In response to the challenges of our modern era, the university library supports scientific work with an expanded toolkit, such as online content services, archiving of e-learning materials, open access publishing and repository services, while it retains its core function: information gathering and service.
The university library plays a dual role these days: it continues to be an important learning space and meeting point, but with the technological advances of the 21st century and the information revolution, libraries have also become part of the network. As a result of networking, the library area was extended to the virtual space.
“In the age of the Internet, information is easily accessible for everyone, but finding credible information in the vast mass of data is not easy. There is still a demand for books and reading but user habits have changed. The members of the Google generation are seeking targeted information, and they want to get instant, adequate answers to their short questions. It does not matter whether the answer is in a journal, a book or in a database at the other end of the world. This is a huge responsibility for the library, because authentic sources of information have to be found and a way to provide it. We need to add the kind of value to the content that helps users find relevant information and enables them to use it accurately, too. The university library primarily serves education and research and the resources and toolbox must be adapted to this. We do not store data in photocopies or notes these days but in various online documents or electronic records,” says Katalin Keveházi, director of Kunó Klebelsberg Library, University of Szeged (SZTE).
A constant expansion takes place in the life of the library. New demands are being seen to, such as providing online content, collecting research publications together with their data and referrals, supporting the publishing process and the dissemination of scientific results, transforming user training in accordance with the above tasks and for the sake of enhancing digital competencies. All the content created at the university is stored and provided by the library in repositories. These full-text databases contain, for example, doctoral dissertations, theses, publications by university authors, documents on the history of the university,
scientific books, journals and curricula produced in the SZTE.
The need for open access to scientific achievements is growing worldwide. The essence of this is that the user is not charged a subscription fee but the publishing costs are paid by the author or the research institute, the university, etc. instead. This is called Article Processing Charge, also known as APC. Within the scholarship system of the SZTE, a distinct amount is devoted to help researchers publish open access articles, and the library supports researchers in publication and in applications with the services of the “Author Toolkit”. This type of support of publication is the more and more popular.
In accordance with open access endeavours, the library has recently created a platform that provides an opportunity for academic journals published at the university. This is the Open Journal System (OJS), which covers the entire editorial work, and the journal itself can be published in this framework. We are in contact with more than 10 publishers, so that university journals will be included in this system,” added the Head of the Library.
Text: Erzsébet Gajzer
Photo: Anna Bobkó