The review, which covers the past, present and future of library automation, begins with the establishment of networks, describing the role of OCLC and the adoption of MARC. The second step is seen as the growth of online databases, with particular reference to Lockheed, SDC and BRS. Costs, however, have deterred full use of these. A case is made for standardisation of formats. The effect of online systems on retrieval is related to the increasing interest in document delivery systems. The contribution of mini and microcomputers to this area is noted. Centralised shared systems have allowed automation to progress. All this needs paralleling in the library schools which have difficulty in providing the facilities. The real problem is still that of making systems user friendly. Perhaps librarians need to cultivate selfsufficiency in programming using easy highlevel languages like FORTH and SPEAKEASY. Wordprocessors also will need to be a standard part of library equipment. The future must lie in achieving access to all information from a terminal.
Program: electronic library and information systems – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 1981
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