43. évfolyam, 1997. 4. szám


On the road of Don Quijotes. On the profession in three tones


The question „Is library science a science proper?" is answered in three kinds of tones, or approaches examining, from Schrettinger to Soergel, how far our profession lives up to the criteria of being a science. According to Popper, there are three conditions a field of knowledge must fulfil to be a science: it must have an independent subject, research methods, and explicit laws.

Enumerating the laws of librarianship the first was Bradford's law scattering regarding the content of documents. The Soergel postulate is a general rule that may serve as the basis of the majority of our knowledge and its organisation. Surrogates; representing documents, must reflect the same conceptual relationships as the original documents. Deschatelets considered this process of transfer the subject of information science. That is, librarianship deals with contents, knowledge and information. The five laws of Ranganathan as adapted by Gorman also refer to knowledge and society. The systematic storage of documents is a precondition of the work of libraries, however, the essence is the transfer of texts disregarding the media carrying them. Society needs institutions that acquire, organise and manage knowledge, and this role must be performed by libraries on a high level. (pp. 665 – 674)

The use of Unicode in bibliographic data exchange


Libraries are mainly international institutions collecting their material from all over the world. The one byte character sets are limited to 256 characters, which is obviously insufficient in an international environment. Many code extentions methods and standards were created to solve this problem. None of them managed to gain dominant use. These different standards were built into the software. Most of the time this software was efficiently able to solve the problem of input, storing, rendering, sorting and searching even the characters beyond the one byte border. But it fails when either these characters get outside the program or when characters come from a different system and it can't find their place in either case.

Unicode is a 16 bit fixed width character encoding standard containing room for more than 65,000 characters. After a short hesitating period which followed the first publication of the standard today one can observe the strong emergence of the use of Unicode. More and more applications are beginning to use Unicode. They cover word processors to WWW browsers. Users may realise that altought the full implementation of Unicode has not been fully carried out in either operating system, but some of them already contain at least some Unicode elements. We also know many library software which are working the implementation of the Unicode. Others state that is the probleme of the operating system and still wait the solution from that direction.

The implementation of Unicode into an integrated library system is a difficult and time consuming task. But we can use Unicode immediatly in the field of bibliographic information interchange with help of the conversion tool called CHASE. In the paper authors report on this possibility. (pp. 675 – 681)

An outline of the historiography of small libraries

TÓTH Gyula

In Hungary scattered settlements, the predilection for quantitative indicators, etc. are parts of a heritage that led to disproportionately big number of libraries (in 1957 18,000, today ca. 10,000). The majority of libraries working in small settlements are incapable of high level of library service. Centralisation is the world – wide trend of development. Small libraries cannot function without the support of some large library centres. The basic problem of small library provision is related to the acquisitions and management of the collection. The aim is to efficiently ensure a current collection offering a satisfactory choice. Public libraries established at the period of dual monarchy were small units isolated from one – another, that did not make a unified system. Local authorities were reluctant to maintain and develop these small libraries. Ervin Szabó and his followers favoured centralisation as early as at the beginning of the century. They established a centre built on a central reference library, and a network of district branch libraries all over Budapest. They also advocated the organisation of similar systems in small settlements.

After 1945 it was possible to establish a new, modern library system. After 1952 first the county, then the district level deposit system came into being. There was an exchange collection beside the core collection in small libraries that had to be renewed regularly at least in principle. In the 1960s dead stock caused problems. It was at that time the idea of using mobile libraries and organising library districts in order to provide library services for small settlements had occurred. However, its realisation has been incomplete. District libraries had to face personnel and financial problems. To run the provision well  –  no matter which solution was selected  –  required some conditions that were always lacking. In the case of public libraries maintained by trade unions, independent libraries were strengthened by integration, while small libraries were working as deposits. Isolated school libraries ought to have been developed by the system of so – called jointly financed school libraries working together with public libraries, however, these had not become frequent either. (pp. 682 – 704)

Preparing would – be teachers for information gathering and management, or is user education the task of libraries?


User education covers the teaching of the use of books and libraries, the acquisition of the techniques of intellectual work, the finding, assessment, selection and use of various documents necessary to a given task. The study summarises the work going on in the library of the Dániel Berzsenyi Teacher's Training College, mentioning previous efforts including fights with the management of the college. A program following the requirements of the National Core Curriculum has been elaborated in the library regarding the preparation of the school librarian, the librarian teacher, and the teacher of computer science for the teaching of information science and technology on the one hand, and showing how those teaching other subjects can be prepared for library – related tasks. The program, having two versions, will require four – semester postgraduate training. The aim of the initiative was to make it clear that teachers should be prepared for the use of the library in basic training and later in further training. (pp. 705714)

The further training of librarians ,

BÍRO Júlia

The development of information technology together with social and economic changes gave rise to some new professions such as the information manager, the information broker, the marketing manager, etc. Further training courses make it possible for practising librarians to get acquainted with recent professional developments. Meetings or some shorter courses are no substitutes for complex theoretical and practical training in a given topic. Until a new postgraduate professional training system will come into being, librarians should take advantage of, or cooperate with forms of training already operational in different other disciplines. The manager course, organised by the British Council at the Kecskemét County Library, was a good initiative. The Association of Hungarian Librarians should have an on – line database on the various regular and occasional training courses and the conditions of admission to them. (pp. 715 – 723)

Bliss's Bibliographic Classification

DOMSA Zsófia  –  KŐMŰVES Erika

The article, winning a price at the Students' Scientific Competition of the Lóránd Eötvös University of Sciences, is a presentation of Bliss's classification system prepared primarily for school libraries. The basic principles of the classification, Bliss's logic of the organisation of disciplines, main classes of the Bibliographic Classification, document groups, the fourfaceted analysis of disciplines, systematic tables, mnemonic codes and methods of notation, as well as the index are described, and finally the whole system is assessed. (pp. 724 – 734)


The role of the state in information society SCHWUCHOW, Werner: Die Rolle des Staates in der Informationsgesellschaft. Reflektionen zu verschiedene Ansatzen nationaler Informationspolitiken heute.

(Abstr.: Katsányi Sándor)
(pp. 735 – 738)

COURAGE, Anne – Marie: Electronic information services in Eastern Europe. Stocktaking and analysis.

(Abstr.: Mohor Jenő)
(pp. 739 – 742)

VELLUCCI, Sherry L.: Herding cats: options for organizing electronic resources.

(Abstr.: Mándy Gábor)
(pp. 743 – 746)

FITZSIMMONS, Joseph J.: Document delivery for the 90's and beyond.

(Abstr.: Hegyközi Ilona)
(pp. 747 – 752)

Book reviews

SANTORO, Marco: The history of Italian books  –  concise yet detailed.

(Rev.: Mohor Jenő)
(pp. 753 – 755)

NÉMETH Mária: The history of the National Széchényi Library, 1919 – 1921.

(Rev.: Futala Tibor)
(pp. 755 – 758)

Kovács Máté. Ed. Suppné Tarnay Gyöngyi.

(Rev.: Tóth Gyula) (pp. 758 – 760)

CD ROM review

Bánkeszi Lajosné: Kings of Hungary (13011437)  –  a newer part of the historical CD – series

(pp. 761 – 763)

From foreign journals (Abstracts)

 (pp. 765 – 850)


Országos Széchényi Könyvtár