The Federal Republic of Germany exemplifies a decentralised co‐operative system of interlending. Regional library co‐operation is based on seven union catalogues. The rapidly increasing demands for literature provision require new structures and techniques. Data processing and COM are therefore utilised. A computerised system for locating periodicals is used via the National Serials Data Base which is maintained at the German Library Institute in West Berlin in co‐operation with the State Library. Input to this national referral system is provided by the regional systems, together with information contained in the continuing conventional periodical indexes, GAZS and GZS at the State Library in Berlin. Substantial improvements have resulted from the ability of libraries to borrow direct. The next logical step in the development of an efficient document delivery service would be to cover monographs in a similar way to serials. Discussion about this has been put into concrete terms in a planning paper of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. This states that the establishment of independent regional library centres with their own computers is a basic condition for building regional networks; instead of centralisation, close co‐operation between the regions is seen as appropriate.
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