Facts and processes related to the world of books, libraries, librarianship, information and written communication gradually became the object of scientific interest in a number of separate study fields. The multitude and variability of these fields, their continuous evolution and varying, depending on a country, nature and scope are a serious impediment to the creation of consistent and uniform report on the object of the study. Constant processes of integration, separation and specialization in the field of study on books, libraries and information alter the status quo and lead to the development of new constructions in theory, methodology and research practice. The description of the current situation is further hindered by the chaos in the nomenclature of study fields, specializations and branches, even more increased by semantic nuances of the multilingual literature and negligent use of concepts and definitions. The current research situation in the field of book studies and library and information science is defined by the following phenomena: (1) The multitude and diversity of study issues makes their inclusion in one broad field (book studies, library science or information science) virtually impossible. The study fields mentioned above have become separate disciplines, although some relation and cooperation remains possible; (2) Each discipline formed in the field within last few decades is perceived independent in the science because of its specific object of study, specific set of concepts and study methods, nature of its relations with other study fields and cognitive and practical objectives; (3) Issues of book studies, library and information science interest other study fields, in particular the humanities and sociology, become an important constituent of their research processes and considerably influence the theory and practice of studies on books, libraries and information. Special attention should be paid here to (heterogeneous and „multiform”) studies of culture, (social) communication and media; (4) Studies of books, libraries and information are clearly divided into those dealing with historical issues and those focused on the present. One of most prominent branches is historical book studies, researching books as the product and tool of human civilization, product of material and spiritual culture and tool for communication over the ages; (5) The increase in the amount of factual knowledge in the field of book studies and library and information science has not been so far accompanied by appropriately developed theoretical and methodological reflections which would enable the intensification of the research and increase in the quality of the studies in question.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.