EDUCATION FOR INFORMATION LITERACY IN CZECH TECHNICAL UNIVERSITIES This article is by Vladimir T. Borovansky of Arizona State University.
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Czech technical universities have emerged from the more than forty years of communist domination only a little less effected than other institutions of higher learning. Since they were considered more important for the defense industry than the universities with the humanities and social sciences disciplines, they received better funding. Nevertheless, their libraries and information services remained underfunded and understaffed by western standards. And yet the information support of research and teaching is critical in today's global competition. The situation is only a little better today, mostly thanks to many progressive and hard working library professionals. In addition to the acquisition of needed information sources in both, the traditional as well as the electronic format, they are faced with the education of their users in exploiting these resources and the critical use of the Internet information.
During his sabbatical in the spring semester 2000, the author worked at the Czech Technical University Prague, one of the seven technical universities in the Czech Republic. CTU is one of the oldest technical universities in the world founded in 1717 as the Estates Engineering School. It has passed through several developmental phases until it became the Czech Technical University. In addition to the CTU, the author visited several other major Czech institutions of technical learning, namely the Brno Institute of Technology, the Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague and the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and Technical University Ostrava.
The main topic of the sabbatical was to assist in the education of engineers in using information resources. The author has had experience from more than thirty years of serving and educating the science and engineering clientele at Arizona Sate University including one year in Saudi Arabia.