A key element of Librarian and Archives specialist training is Practice, which aims at enhancing the learning process using real-life working conditions. It is compulsory and takes place between the 3rd and 4th year of studies over a period of 40 days (July, August and/or September) and after the 8th semester, also over a period of 40 days (July, August and/or September). The Practice Programme brings students in contact with Archives and Library Science professional reality, helping them to start shaping a professional conscience; it contributes in their familiarisation with infrastructures, working methods and all sorts of older and modern media and tools used by Libraries, Archives and Museums the world over; and, finally, it gives them the opportunity on the one hand to put in action all they have been taught up to that point and on the other to acquire experiences that will be most useful in their understanding and assimilation of all that they will be taught in the semesters leading to their graduation.
The Practice Programme is financed by the Ionian University Regular Budget and/or the European Union. For its efficient operation, the Department of Archives and Library Science established in 1998 the Practice Programme Bureau, which acts as a communication hub for all Practice Programme actors and the participating students. It has an advisory role on professional directions and aspects; it draws and updates on a yearly basis the Practice Programme Actors Registry; organises the placement of students in the participating organisations, taking into consideration their preferences; communicates with organisation staff entrusted with overseeing the implementation of the Practice Programme; manages the Programme’s finances; deals with any problems that might arise; and evaluates the Practice Programme in general.