July 2007 Comprehensive Exam

CUA School of Library and Information Science

Comprehensive Exam

PART 1: FRIDAY, July 13th, 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 apply to the question asked.

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.

  • In the digital age information seekers have many information tools and sources competing for their attention. These include Web catalogs, search engines, digital collections, institutional repositories, special collections, archives, blogs, wikis, and many others. Choose an environment you are familiar with and consider the needs of people in that environment to conduct in-depth research. Discuss what information professionals should do to help these researchers make effective use of the information tools and sources named above. Include references to the literature as appropriate and justify your recommendations.
  • Define federated searching and describe the types of organizations and technologies needed to provide a federated search service. In addition, discuss the strengths and limitations of federated search systems that are currently available. Include references to the literature as appropriate.
  • As a manager in an information environment of your choosing, you are confronted with the need to reduce your budget significantly. Your budget has three major categories: Staff, Information resources (books, serials, electronic databases), and Systems. Describe and justify the process by which you will reach a decision on budget reduction. What is the impact of a significant reduction in each of these areas? Include references to the literature as appropriate.
  • In its 2007 “Top ten assumptions for the future of academic libraries and librarians,” the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) states, “Free public access to information stemming from publicly funded research will continue to grow.” Do you agree or disagree? What are the forces advancing and inhibiting this trend? What are benefits and drawbacks of free public access to information? You may select a library setting other than academic libraries. Include references to the literature as appropriate.
  • Consider the content of the four core courses taken in the SLIS program. Describe a key or fundamental concept covered in the core courses and their application to professional information management positions, such as archivist, librarian, digital curator or school media librarian. Select a professional position and map the core concept to that position’s responsibilities and activities. Include references to the literature as appropriate.

Comprehensive Exam

PART 2: SATURDAY, July 14th, 2007

  • In an information service setting of your choice, write an essay giving your view of how information services will evolve, and how the roles of information professionals will change in five years. In your essay, provide a historical perspective and integrate your own philosophy of information services to support your view. Include references to the literature as appropriate.
  • Your library, archive, or information center (choose one) is preparing to evaluate a new information system. You are the leader of a three-member evaluation team. Describe and explain three important criteria that you will use. Provide and justify an overview of how you will organize the evaluation. Justify any assumptions that you make in your answer. Include references to the literature as appropriate.
  • You are a reference librarian on duty in a library setting of your choosing. A patron approaches the reference desk and says, “I need to find information about virtual worlds on the Internet.” Describe the process you will follow to serve the patron. After that, discuss how your response would be different in a different library setting. Furthermore, discuss how your response would be different if you were providing chat-based reference service. Include references to the literature as appropriate.
  • As information technology is integrated into library, archive and information center functions, information professionals should be monitoring technology trends that impact their organizations. Identify two technology trends. Discuss how they impact user services and information delivery. Include references to the literature as appropriate.
  • In the document, “A framework of guidance for building good digital collections,” the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) states, “Collections principle 7: A good collection fits into the larger context of significant related national and international digital library initiatives.” Choosing a specific subject area or domain to illustrate your answer, describe why this is important, and explain what issues and efforts must be taken into account related to this principle. Include references to the literature as appropriate.
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