Present national and international library networking activities are reviewed both in terms of the status quo in 1978 and, in the case of the United States, the efforts underway toward implementing a more coordinated and comprehensive system than presently available. Included is a discussion of the Network Advisory Committee, the Network Technical Architecture Group, the Network Advisory Committee's governance subcommittee, the Library of Congress' data base configuration project, and networking funding.
Relevant advances in electronic technologies are explored. Microprocessors have revolutionized information processing techniques. New storage devices are now extending the flexibility of data files. New digital transmission capabilities will soon have a dramatic impact on telecommunications. These several technologies are converging to open new opportunities for library and information service applications.
The impact on library services of Proposition 13 and similar measures is briefly explored. Consequent proposals to charge user fees may threaten the entire concept of the free public library. Automation efforts run the risk of becoming a mechanism for spreading deprivation unless the implementors begin to distinguish and serve basic human needs.
The development of automated systems in libraries is traced through three broad phases: developmental, operational, and integrative. Management reactions to these phases, as well as typical problems and failures, are characterized. Questions and challenges for management to address in the future are explored.
Micrographic developments as they relate to library automation systems are reviewed. Included in the discussion are relevant publications, applications, hardware, software, and films. Some observations are made on the competitive market situation characterizing the industry.
A study of the use of library materials suggests a rational for placing greater emphasis on an "access" philosophy of providing library service, as opposed to a "local holdings" philosophy. There is a need to explore the cost-effectiveness of obtaining access to materials through networks. There are many configurations of such networks, offering a wide variety of services. Modeling and simulation are suggested as tools for computing economic break-even points for performing library functions in alternative network environments.
This is the fifth consecutive bibliography on the subject of library automation to be published by ALA. The preceding bibliographies (in reverse chronological order) are:
- West, Martha W. "Library Automation: Bibliography 1973," in Library Automation: State of the Art II. Chicago: American Library Assn., 1975
- Billingsley, Alice. "Bibliography of Library Automation," American Libraries 3:298-312 (March 1972)
- Mason, Charlene. "Bibliography of Library Automation," ALA Bulletin 63:1117-34 (Sept. 1969)
- McCune, Lois C., and Salmon, Stephen E. "Bibliography on Library Automation," ALA Bulletin 61:674-75 (June 1967)
(no abstract available)
(no abstract available)