She is known as a library expert scientist, the author of more than 280 publications in the Russian and foreign professional editions on issues related to problems and role of libraries in the modern world, innovative library practice. The author (co-authored with A. A. Purnik) of the book The Effective Library: How to Equip the Library and to Make it Necessary for People: Practical Guide (M., 2018), that has become the prize winner of VII Contest of RLA The Best Professional Book of the Year – 2019 in the nomination of In Aid of the Professional.
Irina Mikhnova is the founder of the author's school of the Russian library marketing. A recognized leader of library modernization, the manager and organizer of many large nationwide scientific, educational and innovative projects. Over the years, she was the chairperson and was on the jury panel of various professional contests, namely, for many years she was a jury member of the All-Russian Contest The Most Well-Read Region.