The University of Maryland’s iSchool is pleased to announce “Libraries and Cultural Heritage Institutions of St. Petersburg, Russia,” May 25-June 8, 2012.  The two-week course will explore unique and innovative libraries and information services in modern Russia in their historical and cultural context. The course will be offered during the festive and magical White Nights season, when the sun hardly sets and it never gets quite dark.


Currently celebrating its 300-year anniversary, the magnificent city of St. Petersburg is today Russia’s cultural capital. Shaped by imperial, Russian and Soviet influences, its rich heritage offerings are beautifully preserved. Students will take private tours and attend lectures at major institutions, including Peterhof,  the Hermitage, Pushkin (Czar’s Village), Pushinskiii Dom (one of the most important literary archives of Russia), the Library of the Academy of Sciences of Russia, the National Library of Russia, Mayakovskii Public Library, and other sites of cultural and national importance.  American students will meet with Russian library school students from St. Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts to discuss technical, socio-cultural, and legal/regulatory information access issues in the United States and Russia, highlighting the similarities and differences.


Russia is a major player on the world stage—politically, economically, and culturally.  It is a country of contrasts. Through this course, students will see firsthand how Russia, a formerly communist state, is opening up and transforming access to information.  The main learning goal is appreciation of major Russian libraries and cultural heritage institutions, from both an historical and modern day perspective.  The course will help prepare students for careers as information specialists working in a variety of libraries and information centers serving international patrons, working in international organizations, or working in other countries.


The teaching team will be lead by Dr. Trudi Bellardo Hahn, Professor of the Practice at the iSchool, accompanied by Yelena Luckert and Lily Griner, subject specialists at the University of Maryland Libraries and fluent in Russian.


DATES: May 25 to June 8, 2012.  Students will meet as a group at the University of Maryland on May 25 and 26 and leave for Russia on May 27.


COSTS (TENTATIVE):  The student fee will be about $3,300 (it will be finalized when the registration opens in mid-December), which includes accommodations, all breakfasts and 5 dinners, some transportation within and around St. Petersburg, registration fees for all course-related activities, and insurance.  It does not include airfare to and from the United States nor the cost of obtaining a visa. 


The 3-credit course is open to students at the iSchool at Maryland as well as students from similar master’s programs in the U.S.  Practicing librarians who are not taking the course for credit may also apply and will be admitted on a space available basis. Registration will be open, with more specific information about costs and itinerary by mid-December 2011.  Registration will close March 15, 2012, or as soon as the course is filled.


Questions?  Please contact Trudi Bellardo Hahn, [log in to unmask], 301-405-2047.