Comprehensive Examination Questions
- "Libraries are
becoming more like businesses," observed Sara Wildberger in the March Washingtonian
magazine. She illustrated her point by stressing that even children coming for story time
are considered customers. However, a Washingtonian reader might well ask, "But
aren't libraries cultural and educational institutions and, as such, is the business
organization an appropriate model for them?" Respond to this question. Be sure to
include in your discussion the impact that managing libraries as businesses can have on
- Currency, scope, and
authority are important in evaluating information sources. Define all three, and explain
how you would evaluate the currency, scope, and authority of two of the following
types of information sources: encyclopedias, periodical indexes, dictionaries,
biographical sources, almanacs, informational web sites.
- You have been charged
with the task of selecting an integrated library system for a particular type of library
or information center. Explain (a) what an integrated library system must do in this
environment, (b) the factors that should be considered in evaluating and recommending a
system, and (c) how one should go about selecting a system.
- Describe three
major approaches used by librarians to organize Internet resources for user access.
Aanalyze the benefits and problems of these approaches. Then draw on your description and
analysis to discuss three of the most urgent challenges for people involved in
organizing Internet resources.
- License agreements for
electronic information resources protect the interests of the providers (publishers) as
well as the users (libraries and individuals). Within that context, discuss the challenges
faced by librarians as they attempt to deliver content online.
- Librarians today have a
critical role as library advocates. Why? Describe this role and discuss what librarians
can do to become effective advocates.
- As knowledge and
technology now change very rapidly, there is a concern with helping students become
"life long learners." Discuss ways that libraries can help students learn
research skills that will allow them to be effective information seekers and users and
will help them stay "current" in their field or discipline.
- What are digital
libraries, and why are digital libraries both appealing and problematic for information
professionals? Your answer should include a discussion of digital collections,
technologies, and services.
- Yahoo's subject category
directory is described by a number of librarians as having "a strong listing of
subjects." Compare the subject directories offered by a number of Internet search
engines with those traditionally created and maintained by libraries.
- There is considerable
interest in assessing library effectiveness." If during a job interview you were
asked how effectiveness should be evaluated, how would you respond? (Select the one
functional area that interests you the most).
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