36. évfolyam, 1990. 1-2. szám



Public image of librarians in Hungary


Participants of a questionnaire survey conducted in 1985-1986 were requested to complete the following statement: “a librarian is a person who ...”. For approx. 20 percent of the adult population (basically those with low education and non-readers) the librarian was an unknown person. Some respondents emphasized the librarian's lending activity. Nearly ten percent of the participants regarded the librarian as an educated, intelligent and knowledgeable person (mainly those who do not go to libraries). Another ten percent saw the librarian as an intermediary conveying the products of culture, and an educator. According to a very large proportion (40%) of the respondents the most important role of the librarian was to help the readers in selecting material for reading. Ten percent of the adult population (those with higher education) attribute a pragmatic role to the librarian. 25 percent mentioned human relations, abilities to communicate with the readers and to help them. Five percent listed generalized positive qualities (often in order to conceal their ignorance) and only a few (mainly those with an academic degree who read much) criticized the behaviour and work of the librarian. The author would like to see more people criticizing the library and the librarian but use the library, and less enthusiastic but distant non-users. (pp. 69-79)

Országos Széchényi Könyvtár