Society & Culture
THE LIBRARY BUSINESS IN UKRAINE: PRESENT STATE AND DEVELOPMENT TRENDS
V.S. Pashkova, Cand. Ped. Sc., Assistant Professor, President, Ukrainian Library Association
Professor V. K. Sknar, Head of Chair, State Academy of Managers of Culture and Arts, head of the Section for Continuous Library and Information Education of the Ukrainian Library Association
Professor V. V. Zahumenna, Dean, Head of Chair, Kiev State University of Culture and Arts, head of Bibliography Section of the Ukrainian Library Association
The world of libraries of Ukraine is rich and diversified. The library business has a long and dramatic history closely related to the country’s history.
This publication does not pretend to be a research of history or an exhaustive reflection and all-rounded analysis of contemporary state of the library craft in Ukraine. The author’s task is to provide foreign colleagues with a general idea of the system of libraries and library craft in Ukraine and also, based on publications of recent years and the author’s own observations, to highlight major aspects of libraries’ development at the modern stage in order to present a foundation for comparative analysis of library business in Ukraine and foreign countries. This will help in developing common strategies for solving problems of library-and-information sphere important for the international community, and in organizing international cooperation. The experience of publications of this kind – e.g. on library business in Germany, Denmark, Great Britain1 -- has shown that this approach is fruitful.
In order to help both Ukrainian and foreign users find their ways in the boundless sea of library-and-information resources amassed by the people of Ukraine over centuries, the Ukrainian Libraries Association and the British Council in Kiev have initiated creation of “information gates”, “Ukrainian Libraries’ World” (http://www/ukrlibworld.kiev.ua) in Ukrainian and English. Visiting this site will provide an opportunity to update the material presented in this publication.
UKRAINE – THE NATION, THE PEOPLE AND THEIR LIBRARIES
Ukraine’s independence was proclaimed on 24 August 1991. In accordance with the Constitution, adopted in 1996, Ukraine is a sovereign and independent, democratic, social and legal nation.
Ukraine is a unitary state. State power is branched off into legislative, executive and judicial. There is a system of local government in the country. Ukraine is divided into 25 regions. The capital is the City of Kiev.
Ukraine’s territory equals 603.7 thousand sq. km. It borders on Russia, Byelorussia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova. The country’s population is 50.5 million people, urban population making up 68 percent, while rural population amounts to 32 percent; 47 percent are men, 53 percent – women. The percentage of able-bodied citizens is 55.8.
As far as ethnic composition is concerned, beside Ukrainians (73 percent), Ukraine is populated by Russians (21 percent), Byelorussians, Jews, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Bulgarians, Moldovans, Romanians, Tartars, Hungarians, Greeks, etc.
Ukrainian is the state language. The Constitution guarantees free development, use and protection of Russian and other languages of ethnic minorities. The state assists in consolidation and development of the Ukrainian nation and its historical awareness, traditions and culture, as well as in developing ethnic, cultural, language and religious originality of all indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities of Ukraine.
The level of the population’s literacy is an important indication of social and economic development of a nation. Ukraine is a country of general literacy. A high proportion of the population has higher and secondary specialised education.
Since ancient times, books and libraries were regarded as important cultural values.
The oldest library on Ukraine’s territory was the library of Yaroslav the Wise – the first state library of Kiev Rus (1037.) Libraries of monasteries – Kiev-Pechersky, Kiev-Mezhyhirsky, Chernihiv, Pochayiv monasteries, exerted great influence on the nation’s spiritual development and culture. Libraries of Lviv, Kiev, Chernihiv, Lutsk, Ostroh and other Brotherhoods (16th-17th centuries) are well known for their book riches and readers whom they serviced, as well as libraries of the Kiev Mohyla Academy (1701), Lviv (1608), Kharkiv (1805), Odessa (1817), Kiev (1834), Chernivtsi (1852) and New Russian (1865) Universities. Cossack libraries became an interesting spiritual and national-cultural phenomenon. Ukrainian Hetmans’ book collections were rich, e.g. those of Ivan Mazepa, Pylyp Orlyk, Kyrylo Rozumovsky, as well as libraries of Ukrainian clergy – those of Innokenty Hizel, Feofan Prokopovych, Stefan Yavorsky, etc.
Supported by the progressively minded intellectuals, in 19th century public libraries were opened in Odessa (1829), Kiev (1866), and Kharkiv (1886.) At that same time, libraries of public organizations emerge – those of “Prosvita” (Enlightenment) Society, “Ruska Besida” (Ukrainian Tongue), of political parties. Libraries in Bukovyna, Halychyna, Transcarpathia have their own interesting histories.
The founding of the Ukrainian state’s National Library had a special significance for the history of the library craft in Ukraine, as well as activities of libraries of Sich Riflemen and the Army of the Ukrainian People’s Republic.
In times of Soviet power, the library business in Ukraine was developing in conditions of strict censorship. The totalitarian state regarded libraries as ideological institutions, and librarians were considered ideological workers.
Ukraine’s independence, social and economic, as well as political changes have led to a review of the essence and tasks of libraries as a social institution. A library is being transformed into an establishment of culture, information, enlightenment and science, assisting in developing a democratic civil society on the basis of informing citizens, providing for the accessibility of information and library materials.
New types and kinds of libraries appear in the country. Along with the independence, national libraries were formed based on the leading book depositaries – the National Parliamentary Library (1994) and the National Library of Ukraine named after V. I. Vernadsky (1996.) Formation of ethnic literature libraries became a new phenomenon for Ukraine. In 1998, the Republican Crimean Tartar Library named after I. Hasprynsky was opened in the Crimea. Library-and-information units at cultural centres and embassies of Germany, USA, Great Britain, France started to function. Public organisations’ libraries are developing. Church libraries are being formed anew. Deposits previously inaccessible because of ideological reasons were opened for the readers. The Law prohibits censorship.
At the beginning of 1990s, Ukraine had 53 thousand libraries with over 83 thousand librarians. Approximately 50 percent of them had specialised library education2.
STATE POLICY AND LEGISLATION IN LIBRARY BUSINESS
The inception of state library policy can be dated as far back as 1037 when Prince Yaroslav the Wise founded the first state library in Kievan Rus. Several centuries later, during a brief existence of Ukrainian statehood in 1917-1918 there was another attempt to implement an independent state policy in the sphere of library business state funds for libraries’ development were allocated, special managing bodies were created, draft laws on obligatory copy and on the National Library of Ukraine were prepared, and a system of training of library specialists was founded3.
At present, during the transition from totalitarianism to democracy, during the period of developing an independent nation-state, the state policy in the sphere of library and information business in Ukraine is a component of social and economic policy.
As an aggregate of laws and regulations guiding the processes of creation, production, collection, storing, organization, dissemination and access to information, the library and information policy in Ukraine is at its development stage on the new, democratic foundation. The significance of the information policy that is being developed and perfected is in the fact that it is meant to influence political, economic and social choices being done by society and individuals.
The process of developing and implementing library and information policy in Ukraine is not going easy. This is linked to a set of social and economic factors, as well as with the fact that the library community does not possess necessary knowledge and experience in order to influence legislative and executive power and to shape public opinion.
The concept of intellectual freedom underlies the library and information legislation of Ukraine. Libraries’ activities are based on the Constitution of Ukraine adopted in 1996. The Constitution contains clauses on state assistance to the development of Ukrainian nation’s culture, as well as to the cultural originality of other peoples living in Ukraine; on the preservation of objects of cultural value, as well as on the right of individuals to access information. The Constitution guarantees to Ukraine’s citizens their right to freedom of thought and speech, to free expression of their views and opinions. Everyone has the right to freely collect, store, use and disseminate information by oral, written or other means – at her or his own discretion. The Constitution of Ukraine bans censorship.
Almost 20 legislative acts of direct and indirect action regulate activities of libraries at present. These acts have been created both under new social and economic conditions and during the preceding period, oriented at the state monopoly and command economy4.
«Fundamentals of Ukraine’s Legislation on Culture» (1992) are the basic profile legislative act. A number of clauses of this document pertain to libraries directly – preservation of stocks, state orders for the publication of socially important literature, tax benefits.
