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Comprehensive Examination Questions
October 2000

1.    The expansion and success of the Internet has had an impact on libraries and on the library profession. Discuss the role of         libraries and the library profession in the context of the Internet and networked electronic information.

2.   The highly popular Harry Potter books for children remain national best-sellers, but they also continue to be the objects of           censors. (Every issue of the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom in 2000 reported challenges to these titles.)  Discuss              measures a library can take in the face of a challenge to a Harry Potter book or any other title in the library's collection.          Include both how to be prepared for a challenge and how the library responds once a complaint has been made against a              particular title in the collection.

3.    Identify and discuss four developments in the online information industry. How do these developments impact information professionals and users of information?

4.    Librarians have used subject headings and classification numbers to perform subject analysis of information objects. Describe the characteristics of subject heading lists and classification schemes and discuss the value and applications of these types of controlled vocabulary for resource discovery in a networked environment.

5.    Librarians and information professionals have developed several cooperative initiatives to improve information services to users. Compare three library cooperative efforts in terms of their strengths and limitations and their impact on users and participating libraries. In addition, discuss factors that are critical for the success of cooperative efforts.

6.    Select a particular type of library: public, special, school media, or large or small academic. Think of issues involved with the library's posture toward fostering and sustaining cultural diversity. Write an essay addressing these issues based on your position on what you feel is the purpose of this type of library in the larger social environment.

7.    Discuss the evolution, current state of the art, and likely trends in the development of online public access catalogs (OPACs). Your answer should demonstrate some knowledge of the research related to the development and use of library catalogs in general, and electronic catalogs in particular.

8.    Compare the pros and cons of micro-level (ordering by item) and macro-level (approval plans, standing orders, etc.) approaches to collection development.

9.    Discuss the ways that library and information professionals can help users in retrieving and evaluating Internet information sources to meet their information needs. Compare and contrast this with the ways library and information professionals have helped users in retrieving and evaluating traditional print sources.

10.    There are a number of kinds/types of budget, or, as some managers say, budgeting systems. Choose one of them, such as a line-item budget. Then list the advantages and disadvantages of your choice of budget/budgeting system. Next, describe the budgeting process, in relation to this kind of budget, from preparation through approval. If you wish, you may answer this question from the perspective of a specific type of library, information center, or archive.


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