October 2007 Questions

CUA School of Library and Information Science

Comprehensive Exam

PART 1: FRIDAY, October 26, 2007

Answer two of the following five questions. You MUST save your answers as a Microsoft Word file with the file name: StudentID#(write in your Test ID number)Question(write in the number of the question you are answering) i.e. StudentID#99Question2

In answering questions, discuss professional matters, principles and issues that would apply in a variety of settings. You are expected to discuss one aspect of information work in depth only when questions require you to deal with a specific function or type of library/information agency.

Answers should be supported, whenever possible, with references to the professional literature and/or course content, whether or not this is actually stated in the question.

  • A recent American Libraries article scrutinized the relevance of the Library Bill of Rights. Using the Library Bill of Rights or another code of ethics for information professionals as an example, describe the relevance of codes of ethics to the profession. As you construct your answer, consider the following questions: Can one set of standards govern and guide professionals in all areas of library, archival, and information science? How are such standards relevant in a continually changing profession? Can the field unify and design standards to meet the diversity of the profession? Include references to the literature as appropriate.
  • Many libraries have included electronic resources and free Web resources in their collections. But managing the addition of such resources is not the same as adding print resources. From a collection development point of view, explain why building a good collection of electronic resources is different from building a good print collection and describe what the differences are. Include references to the literature as appropriate.
  • “Save the time of the reader” is one of the Five Laws of Library Science proposed by S. R. Ranganathan. Along the same line, Michael Gorman encourages librarians to “use technology intelligently to enhance service” and Alireza Noruzi recommends librarians should “save the time of the user.” Discuss how this important concept has been applied in both organization of information and reference services. Give specific examples in each area to illustrate your points. Include references to the literature as appropriate.
  • It is not uncommon to see various statistics that indicate the pervasiveness of Google as a search engine for information on the Internet. In fact, in a recent OCLC study, Google was selected as the starting point for an information search by the majority of respondents. Conversely, the online catalog was not very popular, and it was infrequently referred to as a starting point. These types of statistics, and the ascendancy of Google, suggest that the librarian’s role will change. Drawing on the knowledge you have gained from the SLIS program, discuss how Google will (or will not) influence the role of the information professional in society. Include references to the literature as appropriate.
  • Librarians and other information professionals must balance protecting the privacy of their patrons and clients with opportunities for enhancing information accessibility using technology. In particular, information professionals must maintain an awareness of, and respond to new challenges to information privacy engendered by technology deployment. For an information setting of your choice, identify three current technologies or technology trends that have an impact on information privacy and accessibility. For each one, discuss its impact on serving users, delivering information and protecting privacy. Include references to the literature as appropriate.

Comprehensive Exam

PART 2: SATURDAY, October 27 2007

  • One striking development in society is the growth of user-created content. Whether it is YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, del.icio.us, Wikipedia, or PennTags, user-created content is becoming ubiquitous. For a library or information service setting of your choosing, discuss the role of user created content. Include the nature of resources offered and services provided in your answer. Include references to the literature as appropriate.
  • A 2005 article posted in T.H.E. Journal (Technology Horizons in Education), a publication especially for P-12 educators, itemized a list of concepts that every educator should be knowledgeable about including: distance education; database management; web site design; computer security; and copyright. These concepts are not just essential for classroom teachers, but also for librarians and media specialists. Select two of these concepts. Define and describe them. Explain why each of the two you selected are essential for librarians and media specialists. Include references to the literature as appropriate.
  • Studies indicate that a "Net Generation, also known as Millennials" - people who are currently between 16 and 29 years of age – differ in important ways from previous generations in our society with respect to their communication and information seeking behavior. Discuss these generational differences and their impacts on library and information services in a setting of your choosing. Include references to the literature as appropriate.
  • Many libraries are reporting a significant increase in the number of virtual reference transactions, and more libraries are offering these services. Discuss the implications of offering a virtual reference service in terms of human factors, organizational planning, and technology. Include references to the literature as appropriate.
  • Changes in information technology, the social environment, content, and politics are driving changes in professional roles in the field of library, archival, and information science. As the positions and roles change, job titles change as well. We now see positions advertised with titles such as: information architecture librarian, digital curator, cultural heritage information manager, content and access specialist, information analyst, knowledge analyst, and information architect, to name a few. Choose one of these jobs or another emerging job. Discuss how you think it differs from the historic job of an information professional, and how you think it is the same. In your answer, incorporate examples of concepts you learned in your graduate library and information science education that specifically prepare students for this selected position. Include references to the literature as appropriate.
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