The Prague Summer Seminar
Information for the 2016 seminar will be published during the fall 2015 semester. To be added to the interest list in the meantime, please e-mail Kaitlyn Murphy, International Programs Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be e-mailed once registration opens. For reference, the 2015 seminar was offered May 17 - May 30, 2015, and the 2016 seminar will be held around the same time.
Since 2002, SILS and Prague's Charles University have offered library students and professionals a chance to journey to the heart of the Czech Republic. Participants in this program will enjoy lectures and tours related to librarianship in a country that deals with a history of monarchy, empire, Communism, and the meeting of east and west. Participants experience firsthand how the democratization of the Czech Republic, formerly a communist state, has affected the accessibility of information, in both print and electronic forms. Students enrolled in a library science program can take the seminar for three (3) hours of graduate credit (more information below).
Tour historic libraries, castles, and museums in Prague and the surrouding Czech countryside. A series of presentations is supplemented by a tour of Old Town, Charles Bridge and Wenceslas Square; a bus tour of historic Prague, including Mala Strana, Nove Mesto, Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral and the Jewish Quarter; visits to the Klementinum (National Library), the town of Kromeriz to see a castle library, the Parliament Library, and a tour of Strahov Monastery and its libraries. There is also ample free time to allow participants to explore on their own or to travel further afield in the Czech Republic or other nearby countries. Although the schedule for the seminar changes every year, please see this sample schedule for an idea of the activities participants can enjoy. Particpants will have time for some personal travel, and will be accompanied by SILS faculty and staff during seminar activities. View more photos here.
Participants stay in the Pinelli Hotel, Residence Bologna located in the heart of Old Town and only steps from the famous Charles Bridge. The hotel is located very close to a number of restaurants and stores. SILS will take care of lodging arrangements. Students do not need to make separate reservations unless they want to stay in Prague before or after the seminar.
The seminar is available for 3 hours of graduate credit from SILS. Participants are required to attend all class sessions and complete a research paper after the seminar ends about a topic discussed during the seminar and developed in conjunction with the SILS faculty advisor who accompanies participants on the program. Please indicate your wish to enroll for credit on your registration form. If you decide to take the seminar for credit, the UNC at Chapel Hill Cashier's Office will bill you approximately $300 additional. Contact the SILS program coordinator, Kaitlyn Murphy (email@example.com), if your institution requires further information about the course.
A sample course site is here.
Cost and registration
Registration for the 2016 seminar is not yet open.
The registration fee for participants covers housing, instruction and a few meals. Most meals and airfare to and from the seminar are not included. Early registration is encouraged.
The cost for the 2016 seminar has not yet been determined. For reference, the cost for 2015 was as follows:
- Shared accommodation (roommate): $4,050
- Single accommodation (no roommate): $4,500
- Participant plus guest: $6,800
If you decide to take the seminar for credit, an additional $300 (approx.) will be billed to you through the UNC Cashier.
A guest is defined as someone who accompanies you on the program (usually a spouse) but does not participate in any of the instructional sessions and many tours.
The acceptable form of payment is credit card (Visa or MasterCard only).
We recommend waiting to purchase airfare until registration has been finalized (after March 15) in order to ensure that minimum attendance has been reached. If you need to purchase your plane ticket prior to March 15, or if you have additional questions, please contact Kaitlyn Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A monetary penalty will be charged to those cancelling their registrations. Cancellation requests received on or before January 31: 10% penalty. Requests received between February 1 and February 15: 30% penalty. Requests received between February 16 and February 28: 60% penalty. Requests received after March 15: no refund.
This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for exposure to a variety of libraries and lectures by experts in the Czech Republic.
The people from Charles University were amazing and always willing to help. Their connections helped us visit so many amazing places and they were very knowledgeable about all the places we went.
We received an unbelievable level of attention from the faculty at Charles University. Everything was extremely well organized and we felt like VIP's everywhere we went.
Without exception, my experience in Prague was an excellent one. The professors I worked with made my educational pursuits challenging, interesting and most enjoyable. The city of Prague provided me with more extracurricular activities than I could have imagined. But the most valuable and rewarding experience was simply removing myself from familiar and comfortable surroundings and going to a different place to live and study.
The seminar provided wonderful insight into how some of the subjects in my SILS classes are being applied internationally. I came to understand empirically some of the challenges working with medieval records in terms of preservation, storage and digitization. Also, I gained an awareness of the types of work opportunities that are available in European libraries.
The Prague summer seminar was invaluable to me in regards to meeting other students and professionals, learning about international libraries, and experiencing the magic of Prague. I am attending an online MLIS program so meeting others with the same interests is always exciting for me. My time in Prague, documented with a research paper and blog posts, will be included in my eportfolio. On a personal level, I was greatly influenced by the trip and the wonderful people I met.
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