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                                                                      Digital Libraries


                   increasing popularity of Internet and developments in web technologies are catalyst to the
                   concept of digital library.  Further, availability  of computing power that allow parallel
                   processing, multitasking, parallel consultation and parallel knowledge  navigation, put
                   together,  creates a semblance of artificial intelligence and  interactively  necessary for
                   developing a digital library. Coincided with availability of software, hardware and
                   networking technology,  the advent of  World  Wide  Web  (WWW), its ever increasing
                   usage and highly evolved browsers have paved the way for creation of a global digital
                   library.

                   6.  Digital Library: Towards a Definition

                   The Association of Research Libraries, (Waters, 1998) one of the leaders in collaborative
                   digitization programs in US, assigns following tenets to a digital library:

                       i)  The digital library is not a single entity;

                       ii)  The digital library requires technology to link the resources of many;

                       iii) These linkages between many digital libraries and  information  services are
                          transparent to end-users;

                       iv) Universal access to the digital libraries and information services is the goal; and

                       v)  Digital  Library collections are not limited  to  documents surrogates,  they also
                          include digital artifacts that cannot be represented or distributed in printed
                          formats.

                   Borgman (1992) emphasized that digital libraries should not be viewed only as a point of
                   access to digital information but as a combination of

                          i)  a services;
                          ii)  an architecture;
                          iii)  a  set of information  resource, databases of text, numbers,  graphics, sound,
                              music or animation, etc.; and
                          iv)  a set of tools and capabilities to locate, retrieve and utilize the information
                              resources available.

                   Terence R. Smith (1997),  defined  digital libraries as “controlled collections  of
                   information bearing objects (IBOs) that are in digital form and that may be organized,
                   accessed, evaluated and used by means of heterogeneous and extensible set of distributed
                   services that are supported by digital technology”.

                   Clifford   Lynch (1995), a well-know  expert on digital libraries  and new technologies,
                   defined digital library as “a system providing a community of users with coherent access
                   to a large, organized repository of digital information and knowledge. The digital library
                   is not just one entity, but multiple sources seamlessly integrated.”
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