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Library Functions, Scholarly Communication, and the Foundation of the Digital Library: Laying Claim to the Control Zone

Ross Atkinson
The Library Quarterly: Information, Community, Policy
Vol. 66, No. 3 (Jul., 1996), pp. 239-265
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4309129
Page Count: 27
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Library Functions, Scholarly Communication, and the Foundation of the Digital Library: Laying Claim to the Control Zone
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Abstract

As libraries prepare to convert an increasing proportion of their services to online form, it is essential that they pause to review and define the core qualities of those services; only in that way can the systematic and conscious transfer of such services to an online environment be assured. This definition of core services is especially important for academic libraries, which face special economic and political challenges. Some of the most fundamental aspects of library operations entail the existence of a border, across which objects of information are transferred and maintained. Such a parameter, demarcating a single, distributed digital library (the "control zone"), needs to be created and managed by the academic library community at the earliest opportunity. One basic objective of such a single digital research library should be to serve as an alternative publishing mechanism for specialized scholarly communication. In order to achieve that combination of the collection and the publication functions in the coming online environment, some responsibilities now performed by academic library collection development will probably need to be transferred to the faculty.

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