Dreams to ignite the Spirit

The Strategic Plan of EKE, the Hungarian Association Libraries


  • Ágnes Bálint The Theological and College Library of the Transtibiscan Reformed Church District, Debrecen
  • Kornélia Mészáros Library of the Lutheran Theological University, Budapest, Hungary


ecclesiastical libraries, EKE, Hungary, theological librarianship


Hungary may be counted among the European countries where ecclesiastical presence was long and well established through social, educational, medical, and liturgical institutions. The two world wars and their aftermath left an unfortunate mark on this heritage. Considerable institutions and collections fell outside of the political borders of the defeated country, others fell prey to hostile internal political forces. The fifty years of communist regime which aimed a total eradication of faith-based institutions and civilians serve as an explanation to the state of the existing ecclesiastical heritage, libraries included. However, thirty years have passed since the change of that regime, and in another twenty we will reach exactly the same amount of time. Will libraries bridge the time gap and be as contemporary as they used to be before WW2? What role has the Hungarian Association played in achieving this global restorative aim? Contemporaneity will mainly be understood in terms of our mastering the ecclesiastical heritage, our online availability, our online services. We vision that 50% of our staff will belong to the born-digital generations, with a higher percentage among our patrons. Our strategic working group has formulated 8 strategic goals to achieve this aim of contemporaneity. 1. to regain ownership over confiscated library collections as completely as possible in all cases of restitutions, and achieve a 98% completeness of electronic cataloguing of existing collections; 2. to establish digitalization centres, work out harmonized digitalization plans according to the different denominations represented in the Hungarian Association; 3. to establish repositories in member libraries that are able to preserve content, and allow metadata harvesting into UNITAS, the existing union catalogue of our association; 4. to bridge the gap between digitalization and digital preservation of digitally born items, mainly journal articles, but possibly book editions as well; 5. to elaborate the principles and practice of acquisition harmonization among libraries; 6. to create, maintain and cherish a work ethic based on knowledge sharing and management through transforming existing theoretical, practical and tacit knowledge into library and best practice courses (while maintaining the present practice of „neighbouring” that is a form of exchange of experience based on in person visiting of ecclesiastical and state libraries); 7. to advocate for a better social appreciation of our profession and activities; 8. to provide library spaces and an excellent IT background for a distinguished online and offline user experience.




How to Cite

Bálint, Ágnes, & Mészáros, K. (2023). Dreams to ignite the Spirit: The Strategic Plan of EKE, the Hungarian Association Libraries. BETH Bulletin: European Theological Librarianship, 1(1), 48–57. Retrieved from https://bethbulletin.eu/ojs/index.php/bethyb/article/view/1033