Uvodnik Editorial

The modern age and rapid technological development have presented the library profession with specific challenges in relation to which an adequate response has to be given. While closely observing the experiences of other countries, we are eagerly expecting a response from the Croatian library community, which is facing a number of strategic decisions important for the future of Croatian libraries and their many users.

The new issue of The Voice of NUL addresses some of these challenges, always trying to keep abreast of the novel and interesting developments in the world of library profession. Therefore our Feature section brings you the article RDA – a cataloguing standard for the digital world in which the author presents this new cataloguing standard and the possibilities for its adoption in Croatia, particularly in the light of the fact that the National and University Library in Zagreb is a member of the European RDA Interest Group.

Dijana Machala, Head of the Training Centre of Continuing Education for Librarians, interviewed Gillian Hallam, Associate Professor at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane. In our Guest of the issue section we bring you this interview, in which professor Hallam presents the conditions related to the use of electronic texts (e-books and e-journals) and the role of libraries in the system of e-learning in Australian higher education.

Wishing to constantly come up with new ways of presenting items and materials preserved in its valuable collections and at the same time trying to comply with IFLA’s recommendation according to which libraries should be where their users are, the National and University Library in Zagreb has recently launched its blog, a popular social media tool for publishing textual, visual and audio content. In the focus section brings you a timely article entitled Blog as a challenge and space for effective communication – from a phenomenon to a fact with a short review of the blogging phenomenon, examples of the blogs of the world’s leading libraries, and a brief ‘chronicle’ of the introduction of the NUL blog as a new service making part of the Library’s social software (Web 2.0).

The Collections section presents to you the Official Publications Collection of the National and University Library in Zagreb, which assembles the official publications of the Republic of Croatia, international organizations and foreign states, and represents the largest collection of this type in the country and the region. In November 2012, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme in Croatia (UNDP), the first Energy Efficiency Green Library (Zelena knjižnica energetske efikasnosti - ZeeK) in Croatia was opened as part of the Collection. Prompted by Croatia’s approaching accession to the community of European countries, the NUL Official Publications Collection is constantly updating its resources by adding new materials, at the same time serving as an example to other libraries in Croatia and beyond in building and developing similar collections.

Despite our ambition to keep in step with interesting tendencies on the world scene, we should not disregard Croatian cultural heritage, of which another tiny part is presented in this issue’s The NUL gems section. This time the section has been dedicated to Andrija Maurović, the father of Croatian comic strip, whose numerous comic strip drawings are preserved in the Print Collection of the National and University Library in Zagreb. The Great anniversaries section also brings our attention to the necessity of valuing Croatian positive practices by presenting the activities of the Croatian ISBN Agency and ISSN centre for Croatia in the article Twenty years of identifying books and serials in Croatia by Danijela Getliher.

We are always glad to offer our readers the reviews of various significant events in both Croatian and international library community and in this issue we bring you the highlights from the 78th General Conference and Assembly of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), which was held in Helsinki in August 2012, and the 38th Croatian Library Association General Conference and Assembly, which took place in Osijek in September 2012. Conclusions from the 38th Assembly strongly emphasize the need for achieving close integration within the library community in Croatia and the region in order to channel the experience and influence of its members into the development of an adequate legal framework significant for the future of the profession.

The new issue of The Voice of NUL, through its presentations highlighting both the value of heritage as well as challenges posed by technological progress, and through its dedicated attempt to bridge the gap between the two by linking them into one integrated whole, offers its readers insight into a complex synergy between the traditional and the modern, without which contemporary library profession would be unthinkable. The paradigm for this complex relationship was without a doubt presented by Networked: Libraries on Social Networks, a poster exposition that was held on 10 December 2012 at the National and University Library in Zagreb as part of the 12th Round Table on Free Access to Information and presented examples of best practice and experiences of Croatia’s libraries, library associations and groups on social networks.

Being dedicated to the accomplishment of the abovementioned goals, the National and University Library in Zagreb wishes you a successful 2013!

Dunja Seiter-Šverko, Director General of the National and University Library in Zagreb