Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Berlin School of Library and Information Science

Mission Statement for Research and Teaching at the Berlin School of Library and Information Science (IBI)


The mission statement of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin is to promote research and teaching, independent scholarship for its own sake, and personal development. Likewise research and teaching at the Berlin School of Library and Information Science supports these principles.

Alexander and Wilhelm von Humboldt were inquiring persons engaged in discovering and understanding the world. Although they approached inquiry from different angles - Alexander used an explorative approach whereas Wilhelm used an analytical one - they were connected by a desire to extend their knowledge. This 'Humboldt ideal' must be encouraged and cultivated in each scholarly generation. These ideas guide research and teaching at the Berlin School.

The Berlin School of Library and Information science is the only university in the German-speaking world where students can get a BA, MA, or PhD in the field of Library and Information Science. The Berlin School was elected to membership in the iSchool Caucus in 2009, an indication of its role as one of the leading programs in Library and Information Science internationally.

As the only German school for Library and Information Science at the university level, we aspire to research that which preserves the focus of traditional library science, while embracing the shift in scholarly communication and the focus on digitalization.

Within the arena of information and knowledge processes and the development of new communication cultures, the interaction between humans and technology takes center stage in research and teaching. Students acquire professional competencies and skills by actively answering scientific questions. Students at the IBI also gain necessary management competencies that qualify them for a variety of visionary roles in designing information services and in librarianship.

Students and teachers must learn from each other. This reciprocity occurs through the use of modern pedagogy and by integrating students into research projects: both supporting and challenging them. Our students are versatile, flexible, and excellently educated information professionals.

Research at IBI

Research at the Berlin School puts an emphasis on electronic publishing, digital libraries, ontologies, and cross-language searching. Our mission statement is a quote by Michael Seadle: “Excellence in scholarship, research and teaching through a culture of inquiry and analysis that mediates the connections between libraries, information, technology and people”. This does not only represent the abovementioned strive for excellence at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, but also the vision of the iSchools.

The iSchools organization is a consortium of Information Schools dedicated to advancing the information field. The consortium’s focus is the promotion of innovative information-solutions. Through the study of information, we seek to understand human information behavior in order to develop systems that create effective and efficient human-machine-interactions in times of a steadily rising volume of available information.

The Berlin School of Library and Information Science (IBI) was one of the first European Schools to pursue this goal and could successfully establish Library and Information Science in the German research field. We dedicate a lot of our work to memory institutions, especially libraries, as well as other public bodies that support the structure, operate and preserve how information flows in Germany.