The last fifteen years have seen vast developments in the computerization of library services and with these developments have come a number of organizational changes. A predominating feature of this period has been a tendency to centralize both human and technical activity. It is still widely assumed that in common with other areas of library services cost effectiveness will dictate a continuation of this trend. However the cost of systems is decreasing and their power increasing so rapidly that it is possible for quite small library budgets to sustain computer activity of some sort. More importantly, local area networks are becoming available commercially which combine the advantages of distributed processing with centralized activities where appropriate. Library managers now face yet another challenge in how they run their computer services and the following paper explores some of the issues involved.
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