Máté Kovács, the state secretary


Könyvtári Figyelő (Library Review) vol. 16. (52.) 2006. no. 2. pp. 277–283.

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Máté Kovács, professor of library sciences and a leading figure of Hungarian library policy, a commemoration was held at the Department of Library and Information Sciences of the Eötvös Loránd University. The current paper, focusing on the professional activities of Máté Kovács between 1943 and 1949 was presented at this event. Máté Kovács was the head of the National Council of Public Education, then after the termination of the council, he started to work for the Ministry of Education and Religion in 1945. He elaborated the draft programme of the modernisation of the Hungarian public educational system. The organisation of primary schools at a national scale was implemented under his direction. As a political state secretary, he was confronted with all the issues that emerged within the scope of the ministry, but his approach to developments was far more than administrative. In the field of higher education, he supported the idea of training young people to become highly educated intellectuals rather than one-sided professionals. His endeavours in library policy were directed at the re-organisation of public libraries and the setting up of district libraries. He raised the possibility of libraries with twofold function, serving as the school library and the local public library for the same population. He later became the Director of the Library of the University of Debrecen.

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