Budapest's public library, the Metropolitan Ervin Szabo Library, has a very large music collection located in the Palffy Palace across the street from the main library. A lovely fenced garden with a statue of Bartok enhances the facility. The building is beautiful, but the music library faces the challenges of providing modern music library service in the historic structure.
The music collection focuses on classical music, jazz and folk music. Popular music, especially on compact disc, is located in the popular materials collections of the public library. The music collection contains a huge number of scores, as well as periodicals, music books, and audio and video recordings.
As with most libraries, the librarians are working hard to increase patronage. To this end, they offer concerts -- many in the music library itself, with a few in the main library. To make space for the performers and concertgoers, the librarians move book shelves and tables, and voila, a concert space is created. My first thought on seeing the garden was what a perfect place it would be for a guitarist to perform on a summer evening.
I had a wonderful visit at the music library and with the music librarians. In Budapest and in Lincoln we share many of the same library issues; we're all working hard to turn challenges into opportunities and to ensure that our music users will have access to the collections and information they and you need.