Examines the contentious area of charging for on‐line services. Covers both the theoretical aspects and the practical application of the services through a review of library practice, looking in detail at three libraries (two academic, one public) operating in Liverpool. Despite growing financial concerns, on‐line services are necessary. Competitors in the form of information brokers will corner the market if libraries do not extend their service by providing an on‐line facility. A compromise must be reached which benefits the user of the library and maintains the freedom of access to information.
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