ERIC Number: ED351032
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
The Role of National Libraries in the New Information Environment.
Cornish, Graham P.
This document examines the impact of new information technologies on the various roles of national libraries. Seventy-two national libraries responded to a questionnaire designed to assist in determining how such institutions worldwide are responding to recent technological innovations. The first of six chapters identifies three basic characteristics most national libraries have in common: they are funded mostly by public funds; they are open to the public; and they act as the major archive of printed material produced within the country or region concerned. The second chapter, which is based on the survey and a literature review, deals with acquisitions, record-creation, and policy. It summarizes national library activities in 15 functional areas, ranging from collection management to services for the handicapped. Included is information about nonprint collections and catalog automation. The third chapter provides information about networking and cooperation. It covers links with other library catalogs, union catalogs, links with networks, planned links, networking and acquisition, and networking and interlending. The fourth chapter covers changes in publishing patterns and their impact, including audio and video production, CD-ROM, electronic publishing (defined as the production and dissemination of text through online systems), desktop publishing, and broadcasting. The basic characteristics and functions of a national library are reexamined in the light of technological developments and assessments are made of where changes will inevitably occur, where they already have occurred, and where they may occur depending on the management, goals, and dynamism of the national library. Recommendations for ways in which national libraries might react to these changes conclude this report. A list of acronyms and abbreviations is provided. (KRN)
Descriptors: Archives, Bibliographic Records, Change Strategies, Computer Networks, Electronic Publishing, Foreign Countries, Information Technology, Interlibrary Loans, International Programs, Library Automation, Library Collection Development, Library Development, Library Role, Library Surveys, National Libraries, Online Catalogs, Organizational Change, Preservation, Questionnaires, Reference Services, Union Catalogs
Division of the General Information Programme, Unesco, 7 Place de Fontenoy, 75700 Paris, France.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Paris (France). General Information Programme.