„Valljuk meg…a falunak nem is igen van viszonya a könyvvel” Népkönyvtárügy a két világháború között
The threefold division of the area of culture could be seen as early as during the period of the nationwide spread of folk education in the first half of the 19th century. In addition to the areas of adult education and amateur arts, first proposals were made in the area of library issues, too. This counted as a crucial question not only in folk education but also in cultural affairs in the Reform Era, no wonder the first public and lending libraries were established to meet these newly evolved needs. Raising the reading culture of village population and organising village library stocks, however, remained out of focus. It is mostly due to high costs that there was no rele-vant change during the following hundred years even though there were benevolent ideologists and theorists who came up with suggestions from time to time to improve conditions. Between the two world wars the primary target group of folk education was – in contrast with the urban orientation of the Monarchy – the rural agrarian population. This population’s levels of culture, material resources as well as cultural demands were very low. Although they were made a special focus by politics in terms of folk and adult education, they did not have their own circles of interests due to a lack of organic bottom-up development. Without doubt, this can also be attributed to material poverty, which, in turn, led to intellectual poverty. It is self-evident, though, that the issue of reading among village population was made a central issue by political focus. This raised not only quantitative but also qualitative questions. The question was not only how many books and publications would get to the agrarian population with lower levels of culture and education, but also which of these they would read and how a qualitative change could be reached in this respect. In the first part of my lecture I will elaborate on the general frames of folk li-brary issue of the period. Then I will present a concrete rural example, namely that of Somogy County, in order to point out the concrete events hidden behind the ideology. In my work I have used literature and archival sources.