Ukraine’s Law «On Libraries and Library Business» (1995) defines state duties on organization and support of libraries, on social guarantees to library workers, on banning and limiting privatization, re-specializing and liquidation of libraries.
A number of other legislative acts («On Information», «On Copyright and Related Rights», «On Protection of Information in Automated Systems», «On Securities», «On Protection of Rights of Consumers», etc., as well as the Civil Code, Labour Laws Code, etc.) directly influence various sides of libraries’ activities.
In 1999, the Law of Ukraine «On the Obligatory Copy of Documents» was adopted. It defines legal foundations for the functioning of the obligatory copy system, regulates information relations relating to replenishment of the national information resource of Ukraine, establishes duties and rights of documents’ producers and recipients. The Law spreads to textual, notation, cartographic, visual, electronic publications, publications and audio produce for the blind, audio, visual and audiovisual production (cine-, video, photo and audio documents), normative and legal acts in the spheres of standardization, metrology, certification, patenting documents.
The Law of Ukraine «On the National Programme of Informatisation» (1998) has significantly influenced the activisation of the process of the society’s informatisation. The programme provides for the solving of problem that arose in the process of using information resources, for the narrowing of the gap between the growing requirement for information and the level of its utilization, for Ukraine achieving the level of informatisation of developed countries. The Programme provides for the coordination of activities of bodies of state power and local government bodies, creation of a nationwide network of information provision of various sectors of industrial and social sphere. The Law stipulates for the development of a state programme, «Electronic Library.» Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No.431 (1999) emphasizes the need for setting up a national system of electronic information and library resource – electronic catalogues, databases, a depository for electronic documents of rare editions.
The State Programme for Automation of Ukraine’s Libraries is an integral component of the National Automation Programme.
Ensuring safe keeping of library stocks as a cultural treasure of the state is recognized as an important direction of library policy. The Ministry of Culture and Arts of Ukraine and the Chief Archive Directorate under the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine have jointly submitted their proposals for considering and adopting a national programme of safe keeping of library and archive stocks to the Government. The programme provides for the composition of a Combined National Register of rare and valuable editions that would embrace over 300 libraries of various systems and departments, 39 archives of national and regional importance. It is also planned to solve the problem of documents conservation, to create insurance funds, to carry out restoration, to produce non-acid paper for obligatory copies of printed matter, to train relevant specialists5.
Development of national book publishing and press is of a special significance for the future of the library sphere in Ukraine. The legislature that exists in Ukraine is slowing down the development of national book publishing and this is affecting negatively the replenishment of libraries’ stocks. The national repertory of book produce, as compared to 1989, has decreased by 30 percent as far as titles and by four times as far as circulation is concerned. Libraries experience an acute shortage of books in Ukrainian.
The disruption of book-publishing and book-dissemination systems in the country makes libraries seek new ways of acquisition. Due to high cost of services, they have practically stopped to use postal services. Library distributing centres that previously engaged in acquisition of stocks for libraries have lost their monopoly. Nowadays, libraries are buying literature from publishers. Fairs, presentations of publishers’ produce, exchange of literature between libraries, donations have become popular. Donations as a source of replenishing book stocks amount to up to 30 percent of new stock6.
The State Programme «Ukrainian Library Series» is meant to partially solve the problem of acquisition of stocks for public libraries. In 1997, libraries received 50 titles of printed matter in 300,000 copies. However, in recent years this series had insufficient financial support. In 1999, 40 titles of printed matter of this series were sent to libraries numbering almost 100,000 copies. In fact, at present this is the only source of acquisition for district and village libraries7.
The National Library of Ukraine named after V. I. Vernadsky initiated the series «The President’s Library: Printed Sources of Ukraine», supported at the state level. Almost 200 volumes of the best literature were selected for this series – from chronicles to modern works. The Peresopnytske Gospel is planned to be published first.
Libraries are experiencing serious problems in the acquisition of foreign editions for their stocks. Apart from financial problems, there are customs barriers. The Ministry of Culture and Arts of Ukraine is working on the solution of issues of Ukraine joining the Florence Agreement which will make it possible for libraries to become exempt from customs duties, to simplify the procedure of importing books, periodicals, audio recordings and other materials of educational, scientific and cultural nature.
Attempts to restore the system of inter-library subscription are being made. For instance, a Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (1999) speaks of a system of inter-library subscription of CIS member states.
A sharp decrease of the network of libraries and of their financing at the end of 1980s and in 1990s has led to the necessity for the Government of Ukraine to adopt a number of resolutions important for the area. Among them, the Resolution «On Minimum Social Norms of Provision of Population with Public Libraries» (1997) is meant to provide for the preservation of the existing network of libraries and their full financing. Regrettably, the part of this document that deals with the duty of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economy and regional administrations to take into account these norms while forming budgets is not being fulfilled to the full.
The Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine «On the Approval of the List of Paid Services that Institutions of Culture and Arts May Provide» (1997) has given libraries an opportunity to attract out-of-budget financing.
Libraries are taking an active part in the work of the National Commission on Issues of Return of Cultural Treasures to Ukraine. Among other things, they have been participating in the development implementation of the State Programme «Names Brought Back.» Its goal is to implement scientific and organizational and educational measures aimed at searching for and studying of cultural treasures of Ukrainian diaspora, to bring back to Ukraine the creative legacy of outstanding figures of Ukrainian science and culture.
In 1999, the Law of Ukraine «On Export, Import and Return of Cultural Values» was passed.
September 30 was declared the All-Ukrainian Day of Libraries by the Decree of the President of Ukraine on 14 May 1998. The establishment of this holiday of readers and librarians is recognition by the state of the national importance of libraries, of their role in developing a democratic, civil society.
Professional public organizations are called upon to play an ever more active role in perfecting the library and information legislation. So, the legislative activity of the Ukrainian Library Association is aimed at adopting decisions on legislative and executive levels, in particular, at informing the government of the needs and interests of the library public, at providing information on government actions to those who support libraries, amalgamation and creation of coalitions with groups that support libraries. Members of the Association take part in hearings at the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on issues of freedom of speech and information; they work with members of the Commission on Issues of Culture and Spirituality on improving the library legislation. In 1998, the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Issues of Culture and Spirituality has held for the first time hearings devoted to the improvement of the Law of Ukraine «On Libraries and Library Business.» Managers of leading Ukrainian libraries
and representatives of the Ukrainian Library Association took part in these hearings.
THE SYSTEM OF MANAGING THE LIBRARY BUSINESS
The Ministry of Culture and Arts of Ukraine is the central body of the state executive power that realises general methodic management of libraries and coordinates their work. The duties of the department of library and information systems of this Ministry include: developing and implementing state programmes (there are two at present: on issues of automation of libraries and on preservation of library and archive stocks), regulations and guidelines on organising libraries’ activities; submitting proposals on draft legislation in the sphere of library business, state statistics, etc.
Other ministries and departments that have libraries and their networks under their jurisdiction organize and coordinate their work. For instance, the Ministry of Education of Ukraine organizes the work of a network of school and university libraries, the Academy of Agrarian Sciences is responsible for agricultural libraries.
Scientific and methodic library commissions (councils) which organize and coordinate the work of libraries work under ministries and departments. Thus, Scientific and Methodic Library Commission works under the Ministry of Education of Ukraine. The Information and Library Council works under the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. It realises methodical management and coordination of libraries’ work and bodies of scientific and technological information of institutions of The National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine on information provision of scientific researches. The Council’s tasks include: developing recommendations on the optimum development of the system of information in the sphere of humanitarian, natural and technical sciences with an account for forecasts of scientific and information activities in Ukraine and abroad, methodical management and coordination of activities on safe-keeping, organisation, systematization, studying and introduction to scientific usage of valuable manuscript and boo
k stocks of libraries of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, on the creation of national bibliography. The Council considers topics of researches by scientific libraries, controls implementation of results of completed scientific activities, approves standard designs and software for documentary and photographic systems, coordinates activities on unification and standardisation of information documentation, provides control over the quality of acquisitions and use of information sources, first of all of foreign scientific literature, approves normative and instruction and methodic materials for libraries and centres of scientific and technical information, deals with problems of upgrading qualification and improving labour conditions in information centres and libraries of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine8.
