The Range of Network Services
The range of services provided by many resource sharing networks include storage and retrieval of data such as factual, physical and bibliographic data, document ordering and delivery services, general computer and support of group communication and decision making. The most widely used networks can be described by four major types of services. They are:
Of course, cataloguing networks are by far popular type and are often cited as examples of computer applications to library services. Even though library network systems have undergone major development since 1960s and 1970s, the central objectives of networking remain-constant. They are:
If we follow closely the evolution of library networks, it will be observed that in the beginning, networks were established with limited and well-defined objectives. As the use of networking has become more pervasive due to the easy availability of' the infrastructure, the scope of the networks became broader and a number of interconnected consortia of networks and members has become possible. This has enabled the end-user to choose more than one route through the maze of networks in order to locate a given document or piece of bibliographic information. In other words, access barriers have become less and less. This has resulted in the establishment of key agencies in library networking. These key agencies may be grouped into two main categories.