Looks as the long‐term implications of library digitization and suggests that the changes thus far may be merely an introduction to a much greater transition that lies ahead. Refers to the experiences of academic libraries, where there has been a sweeping transition to electronic journals and growth in the availability of other digital collections. Wider access to rare and special collections is offered by digitization and steps to achieve more universal access to international repositories are under way. Also examines the experience to date of digital library operations beyond academia – public libraries, and schools – and the growth of online library reference services. Feels that as digital library resources increase, the importance of the library as a physical setting where patrons go to find information and borrow books appears to diminish and increased reliance on digital collections is leading to a decline in the importance of collections of printed materials.
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