Sunday, November 28, 2004

Libraries and the Internet. This essay is from 1994. Looking back over ten years, it seems to have nailed many of the challenges which would face libraries trying to get on the Web. I realize there are a few libraries here and there not on the Web in the USA, but as a whole I think the challenge was meet well.

From the site:

In his State of the Union Address in January 1994, President Clinton called for every library in America to be connected to the national information superhighway by the year 2000. This superhighway, the Internet, is an international computer network encompassing thousands of smaller interconnected networks. Various Internet applications for libraries, impacts of Internet connectivity, and recommendations for future library involvement are described in this Digest. The responsibility for program and policy support for universal connectivity needs to come from federal, state, and local governments, and from all who work within the library community.


Librarians use many Internet communications and service utilities. Some popular applications include:

1. Electronic mail (E-mail): Librarians use E-mail to communicate with colleagues and customers. They participate in electronic discussion groups, share experiences and ideas with other librarians, and create and monitor discussion groups of interest to their customers.

2. Telnet: Librarians use Telnet to connect to remote computer resources. They explore other library catalogs, access commercial and noncommercial database services, and share the resources of campus-wide information systems and community Free-Nets.

3. File Transfer Protocol (FTP): FTP enables librarians to obtain software programs, text, images, and sound files from the net and then offer them to their customers. Librarians and information professionals contribute to the Internet community by making library catalogs and local databases available on the network; creating Gopher sites that offer logical, well organized, menu-driven access to services and resources on the Internet; and establishing World Wide Web servers that provide graphical user interfaces for browsing the resources of the Internet.

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