collections. The four papers below deal with diverse subjects, and they all discuss new problems and topics. For similar papers published in Könyvtár Figyelő earlier, see issue 2012. 1.
Open access (OA) and classification
BARTON Dávid – PÁL Vanda
The theme of the study can be considered a basis for the freedom of information: it is about the library classification of academic resources generated by open publishing initiatives, which are available for free, and include institutional repositories and OA journals. The article presents, through practical examples, the technological solutions currently used in the subject retrieval of the content of OA publications. These are structures applied by Dublin Core, Extensible Markup Language (XML) and the OAI-PMH protocol ensuring joint search in various repositories. The overview presents federated search engines, OAIster, OpenDOAR, and the practice of archiving in Hungarian OA repositories. The study shows that, through the classification functions of these technologies, free publications make up a system, which may be part of the surface web, and is accessible both to research and to education at different levels.
Digital signage solutions
The study provides a comprehensive picture about the digital signage (display) system as an information service and marketing tool. First, it deals with the operation terminology, followed by the display devices and technologies. There are already implementations generating special interactions, such as touch screens or systems driven by movements, and there are experiments with scents as mediators as well. These solutions are used in commerce and advertising, catering, public transport, museums, exhibitions, or in high-traffic areas and public spaces. The Intelligent Advertising Framework (IAF) may be considered as the advertising system of the future, as it can purposefully convey information to a target audience. To this end, it uses data mining algorithms and anonymous viewer analytics. Information overload is a typical problem of our days. Having analysed this phenomenon in a related survey for this study, various proposals for solution were suggested. The other goal of the survey was to shed light on the difference between transmitting digital and analogous information.
Integrating farms into the information society
It is the aging and the rural, farm population that benefits the least from the advantages of the spread of ICT. For developing rural areas it is essential to enhance information infrastructure and to speed up the flow of information. The author’s research examined the existing digital divide resulting from the disadvantages of living on farms, and shows how network culture could contribute to improving the quality of life in areas where the majority of the population lives on the periphery of communities. The study was carried out in Zákányszék, a small settlement near Szeged (Csongrád County). Although social inequalities have already declined as a result of the successful operation of the farm manager network, digital literacy and adequate infrastructure would further reduce disparities. Extended access and high-speed internet would be needed to link farm dwellers with each other and with inner areas. Development efforts should include training farm managers to use the web. In the long term, the disadvantages arising from the place of living could be reduced by telecommuting, e-administration, e-learning, and a variety of advisory services via videoconferencing, etc.
Virtual libraries in the cloud
This review of cloud computing models wishes to demonstrate the significance of technology for libraries, especially for virtual libraries. After describing the concept of cloud computing and reviewing the applicability of models in library practice, the author presents a SWOT analysis focusing on opportunities and risks for libraries. She describes some EU projects related to the standardisation of cloud-based systems, as well as research results related to the topic from the business sector. Nowadays, during the application of cloud computing models in library practice, the main uncertainty is not caused by the lack of technical conditions, but by the complex problems arising and to be clarified, such as protecting personal data stored in the cloud and sharing data on the web while keeping to copyright regulations. The future expansion of cloud technology in libraries is greatly affected by the answers to these controversial issues and by the trends in international standardisation.
The Hajdú-Bihar County local history bibliography (has it really finished?)
The article provides a summary on the series of local history bibliographies launched in 1975 by Miklós Bényei under the title Local knowledge publications on Hajdú-Bihar County. The bibliography appeared annually for a period of 35 years. The aim of the series of bibliographies was to inform researchers and interested readers about items published in and about the county. As the bibliography lists books published locally from the 90s as well, the series serves not only as a source for local history, but also contributes to the analysis of local publishing history. There were 36 volumes published, with a total of 16,646 items on 3530 pages. In the post-2000 years it became more and more difficult for the county library as publisher to cover expenses from the support of local administration, thus the last two volumes were financed by the editor himself. This series is an important and respectable part in Bényei’s oeuvre. Users need local resources on Hajdú-Bihar County in the future as well, no matter in what format.
From our past
Máté Kovács’ efforts to consolidate and develop library education
Máté Kovács (1906-1972) was the Head of the Department of Library Science at the Eötvös Loránd University between 1956 and 1972. At this post he had to fight with professional and academic colleagues to maintain and develop library education. His oeuvre on library education is relatively well-explored, however, publications describe the achievements and do not address the details. Using diverse and so far unknown or less known sources, i.e. his manuscripts in the National Széchényi Library, the author undertakes to supplement, correct and deepen what we know about the image of Máté Kovács. His analysis relies on discussing the various phases of Kovács’ activities as head of department from 1961. The years of 1971-1972 constitute a new era with plans to develop the department into a training centre. In these phases, his ideas and goals generated several conflicts. The sources analysed indicate his personal struggles, his forward thinking, commitment, and willingness to compromise. The author presents the professional foundations of Kovács’ ideas using a critical analysis of texts, and reconstructs the evolution of his thinking and concepts. (Comments in the notes add further information to the study.)
