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Comprehensive Examination Questions
March 1996

1. Ronald Hagler contends that "the purpose of every activity in bibliographic control is to provide the most direct possible access to the content of a particular document which can satisfy a stated information need." Discuss the meaning and purpose of bibliographic control, and describe activities involved in achieving it.

2. You have been directed by the chief librarian to integrate electronic resources into the reference department that you supervise. Describe the management of this enhanced service, including such issues as staffing, resource allocation, and user education.

3. Recently, Microsoft founder Bill Gates has been hailed as the new Andrew Carnegie for his donation to "Libraries Online," established in partnership with the American Library Association. Discuss ways in which support from the private sector has benefited publicly supported libraries and archives and any potential problems of such support.

4. Discuss the pros and cons of the value, implications, and use of digital technology by libraries, archives, or museums.

5. The director of your library has asked you to reduce the space occupied by the journal collection by 50%. Discuss your options, including the issues and steps involved in converting your journals from print­on­paper to other formats and methods of delivery.

6. Bibliographic utilities (such as OCLC) and national library institutions (such as the Library of Congress) have contributed much to the success of bibliographic control in the United States. Describe how these bibliographic utilities and institutions have affected the organization of and access to information in libraries. Discuss practices and standards of these utilities and institutions that may have inadvertently caused problems and how these problems might be resolved.

7. "Here Comes the Information Superhighway. Could libraries be left in the dust? Yes. As the emerging superhighway sweeps the nation with electronic information, libraries could be pushed aside. But you can help prevent this." This statement comes from an ad by the American Library Association in the February, 1996 issue of American Libraries encouraging librarians, students, teachers, and library patrons to join ALA. When the dust settles, will there be a place for libraries? If so, describe the place; if not, discuss why not.

8. Recently libraries, archives, and museums have experienced both internal and external pressure to close exhibits and to limit access to controversial or adult materials. Discuss the issues behind such pressures and describe how these institutions can maintain their commitment to open access when confronted by such pressure.

9. Library directors, along with the heads of archives and other information centers, must cope with the impact of the technological revolution on virtually every aspect of their institutions. Choose a type of library or other information institution. Discuss what management issues the institution's director might face due to the impact of technology on the way information is organized and delivered.

10. Discuss the issues and trends involved in access to and dissemination of government information in electronic format.


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