The cancellation of 96% of the foreign periodicals subscriptions, as well as the transformation of the sumptuous main reading room into a hall for 'general cultural purposes' are just the first signs of the process of degradation of the prestigious Central Library of the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. Although academic libraries in Hungary have seen some positive developments over the past years, there have been a few disturbing anomalies, such as the liquidation of the National Technical Information Centre and Library (OMIKK) or the general budget cut for foreign periodicals subscribed to by academic libraries and the 'reallocation of funds' within this budget. The cutting edge information and communication technologies seem to prevail over libraries, whereas, according to the author, Internet should be a tool for libraries and not the other way round. Some recommendations for the future include the adoption of a high level preparatory mechanism that would precede any decision making in connection with prestigious historical libraries (such a mechanism would also support the library authorities); the reform of the library and information sciences training in higher education with the aim to reserve its interdisciplinary character and independent status from faculties; the enhancement of the role of libraries in the new system of higher education and academic qualifications; and the motivation of the players of the information technologies market to provide sponsorship for (traditional) library purposes. The financing of central libraries of academic libraries should be separated from faculty and department libraries.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.