As the world's largest document supply centre, the British Library has re‐examined the needs of its customers in the 1990s. Operating in an international marketplace, we recognise that our ‘wholesale’ role is becoming increasingly attractive to a wide range of commercial ‘information intermediaries’. These intermediaries have the potential to provide a high‐quality service to local and specialist end users, often in combination with other services and complementary information sources. To meet the higher expectations of our future customers the British Library has developed plans to strengthen this market infrastructure and to support the needs of qualified intermediaries fully. The developing markets and information ‘customers’ are beginning to value ‘managed information access’ realistically. With afresh approach to the management and development of its commercial service portfolio, the British Library believes that the new standards it is now setting for the support of customers within the emergent market infrastructure will facilitate many new opportunities for information professionals and related suppliers. The paper describes the underlying themes that have led the British Library's document supply centre to evolve an enhanced commercial strategy and maintain its reputation for international leadership.
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