The Prague Summer Seminar
If you are interested in the 2017 seminar, please email Kaitlyn at email@example.com to be added to our interest list. The seminar is usually held during the last 2 weeks of May.
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 surrounding Czech countryside. Highlights include:
- An introductory walking tour of Old Town, Charles Bridge and Wenceslas Square, and the Jewish Quarter
- A boat cruise on the Vltava River
- Visits to the Klementinum (National Library), Parliamentary Library, Libri Prohibiti, Municipal Library of Prague, Nostic Palace and its library, Strahov Monastery and its libraries, and several regional libraries
- Day trip to the town of Kroměříž; private tour of the Archiepiscopal Chateau Library (including hands-on access to the collection!), castle, and gardens (a UNESCO World Heritage site)
- Day trip to Cesky Krumlov, a historic village built in the 13th century and a UNESCO World Heritage site
- Day trip to Prachov Rocks
- Lectures from Charles University faculty and the National Library of Technology
- Closing ceremony and celebration
- and more!
All tours and visits are guided and offer the opportunity to access collections not available to the public. This is truly a unique, behind-the-scenes, hands-on experience. Particpants generally have evenings free (and some afternoons) to explore on their own. Activities are not scheduled during the weekend, and participants often travel further afield in the Czech Republic or to 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. Participants will be accompanied by SILS and Charles faculty and staff during seminar activities. View more photos here.
2016 participants will be accompanied by SILS Professor, Dr. Barbara Wildemuth. She regularly teaches courses in human information interaction, information ethics, and research methods at SILS. She has traveled abroad through a Fulbright Senior Specialists Grant (2007, to Prague) and to present her work at international conferences in Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, England, Finland and Italy. In the past, she has led five of SILS’ international seminars.
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. Charles will take care of lodging arrangements. Students do not need to make separate reservations unless they wish to stay in Prague before or after the seminar. Hotel amenities include:
- All-you-can-eat breakfast buffet each morning
- Airport pickup and drop off (for an additional fee)
- Mini fridge and electric tea kettle in each room (a kitchenette may be accommodated upon request, if available)
- 24-hour front desk
- Luggage storage
- Use of lounge/common space off the lobby
The seminar is available for 3 hours of graduate credit from UNC SILS. Participants are required to attend all class sessions and complete a research paper after the seminar ends.Your paper topic should be 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), if your institution requires further information about the course. A sample course site is here.
Cost and registration
Register HERE. Early registration is highly encouraged! Our 2016 seminar filled to capacity before the deadline. Airfare to and from the seminar is not included.
The registration fee for participants covers:
- Instruction and lectures
- ALL guided tours
- Most meals (breakfast every morning, lunch most days, and dinner on occasion)
- Refreshments, tea, and coffee on lecture days
- ALL in-country transportation for program activities, including private coach bus and high-speed train (airport pickup and drop off not included)
The cost for the 2016 seminar (no increase from 2015):
- Shared accommodation (roommate): $4,050
- Single accommodation (no roommate): $4,500
- Participant plus guest: $6,800 (A guest is defined as someone who accompanies you on the program but does not participate in any of the instructional sessions and many tours. If there is space for the guest on cultural tours, he/she is more than welcome to attend.)
If you decide to take the seminar for credit, an additional $300 (approx.) will be billed to you through the UNC Cashier.
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 (email@example.com).
A monetary penalty will be charged to those cancelling their registrations. Cancelation 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.