The Profession, Education, and Training of Librarians
Future development of the profession will be determined by the education and qualification of staff. All kinds of professional education in librarianship is available in the Czech Republic - special secondary school, college, bachelor, master, and graduate studies. The tradition of education in what is the Czech Republic today started in 1927, when librarianship courses were opened at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University, graduates of which were the first academically educated generation of librarians. Today, there are individual study programmes at six schools, three of which are universities.
The Faculty of Philosophy and Arts, Charles University, Prague
Institute of Information Studies and Librarianship
This is a representative institute of information and library science education in the Czech Republic, continuing a long tradition. At present, the institute offers both full-time and external studies. The content of the librarianship and the professional information studies programmes is very extensive both at the masters and doctorate levels. The Information Studies and Librarianship programme specializes in information, librarianship, and library science.
In addition to the traditional forms of education, the institute also offers a two-year programme of life-long learning for professionals already working in the field. The institute co-operates with several foreign institutions and schools, such as the OCLC, the Dialog Corporation, VINITI in Russia, and universities at Chapel Hill and Saarbrücken. Employees of the Institute take part in the activities of international organizations, especially the IFLA.
The Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, Brno
Department of Czech Literature and Library Studies; Library Studies Section
The Masaryk University in Brno is the second largest university in the Czech Republic. The Faculty of Arts provides professional and pedagogical training in many study areas. The external studies programme in librarianship started in the 1991-1992 academic year, full-time studies in 1999. Librarianship education under the Information Studies and Librarianship programme offers all types of courses, i.e. three-year bachelors, five-year masters, and a subsequent two-year post-graduate masters, both in full-time and external forms. Students can broaden and complete their education through study visits at foreign universities under the EU international educational programmes or international, government, university, and faculty contract scholarships.
The Institute co-operates with the School of Information of Michigan (USA) and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois (USA).
The Faculty of Arts and Natural Science, Silesia University, Opava
Institute of Czech Studies and Library Science; Department of Librarianship
Institute of Informatics; Department of Information Science
Silesia University was established in 1989. The beginnings of library education were closely connected with the study of Czech literature, focused in part on librarianship and book culture. An independent study programme was started in the 1993/1994 academic year with the objective of educating graduate students for careers in public libraries.
The three-year bachelors programme can be taken as a full-time or external study. It focuses on skills necessary for completing, processing, and organizing library collections, and on theoretical and practical knowledge for providing library and information services. The study programme aims at preparing qualified and competent professionals for work in all the types of public libraries.
In keeping with the tradition of the bachelors library studies programme, a two-year masters couse in Information and Library Studies is starting at the Institute of Informatics in the 2005/2006 academic year, both in full-time and external forms.
Higher Professional School of Information Services, Prague
Teaching at the Information Services College began on an experimental basis in 1992. Since 2001, the graduates of the college have been able to obtain Bachelors of Business Studies degrees in co-operation with the Institute of Technology Sligo in Ireland. Studies can be divided into bachelors and non-bachelors study programmes.
The first group includes the Applied Informatics bachelors programme, studying Business Information Systems. It prepares specialists for a wide range of functions in business information systems and information institutions of the information market. The second group includes the Information Management programme, specializing in Library Services (in both full-time and external study forms), or in Museum and Gallery Services.
The school was the first in the Czech Republic to have been awarded the EVOS certificate, granted by an independent commission on the basis of an evaluation of the high quality of school's activities.
High School and College for Vocational Studies in Information and Library Services, Brno
Established in 1952, the school has evolved from an adult education school to library school, finally setting up a study programme aimed at information processing, archive science, and librarianship. Its secondary school graduates can work in the cultural sphere of state government, cultural institutions, information centres, museums, galleries, archives, centres of extracurricular education, and in all types of libraries, as well as in the private sector.
In 1996, the High School of Vocational Studies in Information and Library Services expanded to include a college, offering a three-year full-time post-secondary study of Information Systems. Its aim is to prepare versatile professionals for the culture and information industry, particularly in the field of gathering, processing, and storing documents, information and collections, as well as information service presentation and promotion. Students are able to participate in language courses in England and Germany, and the college students can take part in work study programs abroad.
Business Academy and Secondary Vocational School and Higher Vocational School in Valašské Meziříčí
A school specializing in economics was established in 1949 after the consolidation of three schools of similar character in the region. At present, this school offers a four-year secondary education in business, a college special studies programme, and full-time bachelors studies. The college programme of Economic, Scientific and Technical Information Processing studies prepares students for work in informatics with versatile skills for processing economic, social, and statistical data in the business and supra-corporate sectors. The three-year programme is intended for secondary school graduates.
The System Engineering and Informatics bachelors study programme comprises studies in Euro-administration, Applied Informatics, Company Economics, and Information and Knowledge Management. Information and Knowledge Management focuses on analysis, planning, and management of company information systems, management systems, and on acquiring quantitative managerial abilities. Equipped with a basic knowledge of national legislation and EU directives, the graduates are groomed for work in information, administrative, and management bodies of both the business sector and public administration.
The system of schooling librarians is complemented with extracurricular education organized through library associations or large libraries. Under the Public Library and Information Services programme, the Ministry of Culture provides subsidies for the training of librarians in information technologies. In 2000 and 2001, training centres were, as a result, created at regional libraries, the National Library, and in the State Technical Library to serve in educating librarians in ICT, various forms of re-qualification, and life-long learning. For an overview of conferences, seminars, and educational events held at libraries, see http://www.stk.cz/Akce.
The development of information society is creating new space for co-operation among EU and the central and eastern European countries. For the associated countries, opportunities have arisen for becoming involved in various programmes which have had an immediate impact on improving the quality of life-long learning. Another significant benefit to librarianship education is the possibility for librarians to obtain grants from foundations. These include librarianship work and study visits at foreign universities, where new insights can be gained into selected subjects, and at foreign libraries, where librarians can substantially extend their knowledge of their field.