Libraries at sea are practically nonexistant except for the collection supervised by a professional librarian on the QEII, and the large, if unorganized, collections of reading material on some U.S. warships. If you plan to read while cruising, however, the accompanying survey may help when it comes time to pack your own books.

* Lindblad's three ships specialize in adventure and serious study tours; on board they provide bibliographies of their destinations compiled by the experts who accompany each trip and copies of these titlesas well as educational films and some light reading material.

* Carnival Cruise's four ships have rooms marked "library" with cast-off books; no professional services available; gift shops sell paperbacks.

* Costa cruises have reading rooms with random selections of popular books, including titles in French, Spanish and Italian; there are no professional services, but there are regular scheduled hours of operation and some telexed newspapers on certain ships.

* Cunard's two cruise ships have reading rooms and random selections of popular books; gift shops sell paperbacks.

* Holland America's three ships have reading rooms with random selections of books; no professional services; gift shops sell paperbacks.

* Norwegian American's two ships have reading rooms with random selections, some in German, Norwegian and Swedish.

* Royal Caribbean's four ships have reading rooms, with books kept by the purser, who lends them upon request. Gift shops sell paperbacks.

* Royal Cruise ships lock 200 hardbacks in reading areas, available upon request from purser, with 400 paperbacks open on the shelves; travel books and cookbooks are for sale.

* Swann's British Hellenic's two ships have small technical and Nile River-related collections; no other reading materials.