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                                                                      Digital Libraries

                   searching and inexact matching. While IRS provides metadata access only, digital library
                   provides access to  metadata and  data.  Migration  from information  retrieval system to
                   digital libraries  coincides with  the development of full-text e-resources and  spread of
                   World Wide Web (WWW).

                   3.  Electronic, Virtual, Hybrid and Digital Libraries

                   While the terms digital  libraries and  electronic libraries are used  interchangeably and
                   synonymously, the term “virtual library” or “library without wall” usually refers to the
                   meta resources or subject portals that extend  virtual accessibility of digital collections
                   from several diverse sources without the users even knowing where the resource actually
                   resides.  Unlike digital libraries,  virtual libraries do not consist of full-text resources,
                   instead they are more like an index of relevant, hand-picked links to resources available
                   on the Web. A virtual library could potentially  be enormous, linking huge  collections
                   from all around the globe, or it could be very small, consisting of a few hundred links to
                   digital resources maintained by an individual. The concept of “Hybrid  Library”
                   (Rusbridge, 1998) reflects the realities being  faced by libraries  as they  attempt to
                   integrate electronic resources acquired on CD ROM or other media or electronic access
                   that they buy with the digital collections produced in-house. The hybrid library can be
                   considered  as  a transitional phase  between the  conventional and digital  library, where
                   electronic and  paper-based information sources are used alongside  each other. The
                   challenges associated  with  the management of hybrid  library is to  encourage end-user
                   resource discovery and information use, in a variety of formats and from a number of
                   local and remote sources in a seamlessly integrated way (Schawrtz, 2000). The hybrid
                   library should be designed to bring range of technologies from different sources together
                   in the context of a working library. In effect, a hybrid library maintains all or a major
                   parts of its collections in computer-processible form as an alternate or to supplement or to
                   complement the conventional printed materials that exist in the libraries. It has a web-
                   enabled computerized catalogue (WebPAC) accessible through the Internet and most of
                   other in-house services like acquisition, books processing, circulation are computerized.
                   A hybrid library has a strong presence on the Internet with a Home Page for the Library
                   providing an integrated access interface, not only to digital collections available locally,
                   but also to other commercial and non-commercial web-based digitized collections
                   accessible to the library across the world.

                   4.  Characteristics of Digital Libraries

                   A digital library promises a one-step, equitable and timely access to vast amount of
                   diverse  resources in a shared mode in a given specialty lifting traditional barriers of time
                   and space. Digital libraries have the following characteristics associated with them:

                     i.  Digital libraries are the digital counterparts of traditional libraries and include both
                        electronic (digital) as well as print and other (e.g. audio, video, graphics, animation,
                        etc.) material;


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