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                                                                      Digital Libraries


                   catalyst to the concept of digital library. Figure 1 is a pictorial representation of digital
                   library infrastructure and services that can be generated from them.

                   Growth and developments in digital libraries can generally be attributed to emergence of
                   Internet, particularly world wide web (WWW) as a media of information delivery and
                   access, availability of highly evolved, extraordinarily simple and intuitive user interface,
                   i.e. Internet Explorer and Chrome and advances in online storage technologies enabling
                   storage of large  amounts of  contents at increasingly  affordable cost.  The product  and
                   services that goes into digital library comes from electronic publishing.

                   Several terms have been  coined  at different times to  represent the concept of library
                   without books, libraries having information in computer-readable format or having access
                   to information in digitized or digital format.  The terms which have been in vogue  at
                   different times include: paperless library,  electronic library,  virtual library,  library
                   without boundaries and  more recently digital library.  The term digital library, at one
                   hand,  is used to refer to a system or applications whose function is chiefly to extend
                   electronic access to material available in a conventional library to remote user, on the
                   other hand, it is used to describe both commercial and  academic system designed to
                   enable electronic access to a large corpora of electronic documents to authorized users.

                   The term digital library may mean different things to different people. It has been applied
                   to extraordinary range of applications and is frequently used to denote one or more of the
                   followings:

                   i)  Collections in which complete contents of documents (as opposed to bibliographic
                       citation or abstracts) are created or converted to computer processible form for  online
                       access;

                   ii)  Providing digital access to  material that already  exists within  traditional library
                       collections, i.e. libraries of scanned image, images of photographic or printed texts,
                       digital video segments;

                   iii) Scientific data sets  like  protein sequences or nucleic acid sequences, etc. Software
                       libraries or multimedia works are often referred to as digital library;

                   iv) Online databases and  CD ROM information products, particularly those with
                       multimedia or interactive video components or those which contain complete contents
                       of books or other publications;

                   v)  Computer storage devices on which information  repositories resides, such as optical
                       disc, juke boxes, CD ROM / DVD ROM towers, etc.;

                   vi) Database, including library catalogue accessible through the Internet; and

                   vii) Digital audio,  video clips or full-length movies.

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