Public libraries are subordinated to local government bodies, which finance them from local budgets.
Libraries today have become more independent in determining ways and priorities of their development, functions and contents of their activities. However, they also became more dependent on local authorities where finances are concerned. Local government bodies do not always realise the role and potentials of libraries as components of social infrastructure, of information and cultural centres.
In conditions of development of a democratic and civil society in Ukraine ever-greater role is being played by professional public associations of library workers – associations, societies, unions, both all-Ukrainian and regional. They bring together and consolidate representatives of the library profession, work out common approaches to the improvement and relisation of library and information policy in Ukraine, develop recommendations directed at the improvement of functioning of libraries in the country and at raising the quality of library services.
THE NETWORK OF LIBRARIES
A well-developed network of libraries of various types exists in Ukraine: public libraries for adults, young people and children; scientific and special; specialised open to general use, for the physically impaired, etc. They are based on the state (all-state and communal), collective or private form of ownership.
The system of the Ministry of Culture and Arts includes: the National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine, the State History Library of Ukraine, the State Library of Ukraine for Children, the State Youth Library of Ukraine, regional universal libraries in Odessa and Kharkiv, regional libraries for children and regional youth libraries, city, district and village libraries.
The National Library of Ukraine named after V. I. Vernadsky is the leading library of the system of libraries of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Medical libraries headed by the State Scientific Medical Library are subordinated to the Ministry for Public Health of Ukraine, agricultural libraries with their scientific and methodic centre – the Central Scientific Agricultural Library – to the Ukrainian Academy of Agrarian Sciences, the Ministry of Agriculture, etc. Quite numerous are scientific-and-technical libraries. Libraries of educational establishments are represented by libraries of universities (academies, institutes, colleges), school libraries and libraries of other secondary educational establishments.
An important role in the provision of library and information services for individual categories of readers is being played by trade union, military, prison, church, museum libraries, libraries for the blind, libraries of public organisations.
An active restructuring and decrease of libraries’ network is observed today. It is caused by social and political and economic transformations in the society that requests from library workers not only efforts to preserve the network but first of all a change of established stereotypes, new approaches to organising work of libraries and their networks, an active work on the creation of a new image of library in the society.
NATIONAL AND STATE LIBRARIES
The National Library of Ukraine named after V. I. Vernadsky was founded in 1918 as the National Library of the Ukrainian state. This is a multi-purpose library and information, scientific and research and culturological centre having an all-state significance as concerns contents and scale of its activities. The library has the status of a scientific and research institute. The structure of the National Library of Ukraine named after V. I. Vernadsky includes: The Fund of Presidents of Ukraine, the Service of Information and Analytical Provision of Legislative, Executive and Judicial Power, the Archive Fund of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, scientific and research institutes of library science, Ukrainian book, manuscripts, archive science, biographic research, and library and information technologies, information and analytical, cultural and educational, conservation and restoration, and editorial and publishing centres.
The National Library of Ukraine named after V. I. Vernadsky is the biggest in Ukraine. Its stocks number 13 million and are a unique collection of information sources – from the conception of written language (cuneiform tablets of 3rd Millennium B.C.) to modern editions and without data. Stocks of old-printed and rare editions amount to 45 thousand, stocks of manuscripts – 416 thousand. The library keeps one of the world’s biggest collections of ancient monuments of Slavic literature, hand-written books of 11th-18th centuries, historical documents of 16th-18th centuries, first prints of the most of Eastern Slavic publishers and monuments of West European book-printing of 15th-16th centuries, in particular 518 incunabula and 2.5 thousand paleotypes, produce of well-known European publishing firms of 15th-17th centuries – Alds, Etiennes, Plentenes, Elsewiers.
The collection of notation and musical literature numbering 200 thousand is valuable, as well as the collection of printed visual materials, including engravings, Ukrainian posters, documentary photography amounting to 250 thousand, the 40-thousand stock of this country’s and foreign cartographic editions, starting from 16th century, and almost 160 yearly sets of this country’s and foreign newspapers.
Of special scientific, cultural and public significance are the collection of archive copies of Ukraine’s printed matter since 1917, the collection of publications of institutions of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and documents on their activities, 67 thousand doctor’s and candidate’s thesis defended in Ukraine.
Since 1960, the library functions as a depository for UN publications. The stock of these documents is over 500 thousand copies.
Of interest also are specialised collections of foreign Ukrainica, European printed matter and manuscripts, Austrian literature.
Every year, the library’s stocks increase by 150 thousand documents. Book exchange is maintained with 1,500 scientific institutions and libraries of 80 countries of the world, the inter-library subscription is working. Every year, 600 thousand readers visit the library, 3 million documents given to them9.
The National Library of Ukraine named after V. I. Vernadsky jointly with the Institute of Information Registration Problems of the national Academy of Sciences of Ukraine are working on creating a system of abstract information on Ukrainian scientific literature. They are preparing a journal of abstracts, «Jerelo» (Source.) The journal’s subjects embrace major branches of natural, technical and social sciences and since 1999 it is being published in three series.
Due to the financial support from «Renaissance» International Foundation and «Eurasia» Foundation, the library has a web server where a catalogue of new acquisitions since 1994 was installed, as well as electronic catalogues of dissertations and dissertation abstracts (since 1993), the database «Abstracts of Ukraine’s Scientific Publications» (since 1998), electronic versions of the library’s publications, bibliography lists, textual and graphic materials on monuments of Eastern Slavic literature and Ukrainian printed matter from the library’s sticks, and other materials.
The National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine. In 1996, this library turned 130. During World War II the library lost almost all its stocks – around 300 thousand copies, including over 50 thousand valuable documents and 7 thousand manuscripts and old-print books.
Today, this multi-purpose library, as far as the composition of its collections is concerned, has the stock of 4 million copies and is being replenished on the basis of an obligatory copy of printed matter. The library’s collection includes literature in 66 languages. Old-print, valuable and rare books stocks amount to 17 thousand copies of books and periodicals of 16th-20th centuries.
Every year, 120 thousand readers visit the library10. Every day sees up to two thousand readers. Ten multi-purpose and specialised reading rooms (reference and bibliography, library science, rare and valuable editions, foreign languages literature, etc), exhibition hall of new acquisitions, inter-library subscription, photocopying and video rental are at their disposal. Every year, readers receive more than three million copies of editions and 21 thousand bibliographic references11.
Since 1922, the library has been providing library and information servicing of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine – the country’s parliament. People’s Deputies, members of the Presidium and Secretariat, of the parliament’s standing commissions, its committees, as well as Presidential and governmental structures make use of the library’s services. A specialised reading room is at disposal of this category of readers.
The National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine is one of the leading bibliography centres of Ukraine. The task of its bibliographical activities is to open up library stocks, to secure bibliographic support for priority directions of social and economic life of the country, to popularise scientific and artistic achievements of humankind. Among its major bibliographic publications are quarterlies «Public and Political Life of Ukraine», «Names Returned», «Outstanding Figures of Ukrainian Book», «Culture and Everyday Life of the People of Ukraine». A reference book, «Calendar of Memorable Dates» has been coming out four times a year for 40 years.
The National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine is a public library, the national book depository of printed matter published on the territory of Ukraine, the organisational, scientific, and methodic and coordination centre for libraries of all systems and departments.
The State Historical Library of Ukraine was created in 1939. Its basis became stocks of History and Anti-Religion Museums where rich requisitioned collections of churches and monasteries ended up. During Civil War and World War II, as well as during the Soviet period it was not possible to preserve all books. In the post-war period, the library’s stocks were restored and replenished at the expense of books transferred from other libraries of Ukraine, Russia and Byelorussia.
At present, the State Historical Library of Ukraine is the centre of historical cartography and the methodic centre on issues of historical and local lore activities of libraries. Its stocks are composed of 800 thousand items. Every year, 15 thousand readers visit the library. They receive over 500 thousand editions, seven thousand bibliographic and factual references12. Specialised reading rooms work in the library: of Ukraine’s history, of world history, periodicals, exhibition, and of the department of rare, valuable and old-print books.
