Reflections over 100 years

2016. September 23. - 12:23 The University and National Library celebrated its centennial with a conference, a book presentation, an exhibition presenting the history of the library, and a huge, 100-slice birthday cake.

- This was no ordinary 100 years, since the original four room collection has become a library empire; instead of the initial 10 thousand volumes there are now 6 million available free of charge to visitors – noted András Jávor, citing the most spectacular achievement in the decades since the library’s inception. In his opening speech the vice-rector for educational affairs emphasized that the harmonious collaboration between the university and the library proves that a great educational institution cannot exist without a high-quality library.

- Debrecen founded the Reformed College in a difficult historical era, and just over 100 years ago another extraordinary period saw the creation of the university; the establishment of the library is a guarantee of the continuation over the next centuries of the quality education that can strengthen the institution in its leading role in the region - said Zoltán Maruzsa, Chairman of the Education Office.

During the ceremony, Elek Bartha, Vice-Rector for Educational Affairs, recalled library memories from the perspective of readers, students and researchers, honestly confessing that he also took advantage of the "Forgiveness Week", and brought some volumes back without paying the fine. As he put it: the library’s operations in the fields of education and research are vital for the university, so it is essential to ensure that in the future the institution can train future generations of students at a higher and higher level.

At the medal ceremony, Márta Virágos, former Director General of the DEENK, received the István Csűry memorial medal; the University and National Memorial Medal was awarded to László Imre, academician, and former rector of the University, and to János Szöllősi, professor and biophysicist. The University and National Library centenary commemorative plaque was presented to several staff members in recognition of many years of outstanding professional and managerial work at the institution: Antal Zoltánné, Barta Sándorné, Berényi Ernőné, Gibárti Csabáné, Gomba Szabolcsné, Korompay Gáborné, Levay Botondné, Pongor Gyuláné and Varró Tiborné.

- The collection, the partnership with the city, the region and the country, as well as the expanding international relations are all foundations which we have inherited, but on which we can build the future and through which we can offer outstanding service to the students, teachers and researchers who come to us in the future - said Gyöngyi Karácsonyi. Among the tasks in the near and distant future, the Director General highlighted extending the limits of the collection, innovation, increasing the efficiency of service, stronger support for research, and the importance of archiving and digitization. - In the future the library should be a place where everyone will find an inspiring environment for education, research and recreation. Our task is to define the concept of the new library – noted Gyöngyi Karácsonyi, when outlining their future plans.

- The life of the university life cannot ignore the library, with its fundamentally important goals of solving current problems and developing in the future. Strengthening the financial background for this is not just an institutional, but also a national responsibility – stressed the Chancellor, Zoltán Bács.

To close the festive closing program, entitled "Reflecting over 100 years", the publication illustrating the history of the library was presented in the Great Reading Room, where an exhibition was opened on the occasion of the centenary.

- The university library has always been open to build on the past to create in the future. The first hundred years has proved that this institution is prepared to follow the changes to meet the demands and challenges for up to another 100 years - said the vice-rector for academic affairs, László Csernoch, at the opening of the exhibition.

Press Office