The scope of research carried out by the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania encompasses the following research activities in the field of information and communication:
The entire scope of research (preparatory, fundamental and applied) is carried out in line with the approved 12 subjects, which fall into 4 categories.
The following 4 research subjects focus on the state-of-the-art, effectiveness and ethics of communication and information strategies and investigate their examples and application in various contexts:
IV. Information policy against the background of social, political and economic crisis;
VI. Interaction between national strategies and strategic solutions within political communication;
VII. Communication of agents within Lithuania‘s education system and public information;
X. Interaction of the Law on Public Information with changes of the media framework.
Research on strategies for public communication and information policy is one of the newest subjects endorsed by the National Library. It includes research on information and communication strategies applied by various interest groups emerging during periods of tension and crisis as well as investigation of information policies and public communication against the background of civil or military conflicts (e.g. the Belarusian Crisis, the geopolitical crisis brought about by the war in Eastern Ukraine) and in the context of diplomatic negotiations related to climate change. Information and communication strategies are also investigated in the light of older historical examples such as Tadeusz Katelbach in the context of Lithuanian–Polish relations during the 30-ies of the 20th century.
The subject‘s more specific issues are related to strategic objectives emerging within public discourse: determining the relation of public communication to strategic guidelines emerging during the process of such communication and other important documents. There is also analysis of communication campaigns of election for the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania as well as of political communication carried out by Lithuania‘s strategic partners (e.g. Polish authorities) as regards Lithuania and Lithuania‘s response.
In individual cases and regarding some particular issues, investigation of specific niches within the public space is done. For example, when investigating institutions governing the education sphere, human agents within such institutions and documents managed by them, attempts are made to take a chronological look at the consistency of actions and specific expression of strategic thinking (or its absence). The results of such research, which are presented to the Seimas as informative works, are applicative.
A similar viewpoint is maintained when analysing the domain of Lithuanian media: aspects brought to light by conflicts arising therein and regulatory or self-regulatory tools involved in the processes of developing strategies and permanent consistency of actions.
The following 5 research subjects deal with Lithuania’s library system: its historical development, its present situation (evaluated by applying statistical and sociological methods), functional objectives and those related to its remit, emerging challenges and suggested solutions:
I. The Lithuanian Integrated Library Information System as a model of information and media literacy of users,
II. Modelling of library statistics,
V. Changes of the publishing system and statistics,
VIII. Lithuania‘s public libraries as institutions contributing to the consolidation of democratic values and building of the civil society,
XII. The history of the National Library from the point of view of the development of mankind and technologies.
In line with Lithuania‘s Law on Libraries, which sets out that the Lithuanian Integrated Library Information System (LIBIS) is developed by the National Library, activities include the preparation of methodological aids related to aggregation, preservation, search and promotion of information and development of LIBIS as a model of information and media literacy.
The Library‘s researchers also investigate urgent aspects of the library system and reading: the impact of COVID-19 on the library system and reading, bibliotherapic practice and the potential of libraries in ensuring life-long learning.
The analysis of statistical data about Lithuanian libraries involves the collection and publication of data describing the system as well as modelling of the system‘s chronological change.
The analysis of the Lithuania‘s publishing sector involves collecting of data and publication of conclusions about tendencies that are observed within the national sphere of information publicity and within the system‘s structure: what is stable therein and what has a tendency to change under certain circumstances.
There are also studies carried out on the impact of sustainable and sporadic technological change.
The following 2 research subjects are concerned with the classification and promotion of heritage and are very much focused on heritage communication:
IX. The National bibliography as a reflection of the development of Lithuania‘s Statehood.
XI. Maintaining currency of documentary sources. Interaction of everyday life and the sociocultural heritage.
Much effort and resources are devoted to bibliographic work: compilation of national and personal, occasional and current reconstructive and annotated bibliographic indexes, description of discoveries within the Library‘s holdings and newly aggregated collections and publication of results of bibliographic research. The work concerns issues relevant to the discipline of history, institutions and personalities.
A major focus is also on maintaining currency of heritage: reconstruction and promotion of primary sources. Every year, Lithuania‘s libraries prepare for publishing a great number of valuable unpublished older manuscript publications: memoirs, notes, letters, selections of letters, diaries, ethnographic selections and significant documents discovered in archives. Research is done on the history of the origination and editing of certain publications. There have been numerous presentations delivered on these issues and conferences have been held.
The third research subject is related to tools of written record:
III. Information and documentation. Development of normative documents and terminology.
The National Library‘s researchers on documentation are involved in building monolingual and bilingual terminological vocabularies, publishing works on terminology and drafting new or adopting international standards related to information and communication.
The National Library‘s staff members publish a great number of science popular articles in the Library‘s publications and journals or those issued throughout Lithuania as well as are involved in numerous science promotion projects financed by the Research Council of Lithuania.
All the subjects and individual topics as well as issues under investigation are approved after their inclusion into the National Library‘s three-year Research Plan.