The library promotes the development of historical science in Ukraine, provides library and information support for the information needs of researchers, lecturers, popularises achievements of historical science. The library participated in preparing fundamental historical researches: «The History of the Ukrainian SSR», «The History of Classes and Social Groups of Ukraine», etc., it compiles bibliographic directories on the history of Kiev, museum business, the history of industrial and agricultural enterprises, the Decembrist movement, theory and practice of historic local lore studies in Ukraine, etc. In 1990s, bibliographic directories «Repressions of 20s-30s-40s and the beginning of 50s in Ukraine (1992), «Pages of Ukraine’s History» (1990-1992) and others saw the light of day. In 1996, information centre «Ukraine’s History» was created in the library with bibliographic and factual databases.
The State Library of Ukraine for Youth, founded in 1975, services 30 thousand young men and women. Its stocks amount to 320 thousand entries. 630 thousand books are being issued. This library heads the network composed of 25 regional youth libraries. It organises book exhibitions, the work of hobby clubs, and meetings with writers and artists, all-Ukrainian competitions and conferences on problems of reading.
The State Library of Ukraine for Children is the national depositary of children’s literature, a reference and bibliographic and information centre on problems of children’s libraries, a consulting centre for 124613 specialised children’s libraries (their combined stocks amount to almost 40 million), as well as for school and village libraries servicing children.
The library was founded in 1967. Its stocks number 440 thousand copies of books, magazines, audio recordings, CDs, diapositive filmstrips and films. Its fund of rare books is unique (17 thousand books and periodicals for children.) 18 thousand children and specialists in issues of children’s book and children’s reading use the library’s services every year. The role of the library as an organiser of spare time is important. Readers’ clubs, a puppet theatre, a drama studio, a soft toys circle work in the library. Reading rooms and subscription department provide services for children from preschool age to 15. Since 1993, the library supports its electronic catalogue. Retrospective conversion of catalogues is being done. Since 1997, with the support of the «Renaissance» International Foundation the library is compiling electronic directories – illustrated lists of literature for children on astronomy, ecology, geography, geology, zoology – 10 issues altogether.
The State Scientific Medical Library of the Ministry of Public Health of Ukraine is the leading centre of library and information support of workers of medicine, of preparing information, scientific-auxiliary and recommendation bibliographic directories of medical and biological nature, the scientific and methodic centre of 998 medical libraries of Ukraine1.4.
The library’s stocks have 1.5 million copies on various information carriers. The reference and search apparatus contains over 10 million bibliographic entries. It includes 68 databases on CDs, among them databases of the National Medical Library of the USA and «Springer» Publishers. Since 1969, the fund of patenting and normative and technological documentation has been functioning in the library. It numbers now 187 thousand descriptions of foreign and this country’s inventions. The library has published the series of bibliographical directories «Public Health of Kiev and Kiev Region. 1918-1972» (K., 1974. – 549 pp.), «Public Health and Medical Science of Kharkiv Region over 50 Years» (Kh., 1972. – 422 pp.), «Medical Workers of Ukraine Honored with Honorary Titles» (Part 1, 1976. – 391 pp.; Part 2, 1988. – 423 pp.) The bibliographic dictionary «Medicine in Ukraine. Outstanding doctors. End of 17th-first half of 19th centuries» was published. The publication includes 135 biographies of doctors who were born, studied or worked in Ukraine.
The library provides information for over 500 individual and collective users in on-line regime, provides for reference and bibliographic support for specialists of public health administrations and scientific workers. Every year annotated directories of this country’s and foreign books in 32 specialties are compiled, as well as the lists of new acquisitions, for example: «Managing, Financing and Planning in Public Health. Cadres.” «Organisation of Outpatient Help. Self-accounting. Insurance Medicine. Family Doctor. Clinical Examination», «Protection of Health of Mother and Child», «Social and Medical Aspects of the Chornobyl NPP Accident», «Prevention and Treatment of Mental Illnesses, Drug and Alcohol Addiction», etc. The inter-library subscription is working. Partnership relations are maintained with 33 libraries and medical institutions of 17 countries of the world by international subscription. Every year, 41.5 thousand readers use the library’s services.
The State Scientific and Technical Library of Ukraine is one of the biggest libraries of the country, with 20 million copies of scientific and technical literature and documentation. This is the head library of the network of scientific and research libraries, reference and information and patenting funds of state territorial and branch bodies of scientific and technical researches, enterprises and organisations of Ukraine. It performs functions of the state branch centre of inter-library subscription on technology, the depository of scientific and technological documents and centre of depositing scientific papers on all branches of science and technology.
The library provides to its readers patenting and normative and technological documents, industrial catalogues, accounting documentation on scientific and research, as well as on testing and designing developments, candidate’s and doctor’s theses, translations, deposited scientific papers, publications by bodies of scientific and technological information, scientific and technological periodicals and books. The patenting stocks number over 18 million patenting documents on paper and micro carriers, stocks of industrial catalogues – almost 560 thousand copies, normative and technological documentation – 404 thousand, the reference and bibliographic publications stocks – 92 thousand.
The library services over 5 thousand enterprises and organisations, as well as a broad circle of individual subscribers. Every year, 3.5 million copies of documents are issued. The library’s stocks are used by scientific institutions, state authority bodies, enterprises and organisations when developing and implementing national scientific and technological and economic programmes, conducting scientific and research activities, determining levels of competitive ability of produce. Services are provided in specialised reading rooms and by inter-library subscription. Subject and factual references are done at readers’ requests.
The library publishes an annual directory «Foreign scientific and technical journals to which Ukrainian libraries subscribe in the year...” and «The Directory to the Patenting Stocks of the State Scientific and Technical Library.» Since 1997, a journal of abstracts has been published, «Deposited Scientific Papers.»15.
Central Scientific Agricultural Library of the Ukrainian Academy of Agrarian Sciences, founded in 1921, is the scientific and methodic centre for 240 agricultural libraries of the country, which include libraries of scientific and research institutions, testing stations, higher learning establishments and technical schools. The library provides services for specialists and workers of agriculture, academics, lecturers and students of agricultural educational establishments. It is the depository of agricultural literature, the branch centre of the inter-library subscription. The library’s stocks number 1 million copies of this country’s and foreign literature on agriculture and forestry, economy, nature protection, soil science, plant growing. Every year, the stocks are replenished by 9 thousand items of printed matter. The library provides reference and bibliographic services for readers, compiles bibliographic manuals – both current ones and retrospective. Among current publications there are bibliographic directories «New Agricultural Books», «Genetics, Selection and Seed-growing of Agricultural Crops.» Since 1999 the library has started to publish a journal of abstracts, «The Agro-industrial Complex of Ukraine.»
As the scientific and methodic centre of agricultural libraries, the Central Scientific Agricultural Library of the Ukrainian Academy of Agricultural Sciences organises workshops and conferences for library workers.
The Republican Library for the Blind named after N. Ostrovsky is the head information and methodic centre for 78 libraries owned by training and methodic associations and enterprises of the Ukrainian Association of the Blind. These libraries service 74 thousand readers.
The deterioration of economic situation has led to a considerable decrease in publishing documents for non-sighted persons in Ukraine. New acquisitions by the library have declined disastrously16. At requests from its readers the library dubs textbooks and other materials on its own but technical and financial potentials do not allow it to broaden this type of services.
At present, work is underway on automation of library and information processes, jointly with the training and information computer centre of the Ukrainian Association of the Blind a programme for raised printing.
July 1999 saw the publication of the Decree by the President of Ukraine, «On the National Legal Library.» In accordance with the decree, in order to provide legal information to specialists in legal sphere, workers of state bodies of authority, academics, student youth, representatives of diplomatic corps and international non-governmental organisations, the National Legal Library is being set up in Ukraine.
That same 1999, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted a Resolution setting up the State Scientific Library of Pedagogics of Ukraine with the view to providing information base to raise professional level of workers of educational establishments and scientific institutions in the spheres of education and psychology. The library is regarded as the national branch book depositary, the coordination and information and methodic centre of education libraries and is part of the Academy of Pedagogics of Ukraine. The library was created on the basis of merging stocks of two libraries – that of the Institute of Pedagogics and of the Central Library of Pedagogics. The latter, created in 1993, was serving 5 thousand educationists a year and had stocks amounting to 150 thousand copies (literature on issues of education and pedagogics, literature studies, linguistics, philosophy, psychology, history, religion, a collection of national school textbooks, school programmes, methodic manuals.)
