Focuses on the author’s experiences during the Summer 2004 voyage of the Semester at Sea program when she sailed as the ship’s librarian. The program, run by the Institute for Shipboard Education (ISE) and academically based at the University of Pittsburgh, provides a floating college campus to students and faculty on a ship that sails around the world with stops in several countries on each voyage. The question of what is the essence of a library was of particular concern because ISE acquired a new ship about three weeks prior to the voyage, and, since this did not have an academic library on board, much work was needed in a very short period of time to create one – an opportunity to see a library set up from scratch and to ponder the essentials of service and practice.
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