Dr. Gabriella Somkuti (1929-2013). Obituary
Gabriella Somkuti was a librarian of the National Széchényi Library from 1961 to her retirement. Initially, she worked in the field of central services, later in the Newspaper Library, then as Head of the Administrative Department and in the Central Archive of the institution. Her main research area was the history of the national library. Her research was summed up in 2002 in a monograph. She initiated the creation of a museum of the national library. For the library’s 190th anniversary, she compiled a travelling exhibition, which was later presented in many of Europe’s major cities. She was a member of the Association of Hungarian Librarians and contributed to various professional forums. She received several awards, for the last time in 2009, when she was awarded the title Bibliothecarius Emeritus of the national library.
Dr. Katalin Balázs-Veredy (1934-2013). Obituary
Dr. Katalin Balázs-Veredy was a librarian of the Parliamentary Library from 1958 until her retirement in 1989. She started as a cataloguer, later became Head of the Information Department. She was editor of the Current bibliography of Hungarian literature on political science and law. In 1983 she was appointed Director-General of the Parliamentary Library. It was under her leadership that the library became modern, high-quality public collection. She organized a special reading room, later an Information Department for the use of MPs, launched the automation of documentation and information services on world politics. In 1998 she initiated a current awareness service (the Pressdok database) covering the Hungarian press, which was distributed on floppy disks. She took leading positions in the Association of Hungarian Librarians, and acted as a board member of IFLA’ Section of Parliamentary Libraries. From 1986 she was a member, and from 1992 to 1995 chairperson of the Board of Directors of IALL. She supported and co-authored the volume History of the Parliamentary Library 1870-1995. Her merits were acknowledged by several prizes and awards of the profession and the association.
Posthumous interview with Dr. Katalin Balázs-Veredy
Abridged and edited version of two interviews with Dr. Katalin Balázs-Veredy from the period 2002 to 2008, intended for the internal newsletter of the Parliamentary Library and unpublished. The author recalls Balázs-Veredy’s personal confessions and remembers her as a colleague of 40 years.
A victim of Stalinist totalitarianism: Soviet public libraries till World War II (1928-1941). Part 1.
This study first describes the major political events of the period covered, and briefly discusses issues of education development and some processes of intellectual life (state of the art of book and magazine publishing). It presents in more detail the operation of the censorship office created in 1922, as especially characteristic of the restrictive system as a whole. It interprets library policy as part of the party-state’s agitprop system: public libraries are directly in charge for conveying current party goals to masses. In the period in question the library network significantly improved, while its library services gradually narrowed down to offering publications from the last six to ten years, in particular to brochures reflecting the party-state’s ideology. The attrition of the collection was also caused by continuous “cleansing”: at its peak, around 1936, annually 15% of the entire holdings of public libraries fell victim of what was called “ideological amortization”.
Former articles by the same author: Librarianship and reading culture in the Russian Empire (1830-1916); Public libraries serving the Bolshevik proletarian dictature in the Soviet Union (1918-1928). In: Könyvtári Figyelő, 2012. 2. and 3.
The inevitability of open access
LEWIS, David W.
(College and Research Libraries, vol. 73. 2012. no. 5. pp. 493-506.)
(Reviewed by Jenô Mohor)
Könyvtári Figyelő (Library Review), vol. 29. (59.) 2013. no. 4. pp. 801 ‒ 804.
Open access (OA) is an alternative business model for the publication of scholarly journals. It makes articles freely available for readers on the Internet and covers the costs associated with publication through means other than subscriptions. This article argues that Gold OA, where all of the articles of a journal are available at the time of publication, is a disruptive innovation as defined by business theorist Clayton Christensen. Using methods described by Christensen, we can predict the growth of Gold OA. The analysis suggests that Gold OA could account for 50 percent of the scholarly journal articles sometimes between 2017 and 2021, and 90 percent of articles as soon as 2020 and more conservatively by 2025. (Original abstract)
Volumes of the Esterházy collection in Moscow libraries. About the catalogue of restituted books in six years after its publishing
Bücher aus der Sammlung der Fürsten Esterházy in Moskauer Bibliotheken. / Knigi iz sobraniâ knâzej Estergazi v moskovskih
bibliotekah. Katalog. A. Dimitrieva [i. dr.] Moskau, Rudomino, 2007.
(Reviewed by Lajos Murányi)
Könyvtári Figyelő (Library Review), vol. 29. (59.) 2013. no. 4. pp. 805 ‒ 809.
From foreign library and information science journals