Medical training in Hungary has been based within four
medical universities: Budapest, Debrecen, Szeged, Pecs. My workplace, the Central Library
of the Medical University of Pecs is supplying scientific literature for the specialists
of five counties in the Trans-Danubian Region. Already before the political changes in
Eastern European countries, our library was playing an important role among the
information centers, in the fields of health sciences and medicine in Hungary. Since its
foundation (1961) the library has had as its mission to serve health education, scientific
research and to coordinate regional interests at the same time. To support this mission
our library at the end of the 80-s had a life sciences collection of 122.718 books and
81.202 journal volumes in its stock. Now, ten years later these numbers have increased
only to 140.000 books and 90.000 journal volumes.
The year 1989 brought not only political changes but also gave a lot of
new tasks for all the places of work including libraries. For our patrons, obtaining
relevant information as quickly as possible became a priority. Only computerization can
meet this expectation, so maintaining our classical functions at the same time, step by
step, we have increased the number of our computers. We started with one single PC in 1989
and nowadays we have about 20 PC-s networked. We have purchased databases like Medline,
Current Contents, Books in Print or Ulrich's on Disc etc. Interactive CD-s help the
students in their most detailed studies of anatomy, histological cuts or surgical methods
(A.D.A.M.) etc. To make this scale even more colourful, we also have insured access to
some full-text online journals. The library users, mainly from the younger generation,
want to see and use more and more of these online journals.
On the WEB-page of our university www.pote.hu
anyone can click on the library services (konyvtar). I would like to emphasize two of
these, the list of our current foreign journals and the impact factor list.
Both the patrons and the staff are more and more enthusiastic about new
information technology methods.
From the point of our collection development, however, our situation is
much less optimistic. In the latter years inflation has touched all libraries very
closely. The librarians is that that the price of specialised literature is already
reaching the sky for us, and is increasing constantly.
The following chart contains data between 1990 and 1999.
*till end of Sept. 1999
No comment on the above data. The numbers speak for themselves...
As we buy less and less books and cancel more and more journal
subscriptions, the role of the interlibrary loan service has increased. In my opinion, the
importance of this interlibrary service will grow even more in the coming future. It
assists our work greatly that the majority of Hungarian public libraries, university
libraries and special libraries already accept requests sent by fax or e-mail. This
shortens the delivery time considerably. In the last two years new databases have been
developed for finding the location of home sources quickly, like NPA (National Database of
Periodicals) or Book-Finder. From this June our work was made easier also by the Ariel
document delivery software.
Last but not least, we must underline the human factor: we have very
good links not only with colleagues in this country but also abroad. We have excellent
professional relations with German, Spanish and Dutch university libraries and naturally
with those in the neighbouring countries of Romania (Cluj-Napoca), Slovakia (Kosice) and
Yugoslavia (Novi Sad).
Besides patron services, cataloging has changed greatly as well. There
is a current order by the Ministry of Culture about the retrospective conversion of the
Hungarian library-catalogues into integrated library systems. Our library started this
work in February 1999 buying the CORVINA (Voyager) software. We have finished with the old
card-catalogues. Up until now we have about 4500 records online.
To close this short summary I would like to mention the latest news:
from the first of January 2000 my hometown institutions of higher
education will merge so from that time on we shall function as the Medical School Library
of Pecs University. This will of course again mean a new challenge also for us and our
(Translated into English by: Thomas Kiss)
Contents No. 49