The Book Chamber of Ukraine is one of the leading institutions of the country which provide bibliographic description and accounting for the printed matter. The Book Chamber defines the information register of the national bibliography of Ukraine since 1917. Its stocks at present number 12 million documents published on the territory of the country. By its status and functions the Chamber is the State Archive of the Printed Matter of Ukraine, it provides for the state accounting of printed matter, compiles and disseminates bibliographic directories, databases, supports the national ISBN Agency. The information bibliographic system of the Book Chamber is developing on the basis of USMARC format and UNIMARC exchange format.
The Book Chamber of Ukraine provides for the current bibliographic description of documents being published on the territory of Ukraine: chronicles of newspaper articles, magazine articles, books, cartographic editions, notations, visual works of art, reviews are being published regularly. Among other bibliography produce one should mention directories «New Editions of Ukraine», «Ukraine’s Ethnic Communities», «Tartars in Ukraine», «Turks in Ukraine», «Germans in Ukraine», «Market Economy», «Publishing Business», etc. The Book Chamber of Ukraine prepares and publishes scientific and reference publications. It has begun to set up journals of abstracts «Politics. Political Sciences» and «Economics. Economic Sciences.» Almost all publications of the Book Chamber of Ukraine have their electronic analogues.
Over 19 thousand public libraries function in Ukraine, within 600 centralised library systems. There are networks of libraries for adults, for children and for young people. Every administrative unit, as a rule, has a central library that provides methodic guidance for libraries of the administrative unit. Public libraries are subordinated to local government bodies and receive their finance from their local budgets.
Regional multi-purpose scientific libraries are centres of library and bibliographic services for the population performing functions of public libraries. They are scientific and research, methodic and coordination centres of libraries of all systems and departments of regions, central regional book depositories, regional depositories of local lore studies, centres for book exchange and inter-library subscription.
According to the data of the Ministry of Culture and Arts of Ukraine, public libraries take care of 34 percent of population, i.e. 17 million people use public libraries. 303 million items of library stocks are at their disposal: 17.5 documents per each reader. Every year, public libraries issue over 325 million items of printed matter and audiovisual documents, i. e. every user reads almost 20 titles on the average.
Library services of public libraries are quite versatile. The basic ones – information on the composition of library resources, issuing of literature, consulting, reference work, search for information – are provided free of charge. A library can charge a small fee for additional services, like photocopying, compiling of lists for term studies, diploma theses and scientific papers for students, complex subject references, information and library services to enterprises, institutions and organisations, rental of audio and video equipment. They also practice sale of literature from exchange and reserve stocks to organisations and institutions. However, paid services account for a small fraction in the overall budget of libraries. Only big public libraries earn 7-10 percent of the sum of their budget allocations.
35 thousand staff work in Ukraine’s public libraries. 40 percent of them have a higher education.
At the beginning of 90s, over 23 thousand of state public libraries functioned in Ukraine. Nowadays, the public is concerned about a sharp decrease of the network of public libraries, first of all, in rural areas. In 1993-1994, 185 rural libraries were closed down in Ukraine. In 1995 in Odessa Region alone 22 libraries were liquidated, and 23 – in Zaporizhya Region. As a rule, these were libraries in settlements with less than 500 residents. At present, in Odessa Region alone 406 settlements do not have stationary libraries. Mobile library services in Ukraine are practically absent – there are no library buses17. Library workers are trying to find different ways out in different regions. For instance, in Kirovohrad Region they chose the way of setting up a semi-functional institution – library-club. In 1999, there were 21 of those. One observes the process of decentralisation of public libraries, which is connected to their re-subordination to local Councils18.
The volume of new acquisitions of public libraries has diminished threefold over the last five years, and fivefold in some regions (Vinnytsya, Transcarpathia Regions)19. Acquisition of books for public libraries providing services for children and young people has fallen by four to five times. Books in Ukrainian do not account for more than 25 percent there. In 1996, regional multi-purpose scientific libraries received 5 thousand titles of new literature on the average; in 1998 – 3.5 thousand. Every third book was a gift at that.
Simultaneously, there is a process of adjustment of libraries to new circumstances. The number of acquisitions in Ukrainian has been growing: 10 percent in 1991, 18 percent in 1994, 25 percent in 1996, and 36 percent in 199820. There are 30 percent more visitors to public libraries. The composition of readers is changing. The number of readers who were specialists in technical sciences has dropped in regional multi-purpose libraries while the number of those who are linked professionally to humanities has grown. There is a visible trend towards decrease in the number of readers who are academics, while the number of students is on the rise. There are up to 70 percent of them in some regions.21
SPECIAL LIBRARIES (educational establishments, scientific and technical, agricultural, medical, systems of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.
Libraries of Educational Establishments
The network of libraries of institutions of higher learning includes 171 libraries of universities, academies, institutes of various levels of accreditation subordinated to eight ministries and departments. The recent decade was marked by the process of creating new universities and, correspondingly, libraries whose task is to provide information support for the education and scientific and research processes. For instance, in 1992, the Kiev-Mohyla Academy was re-established with a library that at present has 230 thousand copies of scientific and learning literature, almost 400 titles of periodicals. 40 percent of the stocks is literature in foreign languages. This library actively automates all library processes.
The stocks of libraries of Ukraine’s higher educational establishments number 108 copies of learning, scientific, reference literature, fiction and periodicals. Every year, these libraries provide their services to 1.5 million students, post-graduate students, lecturers and staff. 90 million copies of documents are issued to them.
University libraries make an active use of Inter-library subscription, they engage in international book exchange. For instance, the Scientific and Technical Library of the National technological University «Kiev Polytechnic Institute» exchanges books with 25 foreign countries, including the USA, Germany, Great Britain, and Japan.
Ukraine’s university libraries – in Kiev, Odessa, Uzhgorod, Lviv, Kharkiv, Chernivtsi, etc. – are well known for their rich collections of old-print, rare and valuable books.
Libraries of higher learning establishments engage in information and bibliographic activities: they compile bibliography manuals, compose subject and bibliographic references, and conduct bibliographic reviews. These bibliographic directories were published in the 90s, for instance: «Chekhov and Ukraine», «Pushkin and Ukraine», «Ukraine’s Higher School of Learning» (Kiev National University named after T. H. Shevchenko), «Hungarology in Uzhgorod University» (Uzhgorod University), «New Technologies in Plane Construction», «Protection of Information in Communication Networks» (International Civil Aviation University, Kiev), «Rare Editions from the Stocks of the Library of the State Academy of Light Industry of Ukraine, 1792-1938» (State Academy of the Light Industry of Ukraine), «Scientific Thought in Ukraine», «500 Years of Zaporozhzhya Cossacks» (Zaporizhya Machine-Building Institute), «Ukrainian Language Culture» (Lviv State University), etc.
Recent years were marked by more active adoption of new information technologies by libraries of higher education establishments. They are conducting work on creating electronic catalogues. Higher education establishments’ libraries undertake attempts to develop catalogues in cooperation. For instance, a joint project of libraries of the National University named after T. H. Shevchenko, the National Technical University «Kiev Polytechnic Institute», and the Ukrainian State University of Pedagogics named after M. Drahomanov, plans for the creation of an automated combined catalogue of periodicals published by libraries of Kiev’s institutions of higher learning.
The Internet carries home pages and electronic catalogues of libraries of a number of universities. One can familiarise oneself through the Internet, for instance, with home pages of libraries of the «Kiev-Mohyla Academy» National University, Kiev National University named after T. H. Shevchenko, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Lviv, Kharkiv State Universities, Donetsk State Technical University, Lviv Theology Academy, International Library and Information Centre of the International Academy of Personnel Management, etc. However, the work in this direction requires a significant activisation.
6.2 thousand staff work at libraries of higher education establishments. 4.4 thousand of them have higher education.
School and Pedagogical Libraries. In Ukraine, scientific and pedagogical libraries and libraries of secondary educational establishments satisfy information needs of secondary educational establishments. Among them are Lviv Regional Scientific and Pedagogical Library, Mykolayiv City Pedagogical Library, libraries of institutes for the after-diploma training of teachers, libraries of education management bodies, as well as libraries of secondary schools of general education schools and educational establishments of new types. There are almost 21 thousand such libraries in Ukraine. They provide information support for the process of learning, carry out enlightenment activities, shape information culture, assist in sensible spending of free time.
