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Comprehensive Examination Questions
March 2002

  1. In some communities the public library has been combined with the library of a local public school, a community college, or a campus of the state university.  Identify and discuss the issues that might arise when different kinds of libraries are combined and are housed in the same facility.

  2. Several researchers (including Brenda Dervin, Carol Kuhlthau and Robert Taylor) have developed models that describe aspects of our users' information behavior.  Describe one such model, not necessarily one of the three names above, and discuss its application to information systems or services.

  3. Define and differentiate between the concepts of ?cataloging? and ?metadata?. Discuss the relationship between them. Describe how ?cataloging? and ?metadata? have been applied to the organization of digital resources and analyze the strengths and limitations of each approach. 

  4. Many information seekers are exploring the Internet for information. Discuss opportunities and challenges this poses to libraries and information professionals and describe ways that libraries and librarians have responded to this phenomenon.

  5. In his book Information and Information Systems, Michael Buckland examines information from three different perspectives ? Information as Thing, Information as Process, and Information as Knowledge. Explain how each of these views of information affects the way librarians provide information services.

  6. Generally the largest allocation of funds in a library budget is for staff. Effective use of this substantial fiscal commitment to human resources is a major responsibility of library managers. Discuss management practices that contribute to utilizing the funds for staff to the greatest advantage of the organization and of individual staff members. 

  7. More and more libraries and information centers are offering users access to electronic journals. Discuss a minimum of three issues that are critical to the access to, acquisition and management of electronic journals.

  8. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of information systems that support retrieval through natural language user queries with information systems that support retrieval through searching the fields of databases. 

  9. Describe the benefits and limitations of creating, storing, organizing and retrieving archival materials in paper, microform, and digital form. 

  10. The term mediator describes an information professional who assists, guides, enables and otherwise intervenes in another person?s information search process.  How do the issues of ethics, access, and confidentiality affect the way formal mediators function? Draw examples from an environment of your choice. 


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