The Institute of Information Studies and Librarianship is an educational and research centre which focuses on information studies. Our research agenda covers the fields of information studies, library studies, book studies, and new media studies. Our research in information science covers the nature and systems of scientific information, bibliometrics, information literacy, and the user aspects of information systems (e.g. human-computer interaction). Topics underpinning our research in librarianship and book studies include digitalization, book preservation, cultural heritage administration, book culture and book theory. The study of new media has complemented the research agenda of the Institute with the perspective of information technology in social context, including information society as a current phenomenon.
Recent initiatives of our Institute include research in information behaviour of various user groups, e. g. undergraduate and postgraduate students, elderly people and immigrants. The basic research deals with different ways of information search, use of electronic information sources, and perception of information. Our research in this area is also focused on issues of information, digital and reading literacy. Research in book and manuscript studies is concerned especially with Czech typography during 15th and 16th century.
In the field of new media studies, we have been engaged in applied research and experimental development of educational simulations for high-school students. Our first simulation, called Europe 2045, attempts to familiarize players with political, economic and social issues in the united Europe and the present-day world. Our second simulation, entitled Czechoslovakia 38-89, was developed in cooperation with the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in Prague, and the Institute of Contemporary History, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, and launched in 2015. This simulation presents the key events of modern Czechoslovak history and its educational objective is to enable students to “experience” these events from the perspectives of different people. Czechoslovakia 38-89 was selected as one of the finalist in the Serious Games Showcase & Challenge 2014 and won the first award in the prestigious competition Games Learning Society Showcase 2015.
The Institute’s teachers and Ph.D. students are regular contributors to local and international reviewed periodicals on library and information science. Major publications by members of the Institute in the last several years include a large monograph on Czech typography between the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, which received an award in the competition of high-quality monographs at Charles University in Prague; a monograph on personal libraries of eminent Czech personalities, and a monograph on information retrieval strategies. Our academic staff are members of editorial boards of Czech periodicals such as Knihovna – Knihovnická revue (Library – Librarian revue), Knihovna plus (Library plus), ProInflow and the Slovak periodical ITLib. In 2015, the Institute established a book series entitled New Media Studies at Karolinum Press, the publishing house of the Charles University in Prague. The purpose of the series is to present important texts on the ever-changing subject of new media.
National and International Partner Institutions
Our Institute maintains partnerships with all academic institutions working in the field of library and information science in the Czech Republic and Slovakia (Brno, Opava, Bratislava and Žilina). We are proud to be a member of the Association of Library and Information Professionals of the Czech Republic, the Association of Libraries of Czech Universities, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), the European Association for Library & Information Education and Research (EUCLID), and international organization of information schools called iSchools. We are furthermore active in the running of the Czech Information Society. The Institute’s participation in European programmes has resulted in cooperation with partners in Denmark, Finland, Italy, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, and Sweden. Our undergraduates regularly participate in mobility programmes in these countries. In close cooperation with the School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, we are privileged to welcome visiting professionals during the Prague Summer Seminar every year since 2002.
Our Institute has been co-organising several traditional events in field of library and information science: seminars entitled IVIG: Information Education and Information Literacy in the Theory and Practice of Education Institutions (since 2003) and the annual conference known as IKI: Information, Knowledge and Innovation (since 2008 in cooperation with the Czech Information Society). The Department was also a co-organiser of the international annual symposium BOBCATSSS in 2007. Since 2012, members of the New Media Studies programme have been organising the New Media Inspiration conference, which focuses for example on social media, data analysis, and human digitisation. In 2014, students of our Department started the tradition of the Community Conference KOKON, where the successful projects (research; grants; BA, MA and Ph.D. theses) can be presented.
In cooperation with the School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, we have been organizing every year since 2002 the Prague Summer Seminar. The programme is designed for students and professionals in Library and Information Science, includes guided tours around Prague, excursions to interesting libraries as well as specialized lectures.
Prague Summer Seminar
In cooperation with the School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, we have been organizing every year since 2002 the Prague Summer Seminar. The programme is designed for students and professionals in Library and Information Science. It includes guided tours around Prague, excursions to interesting libraries as well as specialized lectures.
Student Society Librain
Students of different study programmes who are interested in the development of our Institute are organized in the student society called Librain. The main objective of this society is mutual discussion between students and the staff, a more intensive involvement of students in the Institute’s activities, and maintaining contacts and connections between students. The student society Librain also organizes the Community Conference KOKON.
Czechoslovakia 38-89 is a complex educational simulation for high-school students, developed at the Institute of Information Studies and Librarianship in cooperation with the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of the Charles University in Prague and the Institute of Contemporary History of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Its educational objective is to present key events from modern Czechoslovak history and to enable students to “experience” these events from the perspective of different people. The simulation aims to kindle a deeper understanding of the multifaceted political, social and cultural aspects of this period. The simulation won the first award in the prestigious competition Games Learning Society Showcase 2015.
Students of the New Media Studies programme have decided to go against the mainstream of beautiful, Instagram modified selfies and be much rawer. They have developed a multimedia installation that produces photographs composed of ASCII characters. And ASCII characters suit everyone!