There is an understanding today in Ukraine that education reform also requires a reform of school libraries as its foundation. Problems of school libraries’ development require a more precise outlining of their functions and role under the circumstances of functioning in Ukraine of a well-developed network of children’s libraries, of active introduction of audio and visual materials and computer technology into the learning process.
During the second half of 1990s, structural changes within the system of scientific and technical libraries occurred. They are continuously being closed down at institutions, organizations, and enterprises. The number of library staff working there is on decline. Their acquisitions have dropped significantly. These changes are connected, first of all, to financial instability, and with structural changes in branches of the national economy complex.
The realities of market economy, social and economic restructuring, professional and educational reorientation of the population cased changes in readers’ requirements and demand, let to changes in the system of library and information services in scientific and technical libraries. Alongside with traditional forms of work of scientific and technical libraries they are seeking new approaches to realization of their information, education and enlightenment functions. For instance, the State Scientific Architecture and Construction Library named after V. H. Zabolotny, in addition to traditional forms of library and information services began to participate actively in annual branch exhibitions on problems of architecture, construction, design and interior decoration as an exponent. This provides the library with a chance to advertise its opportunities, attract new readers, especially employees of non-state organizations and firms, which become ever more numerous but do not receive library and information servi
Over 1,000 medical libraries function in Ukraine. Among them are Kharkiv State Scientific Medical Library, the State Medical Library of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea, 23 regional scientific medical libraries, libraries of medical universities and other specialised educational establishments, of scientific and research institutes, medical and prophylactic establishments.
The network of agricultural libraries includes libraries of agricultural establishments of higher learning and secondary educational establishments, scientific and research institutions and testing stations – 240 libraries altogether. Their stocks amount to almost 20 million volumes of this country’s and foreign literature. Just as medical libraries, they provide services to researchers, lecturers and students and specialists in the branch.
The system of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine includes 98 libraries of scientific and research organisations and institutions. Their stocks number 26 million copies. 6 million of those are publications in foreign languages. These stocks are a basis for scientific research in humanities, natural and technical sciences. These libraries are called upon to satisfy professional information needs of scientists and specialists. Every year they provide services to 208 thousand readers. The following library services are provided to users: issuing of literature in reading rooms and to readers’ homes, oral and written bibliographic references, informing on new acquisitions. Bibliographies are being compiled to coincide with scientists’ jubilees, subject directories, directories of employees’ works, etc.
Considerable amounts of materials including bibliographic, abstract, factual data on subjects of research have been amassed at leading scientific libraries of the system of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine on the basis of produce of the world’s leading information centres. This applies to the Lviv Scientific Library named after V. Stefanyk, libraries and scientific and information units of institutes of biochemistry, cybernetics, semi-conductors, problems of simulating in power engineering, problems of information registration, radio astronomy, physics, the Main Astronomy Observatory. Libraries of these and other scientific and research institutions of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine use Internet services. Internet classes have been functioning within the libraries of the Institute of Physics and the Main Astronomy Observatory where users learn how to search the Internet for information.
Works on creation of electronic catalogues are going on in libraries of the system of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Information about new acquisitions is being introduced there, and retrospective conversion of catalogues is being done. Databases of printed works of institutes’ staff are being supported, as well as factual, abstract and bibliography databases on scientific and research subjects of institutes. Ever more attention is being paid to structural reorganisation of information services of scientific and research institutes, their reorientation to realisation of tasks of forecasting the development of scientific and technological and innovation spheres, to preparation of analytical reviews of institutions’ activities, to conducting patenting and licensing works, to standardisation, to translating foreign materials22.
STANDARDISATION AND UNFICATION
Ukraine’s joining the world information space supposes solving problems of standardisation and unification at the state level.
Terminology of the library business, of catalogisation and stocks forming was developing actively over 1970s-1980s when the Programme of Integrated Standardisation in the Sphere of Information, Library and Publishing Business (SIBID) was being introduced in the USSR. During this period, the system of terminology was put to order; dozens of terms were reviewed and specified. SIBID was compiled in Russian and specialists in Ukraine faced the problem of translating the terminology. During the first half of 1990s, a significant number of various branch dictionaries were published. However, this did not provide for the unification of Ukrainian terminology.
In 1994-1995, Ukrainian standards in the sphere of information and documentation were published for the first time. The State Standards Committee of Ukraine prepared such standards as DSTU 2392-94 «Basic Notions. Terms and Definitions»; DSTU 2394-94 «Acquisition of Stocks, Bibliographic Description, Document Analysis. Terms and Definitions»; DSTU 2732-94 «Documentation and Archive Business. Terms and Definitions.» These standards, agreed with ISO standards, helped to develop and unify Ukrainian terminology for information, documentation, and library and archive business. They, however, do not take into account to a sufficient extent the established practice and modern level of development of the theory of these activities.
The need to develop integrated library systems and bibliographic data exchange caused serious political, economic and cultural problems to the library business of Ukraine. Work in cooperative projects requires unification and compatibility of formats and contents of electronic entries, subject headings, classification systems. The problem of choice became acute: «Which standards to orientate at? Which interests should be given a preference – local or global?» They still discuss advisability of linking systems to the established local rules of catalogisation (GOST 7.1-84 «Bibliographic Description of Documents»; DSTU 3582-97 «Information and Documentation. Shortening of Words in Ukrainian in Bibliographic Descriptions. General Requirements and Rules», introduced in 1998) and to local databases – or to adaptation and translation of Anglo-American rules for catalogisation which will make the exchange of data with foreign partners simpler. Those libraries that are actively involved in automation are ever more i
n favour of the need to switch to Anglo-American rules of catalogisation, orientated at computer-read formats. Translation of Anglo-American catalogisation rules into Ukrainian is underway.
In order to provide for information exchange, in 1997 the state standard «Format for the Exchange of Bibliographic Data on Magnet Carriers» was approved. It regulates the procedure, forms, and volumes of providing bibliographic information for exchange between libraries. The structure of this format corresponds to UNIMARC format in its basic units.
Serious problems arose in connection with classification systems. Traditionally, information stocks in Ukraine have been organised on the basis of the following classification systems:
1. The Soviet system of Library and Bibliographic classification (BBK.)
2. The Universal Decimal Classification (UDC.)
3. The International Invention Classification (IIC) and the National Invention Classification (NIC.)
4. State standards classifier (KGS and OKSTU.)
All the libraries of the system of the Ministry of Culture and Arts of Ukraine are using BBK: public libraries have been doing this since 1980, while regional multi-purpose scientific libraries – since 1986. Libraries of higher learning establishments, trade unions, schools and secondary specialised educational establishments also use BBK. Partially, it is being used by academic, medical and agricultural libraries where social sciences are concerned. In 1980s and 1990s most libraries have reclassified their book stocks and catalogues completely. The introduction of the BBK system was going on for decades. Russian-language editions of BBK tables in 30, 4 and one volume were used. The tables were twice translated into Ukrainian but they were not published.
At present, cataloguers of Ukraine’s libraries do not have supplements and amendments to the BBK tables currently in use because the Russian State Library, which owns the copyright, developed BBK. In order to provide for libraries’ needs, the National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine undertook to work on BBK tables in the national aspect. This library publishes necessary supplements and amendments. Since 1996 «Catalogisation Issues Bulletin» has been published every quarter. Cataloguers face serious difficulties because it is necessary to make independent decisions on structuring scientific branch problems and there are differences with Russian tables in reflecting a number of problems23.
UDC is the most widespread and widely used in technical libraries and scientific and technical information bodies of Ukraine. More and more Ukrainian libraries are inclined to think that it is necessary for libraries of other systems and departments to switch over to UDC, too. They understand that prospects lie with classifications supported in a stable way from scientific, methodical and organisational points of view. However, the situation is real when there are no material and organisational opportunities for libraries to completely reclassify libraries stocks and reference and search apparatus. The Book Chamber of Ukraine began to realise a project, «Ukraine’s Classification System». The reference variant of the Ukrainian-language UDC is being translated and edited. 1999 will see the eight-volume edition of UDC in Ukrainian. The electron reference book, «Universal Decimal Classification» will be created (Ukrainian-English version)24.
