Microcomputers are rapidly becoming commonplace in libraries today and will become even more so as prices fall and capabilities increase. Microcomputers can provide a wide range of services, from being an integral part of a circulation system to serving as terminals to access online databases and information utilities such as the Source or CompuServe. Software can be purchased or developed to assist in online literature searching (record keeping or standardization of database commands). Database packages, or even word processing programs, can be used to help compile local newspaper indexes or other local information files. Statistical packages can be used to analyze library usage. Even the laborious task of writing reports or letters can be greatly aided by word processing programs. Even though the availability of software is a determining factor in choosing a microcomputer, this paper will concentrate on meeting the hardware needs of individual libraries.
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