The current place of on‐line systems within the communication process in science and technology is defined. On‐line systems can be termed “value‐added information sources,” as illustrated by examples of available bibliographic data bases, numeric data banks, and referral data bases. Limitations of existing patterns of data base production and distribution are described, and the management considerations in operating on‐line search services in libraries are outlined, including financing, facilities, staffing, service promotion, document delivery, and evaluation. The role of library schools in preparing searchers of on‐line systems is also reviewed. A number of future developments in on‐line systems are predicted based on available technological forecasts. The ways in which professionals can be expected to use future on‐line systems are described, highlighting important differences from the present information‐seeking environment. The article concludes with an assessment of the roles of libraries and of information specialists in the world of electronic publication, suggesting that while the library as an institution may decline in importance, the information specialist of the future is likely to provide information support services much richer and more varied than those offered by the librarian of today.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of the American Society for Information Science|
|State||Published - May 1980|
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