24 October 2015

News from the Area of Interest Libraries, Research Services and Archives of ECPRD

By Ida KELEMEN Ph.D., ECPRD Correspondent of Hungarian National Assembly

The annual seminar of ECPRD (European Centre of Parliamentary Research and Documentation) Area of Interest Libraries, Research Services and Archives was held on 24-25 September in Budapest, hosted by the Hungarian National Assembly.  The meeting was attended by 67 participants from 32 countries representing 38 parliaments (chambers) and ECPRD.

The seminar titled "Libraries and Research Services Serving Openness and Transparency of Parliaments” was inaugurated by the Hon. Márta MÁTRAI, Principal of the National Assembly (appointed Deputy of the Speaker) and Ms. Siiri SILLAJÖE, ECPRD Coordinator Area of Interest Libraries, Research Services and Archives. This was followed by a keynote speech on the transparency and openness of parliaments and a presentation of the survey results on national practices concerning the topics of the seminar (answered by ECPRD member institutions in advance).

The seminar was divided into three panels, covering the following main topics:

  1. Public availability of research papers (publication, editorial policy and control system);
  2. Public library services (digitization, indexing and publication of parliamentary documents; information on the Parliament and parliamentary documents for public library users and general public);
  3. Participation of libraries and research services in parliamentary programmes for general public and youth (partner libraries programmes, special databases, Open Days and educational programmes).

The 15 presentations made during the three panels were followed by intense discussions. The main discussions were on the principal change in the interpretation of the concept of research papers’ transparency (based on the judgment of the Federal Administrative Court in Germany obliging the Bundestag‘s Research Services to provide the public unrestricted access to their analyses and studies) and the (im)possibility of promoting parliamentarism.

During the seminar the Guidelines for Parliamentary Research Services, a joint publication between IFLA and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), authored by the IFLA Section on Library and Research Services for Parliaments, was introduced and distributed among the participants.

At the end of the seminar, participants were invited to the 2016 pre-conference of the IFLA Section on Library and Research Services for Parliaments in Washington, D.C., hosted by the United States Library of Congress. 

Delegates at the 2015 seminar of the ECPRD Area of Interest Libraries, Research Services and Archives

Library and Research Services for Parliaments

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