I’ve just attended an Information Literacy seminar held at Charles University in Prague, (founded in 1348, so around 500 years older than LSE) although the meeting was at the more modern Faculty of Social Sciences. I was invited to give the keynote which opened the seminar and to speak about the support for research students we offer in LTI, working with colleagues in LSE Library. The IVIG seminar, which is an information literacy seminar, was organized by the Association of Libraries of Czech Universities, Institute of Information Studies and Librarianship of the Charles University in Prague, and SPRIG Civic Association. I have made my presentation available on Slideshare.

The programme was really interesting and it isn’t that often you get to meet over 60 Czech academic librarians. The group arranged for an interpreter to help me out, as the entire day was (unsurprisingly) in Czech. I had been invited following meeting Hana Landová, Lenka Bělohoubková and Ludmila Ticha last year at the ECIL conference in Istanbul. Their information literacy group has made great progress furthering good practice in the Czech Republic and the seminars they organize are very popular.

The focus of the seminar was supporting PhD students and early career researchers and there were presentations from a wide range of universities. Overall I found the issues they were discussing were very similar to those we experience in the UK, such as how to promote workshops to PhD students and also how to evaluate their effectiveness. The sessions being offered by Czech librarians were quite similar to those we run in LTI and LSE Library: literature searching, managing references, citation analysis, copyright issues. A couple of differences I noticed were several people talked about offering courses to PhD students on the publication process and on writing an academic (or scientific) paper. Courses on the writing process are run by LSE’s Teaching and Learning Centre, but combining this with issues of open access and identifying high impact journals in your field could be really interesting. Petra Dědičová from Brno, University of Technology was one speaker who had a particularly impressive programme of support for PhD students, with a complimentary Moodle course. However, I was also impressed with the use of BYOD (bring your own device) in workshops for PhD students described by Kristýna Paulová from the Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague. They reported no technical problems and this seemed like an excellent idea for a BYOD pilot with LSE students. You can read a longer post about the seminar on my own blog, but I’d like to thank the group for inviting me to Prague for a fascinating event to a beautiful city.