Over the past eight years, the MELVYL catalog has become one of the largest public access catalogs in the world, and now plays a central role in providing access to the library resources of the University of California. Currently, under heavy load, the MELVYL catalog supports many hundreds of simultaneous terminal connections, servicing over a quarter of a million queries a week and displaying more than two million records a week to its user community. This article discusses the history of the network that has supported the MELVYL catalog from the early days of its prototype to the present. It also describes both the current technical and policy issues that must be addressed as the network moves into the 1990s, and the roles that the network is coming to play in integrating local automation, the union catalog, access to resource databases, and other initiatives. Sidebars discuss the TCPIP protocol suite, internet protocol gateways, and Telenet and related interoperability problems.
Library Hi Tech – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 1, 1989
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