Professional publications play a very important role in the continuous education of librarians and help them to keep up to date. Turkish Librarianship aims to fulfill this function as a profes sional research journal. This paper covers the past and present of Turkish Librarianship and plans for its future development, following a brief review of librarianship journals published in Turkey.
Librarianship in Turkey is quite young, and paradoxically, has a long established history at the same time. We know that there were libraries during the Ottoman Empire, before the Turkish Republic wa s established. Today, some Ottoman library buildings are still in use.
However, the contemporary concept of librarianship developed after the 1940s when training activities started in the form of courses. Thereafter, offering service became a priority versus preserving the materials. The establishment of the Turkish Librarians' Association in 1949 and the start of professional education at university level in 1952 are two milestones in Turkish librarianship.
Our country has a young cadre of librarians. They are educated in the departments of librarianship in three universities. Publications play an important role in the continuous professional developmen t and learning process of non-professionals working in libraries.
In this study, amongst professional publications, only journals will be reviewed with emphasis on Türk Kütüphanecili_i/Turkish Librarianship (former Türk Kütüphaneciler Derne_i Bülteni/The Bulletin of Turkish Librarians' Association).
Türk Kütüphanecili_i, published since 1952 is the first journal one would think of in the country. There has been no break in its publication since it started. Within the same time span, a nu mber of journals were also published. Some of these belonged to branches of the Turkish Librarians' Association (TLA). A review of these publications shows that none of them survived for long.
2. Journals Published in the Field of Librarianship
Chronologically, the first journal to be mentioned is Türk Kütüphaneciler Derne_i Ayl_k Haberler Bülteni/Monthly News Bulletin of the Turkish Librarians' Association. Only 104 issues of this news bulletin could be published from 1953 to 1961.
Another news bulletin began to be published by the National Library in 1957 with the title of The National Library News. This bulletin was continued until 1972 in 143 issues with cessations. The bulletin included news about the National Library only.
In the 1961-62 academic year, The Institute of Librarianship (now Ankara University Department of Librarianship) published Kütüphanecili_in Sesi/The Voice of Librarianship. The 13 issues publi shed included research work carried out at the Institute.
Ankara Branch of TLA published Kütüphanecilik/Librarianship in 1972-1973. This journal aimed to announce activities of the branch and to act as a means of communication amongst members.
Kütüphane Dünyas_/Library World, published by the Izmir Branch between 1975-1979 in 12 issues intended to discuss problems concerning libraries and librarianship and seek solutions to these pr oblems.
Istanbul University Department of Librarianship started Kütüphanecilik Dergisi/Journal of Librarianship in 1987. Three issues have been published to date. The aim of this journal is to publis h the results of the research carried out at the department for those interested.
Currently, some branches of TLA are publishing some bulletins. Dü_ünceler/Thoughts is Ankara Branch's bimonthly. The other journals Olu_um, Güney'de Kültür, Vahit Pa_a'n_n Sesi and Nam_k K emal'in Sesi are published by Edirne, Antakya, Kütahya and Tekirda_ branches.
Yeni Yay_nlar/New Publications, a bibliographic journal published between 1956-1979, is worth mentioning, because The University Librarianship Departments Graduates' Association (1970-1983) ow ned the journal between 1972-1979 and during this period it was used as the organ of the Association at the same time and articles expressing the views of the Association on professional issues took place in this journal. The other book review journals and bibliographic journals have not been covered in this paper.
Following this brief review I would like to concentrate on Türk Kütüphanecili_i/Turkish Librarianship.
3. Türk Kütüphanecili_i/Turkish Librarianship
The Turkish Librarians'Association, which was established in 1949, aims to maintain solidarity amongst library workers and librarians, and to contribute to the recognition of librarianship as a profe ssion in the country and its development. It is very important to publish a journal as a means of achieving these aims. In 1952, three years after its establishment, TLA started the Türk Kütüphane ciler Derne_i Bülteni (TKDB)/Bulletin of the Turkish Librarians' Association (BTLA). In the first issue its mission was stated thus: "The development of scientific work depends upon well estab lished libraries and librarians who believe in this fact. Pioneers of this publication set out bearing in mind this fact and to serve this purpose." BTLA published every three months has f ollowed this principle and has become one of the major activities of TLA. There have been periods when TLA solely depended on BTLA as a source of finance.
BTLA contains contributions of professional librarians and research work. A regulation was issued for BTLA in line with the requirements of TLA's Status. The regulation defined how the Publica tions Committee was to be formed, criteria for acceptance of submitted papers and how much royalty was to be paid. However, because of some bureaucratic difficulties, no royalties have ever been paid .
The title of the publication was changed to Türk Kütüphanecili_i (TK)/Turkish Librarianship (TL) in 1987.
I already stated that the purpose of the journal is to contribute to the continuous development of professionals and inform them about new developments in the profession. Within this context, the emp hasis of the subject coverage has shown variations from period to period.