Every library is solving the problem of use of information and search language of verbal type on its own. The work of libraries on indexing documents and on subject search testifies to the necessity of unification. National libraries work on creating rubricators. Developing subject files on the basis of methods of the US Congress Library is recognised as the most rational today.
While in US, UK and Canadian libraries, after first attempts to automate intra-library processes in 1950-1960s, automated systems started their work at the beginning of 1970s, first attempts to automate libraries in Ukraine were made by the end of 1980s-the beginning of 1990s. After many years of isolation and minimum access to information technologies librarians were trying to automate individual processes of library and bibliography activities. They were creating bibliography databases based on the use of instrumental software packages for PCs.
The lagging of Ukraine in processes of automation of library and information sphere is explained not only by a weak economic basis – the lack of necessary financing, trained specialists, but also by the fact that for a long time libraries were being considered mostly as institutions called upon to preserve cultural heritage but not to provide people with an access to global information, as well as by the lack of understanding of the need for the development of information networks.
According to the results of research by the National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine25 in 1997 the number of computers in Ukraine’s libraries amounted to almost 1,000. Almost 80 percent of them were outdated models of personal computers of IBM PC AT 286 and 386 types, and only around 20 percent – of 486 and Pentium types. Old MS-DOS and Windows 3.x versions remain a wide-use environment for computers. The number of libraries using modern operational systems WINDOWS 95 and WINDOWS NT is growing very slowly. The same is true of re-orientation of libraries to modern instrumental means of creating information systems, databases and databanks, such as Oracle, Informix, Sybase. Telecommunication systems and data transfer networks are developed weakly. Most libraries use commuted communication channels to transfer data. Just several dozen libraries have access to the Internet. Only five libraries have put their catalogues in the Internet.
Even today, at the edge of centuries, it is early to speak of all-round automation of libraries in Ukraine, of setting up integrated library systems. Most of the libraries that began automation are at its first stage: they are engaged in compiling electronic catalogues. Among libraries working most actively on creating integrated library systems one may mention the library of the «Kiev-Mohyla Academy» National University, the National Library of Ukraine named after V. I. Vernadsky, the Central Public Library named after Lesya Ukrayinka in Kiev, the Kirovohrad Regional Multi-purpose Scientific Library named after Chyzhevsky.
Ukraine’s libraries use the following types of software: Aleph, Allegro, Tinlib, CDS/ISIS, Liber, «Mark», «IRBIS», «Biblioteka», etc. This software is being adjusted to Ukraine’s requirements. Representatives of leading libraries are still talking about a necessity to develop Ukraine’s own software26.
There are attempts to provide for corporate catalogisation: since 1997, the National Library of Ukraine named after V. I. Vernadsky has been sending out by E-mail files with bibliographic notes of new acquisitions for its stocks to several dozen libraries. This is being done in formats of catalogue cards and UNIMARC27.
Processes of automation are being slowed down also by sluggishness in solving the problems of standardisation based on international norms, the lack of national system of classification and subject breakdown, the need for retraining libraries personnel in order to work in conditions of integrated library systems.
The money allocated to libraries by the state in 1999 in accordance with the «Electronic Library»: programme amounts to 100 thousand hryvnyas (around $20 thousand as of December 1999.) While the state financing is extremely weak, a great role in financial support for library and information processes in Ukraine and in training of specialists for automation of libraries is being played by the International «Renaissance» Foundation. Librarians also use other sources of finance for the purchase of equipment, software, paying for connection to the Internet, training of specialists. Gradually, the number of computers is raising, first consortia are being set up, for instance those of Aleph users, as well as consortia of electronic journals subscribers. The latter of the mentioned was joined by 65 members who were given an access to full-text of articles from 400 journals on the initiative of Springer Publishers.
Drastic social and political changes, the development of information technologies and their broad introduction into the practice of work of libraries and other information sphere institutions, transition to market relations move forward new requirements to professional education of library personnel, require review and transformation of the entire system of library and information education.
The outdated material and technical base of educational centres, the low prestige of library education, the decrease in state financing of this area, contents lagging behind from the needs and level of development of the branch are characteristic of library education in Ukraine in 1990s. Attempts to introduce partial changes in the contents of training programmes cannot satisfy requirements of the branch’s development. Modern textbooks and learning manuals in Ukrainian are practically absent.
Special educational establishments of several levels represent the system of institutions of library and information education in Ukraine. This system is aimed first of all at training librarians who work in libraries of the system of the Ministry of Culture and Arts of Ukraine.
Colleges of culture with special library departments function in the majority of Ukraine’s 25 regions. They provide for the training of junior specialists in the sphere of library and bibliography activities.
Specialists of specialties «Library Business and Bibliography» and «Document Science and Information Activities» are being trained internally and by correspondence by Kiev National University of Culture with its affiliate in Mykolayiv, Kharkiv Academy of Culture and Rivne Humanitarian University, while specialists on «Document Science and Information Activities» have been trained at the State Academy of Managers of Culture and Arts since 1999. Chair of Library Science was established in 1999 at Lviv State University named after I. Franko. Its students will acquire B.A. qualifications in Ukrainian language and literature and B.A. in library science, bibliography and book science. 6 students were studying there in 1999.
In 1970s-1980s 3.5 thousand people in Ukraine were receiving specialised library education annually28. Reduction of state financing, attempts to switch over to paid library education led to significant decrease in the number of graduates of higher learning establishments and specialists joining the branch every year. In 1999, as little as 700 specialists were trained.
For Ukraine, the organisation of a continuous education of library employees is of a special significance. This is connected not only to the introduction of new information and communication technologies but also to conceptual changes in the organisation of library business during the period of transition to a democratic civil society.
Postgraduate studies in Ukraine are being offered by: the State Academy of Managers of Culture and Arts, regional courses and centres for qualification upgrading working in the majority of the country’s regions, leading libraries of the system of the Ministry of Culture and Arts. They are called upon to upgrade qualifications of employees of libraries of the system of the Ministry of Culture and Arts of Ukraine. Librarians of other systems and departments are practically outside of an organised postgraduate education.
Every year, almost 800 people, i.e. around 1 percent, undergo organised postgraduate training. In 1999, the Centre for Continuous Library and Information Education was established with the aim to solve the problem of a wider involvement of library and information specialists in postgraduate studies. The Centre was set up by the State Academy of managers in Culture and Arts and by the Ukrainian Library Association with financial support from «Renaissance» Foundation.
Ever the Ukrainian Library Association is playing more noticeable role in the system of continuous education. It organises conferences, workshops, and trainings on urgent problems of library business. Special attention is paid to such problems as library and accessibility of information, automation of library and information processes, search for information in world information networks, librarian’s ethics, fundraising and grant applications, modern library image, etc. Since 1995, 9 conferences and over 40 workshops were held for librarians of all systems and departments from different regions of Ukraine.
The role of the International «Renaissance» Foundation should be singled out, as well as roles of foreign cultural centres –Goethe-Institute in Kiev, the British Council in Ukraine, Press, Education and Culture Department of the US Embassy in Kiev, etc. – in organising activities aimed at raising qualifications of library and information workers in Ukraine. Workshops, round tables, lectures with participation of all those organisations involve a significant number of librarians from all regions of Ukraine. Of special significance is internship and training of Ukrainian librarians in libraries of the USA, Germany, Great Britain, Austria, their participation in library forums and other forms of exchange of experience. Valuable for Ukrainian specialists were workshops organised and staged by the German Library Institute, Goethe-Institute in Kiev, Springer Publishers and other German organisations on problems of library image and public relations, problems of library management, electronic journals, etc. Ukrain
ian librarians are studying German and English languages at courses of Goethe-Institute in Kiev and at the Library Club organised at the Press, Education and Culture Department of the US Embassy in Kiev. This is of great significance for the development of international cooperation.
