This paper (1) summarizes an investigation into the political and financial factors which inhibited the ready application of computers to individual academic libraries during the period 1967-1971, and (2) presents the author's speculations on the future of libraries in a computer dominant society. Technical aspects of system design were specifically excluded from the investigation. Twenty-four institutions were visited and approximately 100 persons interviewed. Substantial future change is envisaged in both the structure and function of the library, if the emerging trend of coalescing libraries and computerized "information processing centers" continues.
A review and discussion of the technique of automatic format recognition (AFR) of bibliographic data are presented. A comparison is made of the record-building facilities at the Library of Congress, the University of California (both AFR techniques), and the Ohio College Library Center (non-AFR). A projection of a next logical generation is described.