INTEGRATION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION

How will digital information be integrated with materials represented intraditional resources, such as library catalogs, citations, and abstracts? Asmentioned earlier in this article, many libraries have not yet cataloged all oftheir holdings at the title level. With a new world of digital information onthe Internet, libraries are struggling with policies to determine how they willintegrate these materials with older formats. For example, how does a user of apublic library in Kyoto or in Washington, D.C. know that the Library ofCongress offers THOMAS, an Internet resource of contemporary bills and acts ofthe U.S. Congress? The Internet cognoscenti claim, "people that use the WWWknow how to find what they need with search engines. Cataloging is over."However, many "average" information seekers have only vague ideas of theresources on the WWW and how to go about finding them. It is for these usersthat the integration of descriptive information about digital materials intotraditional means of information discovery is essential. This topic wasaddressed as early as 1994 at the Seminar on Cataloging Digital Documents heldat University of Virginia and the Library of Congress (UVA and LC 1994).Follow-up meetings have continued to discuss these issues in the librarycommunity and have given rise to organizations such as the Digital LibraryFederation (LC 1995).


Published: February 1999; WTECHyper-Librarian