Digital Libraries are emerging electronic entities. Digital Libraries are becoming important
information resources. The Digital Libraries concept is appealing because its inherent design
combines end-user needs with technology that has the ability to handle vast amounts of complex
data. Perhaps most importantly, the Digital Libraries concept has longevity because it provides
important services for a society that is identified as being in the process of profound social
change including movement towards a knowledge society and the appearance of a weightless
Validation of the Digital Libraries concept includes the fact that Digital Libraries are
being established throughout the country, often as distributed environments operating under the
auspices of universities and state designated agencies. Internationally, Digital Libraries are also
being established, including UNESCO's Memory of the World which has the express purpose of
protecting endangered cultural materials(2).
The information services provided by Digital Libraries demonstrate a potential for uses that
extend far beyond being a showcase for technological marvels.
In fact, the concept of digital
libraries is a phenomenon that includes the following two complementary ideas:
I. the technologies used for creating, searching and using information in the electronic
II. the human aspects of information seeking and creation among the community of users(3).
As such, digital libraries can be viewed as extensions and augmentations of traditional libraries
by extending the resources and services that can be offered and augmenting how people can seek
and express information(4). Clearly, Digital Libraries are becoming an important element in the
information cycle and it seems they should also be considered a dynamic, and essential
component of library and information science professionals.
2. What is a Digital Library?
The idea of easy and finger-tip access to information- what we conceptualize as digital
libraries today -begins with Vannenar Bush's Memex machine and has continued to...