6.  Librarianship in Hungary

According to the 2005 statistics, there are nearly 10,000 employees working in Hungarian libraries. A breakdown by qualifications shows the following figures:

  • 4078 qualified librarians holding an academic degree in LIS

  • 2023 professionals holding an academic degree in a different field

  • 2073 employees with a post-secondary professional qualification in LIS

  • 1771 employees with or without other professional qualifications

Librarianship in Hungary has faced a number of challenges over the past 15 years. First, the rapid development of new technologies affected library services in the same way as in other countries worldwide. At the same time, in Hungary and in other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, the political and economic transition of the 1990s brought many changes to the structure, financing and operational conditions of libraries. As a result, Hungarian librarianship had to redefine its place and role in the new environment. Regional discussions were held on the most important issues regarding the future of the library profession: topics included the knowledge, skills, attitude and personal qualities required by the profession as well as the content and structure of professional training. Several studies were conducted on working conditions, remuneration, welfare and career development opportunities for librarians. Other factors affecting the situation of library professionals were also discussed, such as the “prestige of the profession” and the way it is seen by the public.
The new tasks and services undertaken by libraries also raised a number of ethical issues related to the practice of librarianship. Based on a wide professional consensus, a code of ethics of Hungarian librarianship was published in 2006. The code laid down:

  • responsibilities arising from the delivery of public services

  • attitude requirements deriving from the role of transferring cultural values to citizens

  • the observance and enforcement of universal rules (personal rights, copyright law) related to information management in the library environment


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Town Library, Répcelak

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Town Library, Nagykanizsa, interior
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Central Library of the Metropolitan Szabó Ervin Library, Budapest, main reading room
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Town Library, Jászberény