The rapid advances in computer networking technology in the late 1980s have led to a corresponding increase in locations wishing to participate in computer networks. As more sites adopt a common communication protocol and connect to local networks that may themselves be connected into a national network, opportunities abound for information sharing and collaborative research. A major roadblock to experiencing the benefits of this connectivity, however, is the difficulty of knowing what information is available on computers throughout the network. Several approaches are being explored to provide access to this “virtual library.” A combination of library and computer networking skills will be necessary to design appropriate tools that will allow all users to participate in the developing networked information environment.
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