When looking at the subjects covered in the journal in different periods it is possible to trace developments in the profession from the variations in emphasis.
In the 1950s, most articles dealt with public and children's libraries, mobile libraries, legal aspects such as codes and regulations, and the Ottoman period libraries, ie. history of the libraries.
In the 60s, in addition to these topics, library weeks, documentation, education of librarians, reading habits and university libraries were also under discussion.
In the 70s, archives, school libraries, again university libraries, library services and procedures, and information services were on the agenda. The journal also included book reviews.
In the 80s, the same topics as the 70s continued to be investigated, and additionally, education in librarianship, audio-visual materials, automation of libraries and problems concerning libraries.
In the 90s, information networks, IFLA, systems approach to the management of libraries, information society became the subjects of the articles in addition to other topics.
Now, let's have a look at how this journal, which covers research work on a large variety of subjects by means of reports of experiences and observations, is produced.
3.2. Production of Turkish Librarianship
Publishing is a difficult business. The difficulty is twofold when a journal is published regularly within set periods. The publication and marketing of a research journal which aims to contribute to the professional development of colleagues requires very labour intensive work.
Until recent years TL used to be typeset and printed outside the Association. In 1988 desk-top publishing enabled TLA to produce the journal itself. Only the printing is done by the printing house of the National Library. Thus the cost of the journal went down dramatically and it was possible to offer the journal to our colleagues at a reasonable price.
Rules have been laid down to control the quality and to standardize the format of the articles. These rules are announced from time to time. Those who submit articles for publication are to follow t hese rules which were drawn up after the rules applied by several national and international scientific journals had been studied. Articles submitted are reviewed by the Publications Committee member s and suitable ones are published.
Alongside research articles, transactions of meetings such as panels and discussions, quotations from the press, and readers' views on the problems of the profession and suggested solutions to these problems are published. We believe that such a variety makes the journal more colourful.
Our aim in doing this is to make the journal attractive to a wider community and more useful. The journal reaches a large number of readers in the country. This is through subscriptions from librarie s, public libraries in particular. Individual professionals and some students also subscribe to the journal.
Besides this national market, the journal reaches the international market through a small number of subscribers from abroad and through the exchange programme of the National Library. We are trying to increase international sales.
To this end we started to include abstracts in English in 1993. The international dimension is important especially in view of the wide use of Turkish worlwide and Turkey's relations with the Turkic republics.
Efforts to open up to the international market started in 1993, the first step was to have Turkish Librarianship abstracted in LISA (Library and Information Science Abstracts).
3.3. Plans for the Future
Efforts to improve the quality of the journal are continuous. Within this context, the rules for publication were reviewed this year. In the past the Publications Committee, of which members are inte rested Executive Board members, used to review the articles submitted. From this year onward an Editorial Board from an academic milieu will be set up. Thus the articles submitted will be evaluated b y specialists outside the Publications Committee. This will ensure the impartiality and quality of the articles published.
We are trying to increase the number of subscribers to the journal. At present, professionals and LIS students are reading the journal. With a wider reader community, the journal will become more eff ective and will contribute to the greater recognition of the profession.
TLA was connected to Internet in December 1994. This is a new opportunity. It is planned to make the contents lists of the journal and the news available on Internet.
3.4. Opinions of the readers on Turkish Librarianship
I would like to mention briefly readers' opinions of Turkish Librarianship, which develops itself continuously with the aims of reaching a larger readership, publishing high quality research w ork, and covering current issues, thus contributing to the continuous professional development of colleagues.
The opinions of readers are taken from the results of a questionnaire survey on TLA, conducted by Selma Aslan, the Librarian of the British Council Library, Ankara and former President of the TLA. Ac cording to this survey, 58.3% of the respondents read TL regularly, 6% read sometimes and 35.7% do not read it. This result shows that our decision to spend effort to increase the readership w as a valid one.
Concerning the physical quality of the journal, 32% think that the quality is good, 47% find the quality sufficient and 22% insufficient. Concerning the quality and level of contents, 24% think that the content is good, 57% think that it is sufficient and 19% say insufficient. The rates on usefulness of the information received are 22% good, 37% sufficient and 41% insufficient. The response to t he question on the currentness of the information contained, shows that 23% think the information is current, 47% say sufficiently current, and 30% insufficient.
One of the striking questions is whether the readers would like to have access to the contents list and the news through Internet. The positive response rate is 85%.
The evaluation of readers' opinions on the journal shows that TL is in the right direction with its decision to review its policies and principles and renovate the journal. However, this is n ot good enough. In line with its readers' views the journal will continue to try to offer more useful and satisfactory articles dealing with current issues. The Publications Committee members are wo rking dedicatedly on a voluntary basis to achieve more and more for this purpose.
(Translated by Selma Aslan)
[DATA MAY BE CORRUPTED DUE TO FORMATTING - PLEASE CONTACT AUTHOR - ed.]
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15. Selma Aslan. "Sevgili okuyucular}m}za" TK. 6,3(1992) 188.