LIBRARY SCIENCE AND PROFESSIONAL PRESS
Until 1920 the theory and practice of library business in Ukraine were developing within the world context. Starting from 1930s, however, the development of the Ukrainian library science was artificially slowed down. It was put to service of the Communist ideology and developed on the periphery of Soviet science, whose leading forces were in Moscow and Leningrad. It was there that directions of scientific research were formed, all periodicals published, and only Russian scientists were representing the Soviet library science abroad29.
Until 1992 there was not a single Ph.D. in Ukraine on «Library Science and Bibliography Science.» Only in 1989 the Central Scientific Library (now the National Library of Ukraine) named after V. I. Vernadsky received the status of a scientific and research institute. Today, this is the only library in Ukraine possessing such a status. An international scientific conference on library issues was staged in the territory of Ukraine for the first time in 1989. Until 1992 there was not a single professional periodical for librarians.
Since 1991, 10 Doctor’s and almost 100 Candidate’s theses on problems of library business and bibliography were defended in Ukraine. Specialised councils on defence of theses in the area of library science and bibliography are working at the National Library of Ukraine named after V. I. Vernadsky, Kiev State University of Culture and Arts, Kharkiv Academy of Culture. Depending on subject of their research, competitors receive Candidate or Doctor’s degree in History, Pedagogics or Technical Sciences.
Ukraine’s libraries and leading educational establishments organise all-round research in the sphere of library science, sociology of reading, book science, and bibliography science. They study the problems of developing a single system of libraries in the country, reading trends, the state of library services for population. For instance, the National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine, jointly with other organisations, in recent years has carried out researches «Dynamics of Reading and Readers’ Demand in Libraries», «The Year’s Popular Work and Unsatisfied Readers’ Demand», «Library Services, Readers’ Requirements, Requests and Interests of Individual Ethnic Groups of Population in Localities of their Compact Residence», etc.
The National Library of Ukraine named after V. I. Vernadsky is studying problems of library, bibliography and book science, libraries informatisation, document science, archive science, Ukrainian biography science. The Institute of Library Science established within the structure of this library studies fundamental and applied problems of the development of scientific libraries – forming of stocks, organising of catalogues, document and information services to readers. At the Institute of the Ukrainian Book they study problems of book science, as well as theoretical, methodical and organisational aspects of national bibliography.
Reading rooms specialising in library science work at the National Library of Ukraine named after V. I. Vernadsky and the National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine. They enjoy popularity among researchers, lecturers and students who work on scientific subjects.
Every year, international and all-Ukrainian scientific conferences and scientific readings are held in Ukraine.
The requirements of the branch’s development led to the need of development of professional press. Ever more scientific and scientific-and-production publications on problems of library science in Ukrainian are being published. Foreign cultural centres are making their contribution to the publishing of special literature in Ukrainian. For instance, the British Council in Ukraine has issued a number of publications of the series «ASLIB Know How Guide» in Ukrainian. The appearance of professional journals became an achievement of recent years.
In 1993, the National Library of Ukraine named after V. I. Vernadsky and the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine founded a scientific-and-theoretical and practical journal, «The Library Herald» (Bibliotechny Visnyk). It comes out in 6 issues per year. The journal publishes articles, reviews, chronicle of science life and other materials covering various aspects of library science, book science, document science and bibliography science. Contents and summaries of articles are being published in English, German and French.
Since 1996, the Book Chamber of Ukraine has been publishing a monthly scientific and practical journal «The Book Chamber Herald» (Visnyk Knyzhkovoyi Palaty). Its pages cover scientific, methodical and practical issues of bibliography, library and book-publishing business. The material in the journal is being published under the following subject headings: «Bibliography», «Library Business», «Publishing Business», «Standardisation and Documents», «Information Resources», «Historical Researches», «Conferences, Competitions, Exhibitions», «Outstanding People and Events», «Reviews», etc.
The National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine has been publishing «Library Planet» (Bibliotechna Planeta) journal since 1998 in 6 issues a year. This journal is meant for practical library workers. It carries articles, interviews, reviews and other materials, extensively covers the experience of work of libraries, and publishes methodical developments and recommendations.
Despite some positive trends of the recent decade, the rates of library science development, problem range of scientific research, heir influence on the branch’s improvement do not satisfy the library public. The overwhelming majority of theses are being defended at historical subjects. Problems that will lead to qualitative change in the level of library and information services, to Ukraine’s joining of the world community as an equal partner still await their scientific comprehension. The library science today is lagging behind the requirements of practice; there are no prognostic researches. Foreign experience is being analysed insufficiently. Only several directions of scientific research comply with the world level – researches on the history of library business in Ukraine, individual issues of profession studies.
PROFESSIONAL LIBRARY MOVEMENT
Along with social and economic changes in the Ukrainian society, democratic principles of managing library business are developing, and professional self-consciousness of librarians is growing. At the beginning of 1990s, as a counterweight to administrative structures within the social institute of library business the idea of self-government began to develop. They started to set up bodies of public self-government – self-reliant and independent library societies and associations in a number of regions of Ukraine: Kiev, Kharkiv, Kherson, and Mykolayiv.
The Ukrainian Library Association is an independent, self-reliant public organisation set up in 1995. On voluntary principles it unites individuals professionally connected to library business, bibliography and information activities, as well as everybody who is interested in supporting libraries, library business and reading. Individual and group membership is practiced. 31 regional and branch divisions of the Association are working, as well as 14 sections on major directions of library activities.
The strategic goal of the Ukrainian Library Association’s activities is guaranteeing a high quality of library and information services in order to provide for the access to all the amount of knowledge and information amassed, assisting in preservation and development of libraries as national heritage and wealth. This is being done by way of the exchange of opinions, search for agreement, assisting cooperation in all spheres of library activities – science, practice, economics of library business, library and information education, as well as by way of influencing public opinion with a view to improve library and information servicing of the society. The priority directions of the Association’s activities are: participation in forming and realising nationwide library policies; democratisation of libraries as a social institute; assisting in solving a set of social problems of workers of the branch under conditions of market relations; working out new approaches and specific measures in improving library ed
ucation and science; introduction of new information and library technologies.
The Ukrainian Library Association assists in the development of the library profession. In 1996, the Code of Librarians’ Ethics was worked out and adopted. It is based upon the concept of intellectual freedom and social responsibility of library employees. Apart from conferences, workshops and trainings, 12 books were published, for instance, on such problems as «Libraries in a Democratic Society», «Library Public Movement at Present Stage», «Intellectual Freedom and Information Access in Libraries», «Public Libraries: the Present and the Future», «Library. Information. Society»30.
The Association takes part in international projects, it participates in international conferences and meetings of librarians. It initiates and fulfills a number of projects jointly with libraries, this country’s and foreign organisations, for instance, «Internet-terminal of a Reader in a Public Library», «Transparency of Governmental Decisions and Libraries» (Us Embassy in Ukraine), «Information Gates», «The Library World of Ukraine» (the British Council in Ukraine), «The Study Tour of Libraries of Bavaria» (the German Library Institute and Goethe-Institute in Kiev), etc. Among the recent initiatives of the Association is the establishment of the Centre for Continuous Library and Information Education jointly with the State Academy of Managers of Culture with the financial help from the International «Renaissance» Foundation.
Worthy of attention is also the work of the Association of Libraries of Ukraine uniting a number of leading libraries of the country. It was set up at the initiative of the National Library of Ukraine named after V. I. Vernadsky. Its activities include participation in holding of scientific conferences, international cooperation, organisation of book exchange and exchange of bibliography information, automation of library and information processes, contacting executive power in order to solve important problems of library business, etc.
The library business in Ukraine is in the process of qualitative transformations. Modern trends and distinctive features of the society’s development and library and information activities in the world cause this. They, for instance, include globalisation leading to the creation of international library and information structures, coordination and cooperation in organisation and managing of library and information activities at national and international levels. The development of civil society depends on the quality of work of libraries as institutions providing free and equal information access to all individuals. Specialists also mention convergence in this row. It does erase borders to some extent between various types of libraries and between professional requirements to employees of library and information and publishing spheres. However, these world trends in Ukraine are being supplemented by peculiarities specific to post-totalitarian society. These are complexities of socio-economic and political tr
ansition period and the tasks of constructing an independent nation-state.
Taking into account and understanding peculiar features of the development of library and information sphere in Ukraine at the present stage is an important prerequisite of the development of international library cooperation.