Library studies as an autonomous subject of university studies appeared in Poland after WWII, first in Łodź (1945) and then in Warsaw (1951). The person who contributed most to the idea of educating librarians and other book professionals at the University of Wroclaw was Professor Antoni Knot, the director of the University Library, who developed research methodologies and organizational framework of a future academic centre
of library studies.
In 1956, within the Faculty of Philology, the School of Library Science for Workers (headed by Antoni Knot) and the Chair of Library Science (headed by Professor Karol Głombiowski) were established. The placement
of Wroclaw library studies within the Faculty of Philology clearly defined their nature: two branches of philology – linguistics and literary studies – were complemented by a third – study of cultural content recorded in writing, printed and digitized. The center specialized in theory of the book and book studies, the history of the book,
the history of libraries and librarianship, studies in the history of readership, in modern readership, and, in later periods, also bibliography, publishing and scientific information.
The syllabuses – programme content, types of courses, number of hours – changed over years. They usually followed the changes in library and information science, the needs of employers and the expectations of future graduates.
In 1980s came a significant syllabus novelty, unknown to previous generations of students – the specialization (e.g. in school libraries, research libraries, press in the information system, digital libraries, publishing, book art), which – while maintaining the didactic core common to the whole field – directed graduates more clearly towards their future jobs. In addition to MA (currently BA and MA) full-time and extramural studies, since 1970s the Institute has been offering post-graduate studies and doctoral studies (not on a continuous basis though).
Over three thousands students have completed their MA studies at the Institute to date. In 2001 and 2007
the Institute obtained accreditation from the University Accreditation Committee and, following an inspection in December 2006, accreditation with honours from the State Accreditation Committee (2007). The Institute’s staff are active on the local, national and international fora.