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Comprehensive Examination Questions
March 1997

1. Describe the principles of bibliographic control. Discuss how these principles are employed to provide access to information by information professionals in both reference work and cataloging.

2. Describe the major elements of developing a collection. Discuss the impact of the Internet and World Wide Web on collection development and collections, including issues of selection and access.

3. You have been elected president of a national organization of information professionals (such as the American Library Association, the Association of Records Managers and Administrators, Special Libraries Association, Society of American Archivists, etc.). Indicate your organization. Discuss what you think will be the three greatest challenges over the next five years to the profession your organization represents, why these will be a challenge, and how the profession should address these challenges.

4. Many online catalogs and databases allow users to search by keywords, and many users prefer keyword searching to other methods. Discuss whether controlled vocabulary, indexing, and cataloging are still needed for effective and efficient information retrieval.

5. Managers of information organizations are constantly confronted with environmental changes, beyond their immediate control, such as advancing technology, restructuring of the parent organization, or changing community demographics. Select an information organization, such as an archive, information center, or type of library; identify environmental changes that might affect such an institution; and discuss how a manager should respond to these changes.

6. The Internet is a valuable information resource. However, it has created challenges as well as opportunities for information professionals and users. Identify three major challenges associated with Internet use and discuss how information professionals can best address these challenges.

7. Discuss the roles and procedures of professional search intermediaries and of those who teach search skills to end users. Compare and contrast the ways in which each would prepare for and perform these roles.

8. Discuss the relationship between good management and ethical professional practice. Identify ethical principles that might guide a library director in becoming an effective manager. Identify elements of library management that might suggest ethical dilemmas.

9. Increasingly, any organizational unit must demonstrate to its parent organization that it is worth its cost. For an information organization or service, such as a type of library, records center, archive, or information center, describe how you would determine the costs and benefits to the parent organization and how you would make the case to management for its continuation or expansion.

10. Describe the content of the library of the future in terms of its holdings, focusing on content, format, and media. Respond in the context of a particular type of library or information agency.

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