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Machine-Readable Data Bases in Libraries: Criteria for Selection and Use

Graduate School of Library Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Publication Date
  • Reference Services (Libraries) --Automation
  • Database Searching
  • Online Bibliographic Searching
  • Information Retrieval
  • Database Selection
  • Political Science


Traditionally, libraries have been the source of stored information the collective memory of a community or a civilization. In recent years, with the proliferation of publications and governmental involvement in research, machine-readable data bases have evolved as separate entities which store in indexed and abstracted form much of the current information found in libraries. As the quantity of recorded information increases, libraries are, and will be increasingly, forced to rely on these machine-readable data bases to search the accumulated knowledge if they are to retrieve it efficiently or at all. Some libraries are now providing data base search services to their patrons; many more are considering it.

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