Young Librarian of the Year’ prize awarded to Széchenyi István University employee Renáta Farkas

The Association of Hungarian Librarians recently held this year’s roaming conference, at which the "Young Librarian of the Year" award was presented. The Kovács Máté Foundation’s special prize was awarded to Renáta Farkas, an employee of the University Library and Archives of Széchenyi István University.

Renáta Farkas has been working at Széchenyi István University since 2014. Having graduated as an IT librarian, she then completed her Master's degree in Business Information Management. In the University Library and Archives, initially she dealt with the processing of electronic study materials and books and the University Repository. She is currently coordinating the work of the Stocking and Processing Department, but is involved in educational and research support processes, library quality assurance, and event organization. In addition to her library work, she also manages the activities of the University Rankings Group (higher education ranking analysis). The title of the winning entry of the special award: New Ways in the Library: Where to go next as a librarian?


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In addition to Renáta Farkas' library work, she also manages the University Rankings group.

(Photo: Márton Horváth)

Asked how she sees the future of the librarian profession, Renáta Farkas said: “Most people choosing to be a librarian are committed to the profession. From the point of view of the future of the profession, if we talk about information specialists and information managers, the job title is more apt. As a result of technological development, we must be open to continuous change and development.” University libraries must also meet specific criteria, however. In this connection, she explained: “University libraries provide information and assistance to a more specialized group of user. This type of library should support researchers, educators and students via electronic and printed documents, databases, specialist information, information retrieval techniques, publication advice, as well as face-to-face consultations or online contact.”

Her daily work covers a wide range of tasks, as she deals with library quality assurance and e-dissertations, but also participates in research support processes. Renáta said that in every major project you will find a related sub-task. For example, in quality assurance, she was happy to take part in the preparation of self-assessment of the University Library and Archives. She emphasized that the biggest challenge is research support, as The University Library and Archives is currently trying to reform and revitalize the service and make it more efficient. Consolidating this, the service was named KutatóKapocs (“ResearcherLink”) in the active rethinking and elaboration of which she took an active part.

A key part of her work at Széchenyi István University is the management of the University Rankings group. On this topic, Renáta commented: “In addition to being successful on the Hungarian rankings, the focus of our institution is on gaining international recognition. In recent years, Széchenyi István University has achieved excellent results in global rankings. Hungarian and international evaluations of the University as well as the involvement of foreign students are extremely important for their prestige value and for being an essential image factor. The development of the institution is indicated by the fact that it now features on the listings of both global higher education rankings organizations, QS and Times Higher Education.

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Renáta Farkas has been an employee of Széchenyi István University since 2014. (Photo: Márton Horváth)

Renáta Farkas graduated as an IT librarian, which indicates both her love of books and her knowledge of the digital world. Asked if she sees real books as having a future in material reality, she explained: “I think it is conceivable that fewer books will be published in the future, but I believe more relevant content will continue to take on this form. The disappearance of printed documents has been predicted many times, for example with the advent of the Internet, but to this day books have obviously not disappeared, perhaps not by accident… ”

Csilla Tóth, Director of the University Library and Archives at Széchenyi István University, was also very pleased with the acknowledgement of her colleague: “We are very proud that this year Renata can claim as her own the special prize for the Young Librarian of the Year competition at national level. Such an award is recognition for the individual as well as motivating and important feedback to the team, the organization and the University. We share her joy, because as an innovative and consistently developing community, we continue to move forward, helping each other and working together, in the hope of many similar successes.”

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