5.1     Library Networks in USA

5.2     Networks in UK

5.3     Networks in Canada

5.4     Australian Libraries Gateway






International programmes like UNISIST of UNESCO, Universal Availability of Publications (UAP) and Universal Access to Information (UAI) of IFLA and a few others have helped in promotion and co-ordination of information services through out the world . Global Information Systems, characterized by decentralized input, centralized processing and decentralized distribution such as INIS, AGRIS & DEVSIS have been evolved towards universal bibliographic control and dissemination of literature. International information networks/centers such as Lockheed/DIALOG, SDI/Orbit & ESA/IRS hold various databases in several disciplines and offer on-line services to users through out the world.


5.1     Library Networks in USA


The library networks in USA are in a most advanced level of development. Networking is based on three major areas of technology- creation of bibliographic information in machine-readable format for storage & retrieval, hardware and telecommunication mechanism for transmission of information. The major point of success of library network depends upon availability of machine-readable catalogues in the constituent units. A great progress has been made by USA in this regard. Three foremost bibliographic utilities and networks in USA are :

--Established in 1967, it was formerly known as a Ohio College Library Center

--It includes all type of libraries- academic, government, public and special. It has nearly 27,000 libraries as its members.

--It has developed its own telecommunication networks besides various products and services. It has 30 million bibliographic records with 520 million holdings locations in its union catalogue. The database increased at the rate of 400,000 records every month.

--Established in 1978 it supports the co-operative programmes of research libraries group comprising libraries and other research institutions.
--Established in 1972 it provides on-line computerized services to promote resource sharing and automated library functions.

Besides these, there are various other library networks, some of which are listed below:


5.2     Networks in UK                                                                                       `                                        


It contains 13 million bibliographic records of books, serials, music, maps, Audio-visuals, etc. in its database. There are more than 60 libraries comprising public libraries, college libraries, university libraries and special libraries using its catalogue.

It is an independent company under the University of London. It promotes library cooperation among 80 libraries in London and South East England and has more than three million records in its database.

Though not a network, it has nearly 21 databases including BNB(British National Bibliography) holding 15 million bibliographic records

-Blaiseline (British Library Automated Information Service)-The automated information service of the British Library services offers search services to its users.

-British Library holds one of the largest patents database in its Patents Information Network. About forty million patents are held and the database is growing at the rate of one million patents per year.

-Business Information Network

-BIDS (Bath Information and Data Services) offers several services in the field of public health, medicine and also provides access to British Library databases


5.3     Networks in Canada                                                                                                                        


The National Library of Canada promotes decentralized networking through the use of protocols conforming to the Open System Interconnection (OSI) reference model.

--It has nearly 10 million bibliographic records in its online database.

--It adds 800,000 to 1,200,000 records per year to its database and holds 1 million authority records.

--Besides its 275 concurrent users, it has 600 external institutions across Canada that use its union catalogue. It provides an in-depth ILL service to non-Canadian who need Canadian publications

--It holds books and conference proceedings, over 50,000 serials and millions of technical reports from around the world.

--Maintains union catalogue of 50,000 serial titles with over 20,000 current titles.

--It offers a number of services such as CAN/OLE(Canadian Online Enquiry Service),Document delivery, CAN/SND(Canadian Scientific Numeric database service) online at a very cheap rate to users outside Canada on several scientific subjects.

--Established in 1971, it was the first library network utility in North America to go private by becoming a subsidiary of International Thomson Library Services (ITLS)

--It is a computer based service organization for Libraries and information industries

--It has an online database of more than 1 million volumes

--It offers highly advanced service to the general public.


5.4   Australian Libraries Gateway


The Australian Libraries Gateway (ALG) is a free Web-based directory service which has improved access to information about more than 5,400 Australian libraries, their collections and services since March 1998. It aims to be a directory of current information about every library in Australia , a tool for world-wide users, for both library professionals and the general public.

The Gateway has been developed on behalf of the Australian library community by the National Library of Australia and received initial funding as part of Australia's Cultural Network (ACN). While the Australian Libraries Gateway site is hosted by the National Library of Australia and staff there, are responsible for maintenance, individual libraries are responsible for maintaining the currency of the information about their own library on the Gateway (via online forms and passwords, fax, telephone, email and/or post). Many resources, such as library catalogues, online exhibitions and image databases, are maintained remotely by libraries around Australia - the Gateway simply links to these resources.


There are various other library networks which are working around the world:


LIBWEB : Library Servers via WWW( Libraries on the WEB)                                                 Top

Here documents are maintained on server , Berkeley Digital Library Sun SITE (Software, Information & Technology Exchange). The Berkeley Digital Library Sun SITE builds digital collections and services while providing information and support to digital library developers worldwide. This is sponsored by The Library, U.C. Berkeley and Sun Microsystems, Inc.: The Library, 385 Doe #6000, University of California, Berkeley USA 94720-0001.Any library having a new or correct URL can add to the list by filling on-line form and submit. The bookstores, publishers, or other companies without a specific library connection are not listed.

Libweb currently lists over 6100 pages from libraries in over 100 countries. Following are the no. of libraries as the LibWeb members in the different countries:

United States (4555)

Academic Libraries (2077)

Public Libraries (2141)

National Libraries and Library Organizations(26)

State Libraries (51)

Regional Consortia (85)

Special and School Libraries (175)


Scandinavia (113 ). It covers Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden.

British Isles (199) : England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales.

Western Europe (217): Belgium, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain.

Germany and Central Europe (192) : Austria, The Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary , Slovakia , Switzerland.

Southeast Europe and the Balkans (29): Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, The Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia.

Baltic States (34): Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland.

Russia, Ukraine, and Eastern Europe (21) : Belarus, Moldova , Russia, Ukraine.

Africa and the Middle East (57)

Asia (186)

It covers the following countries:

Bangladesh(2), Brunei(1), China (16), Hong Kong(11), India(18), Indonesia (3), Japan (55), Kazakhstan (3), Korea(1),  Macau (1), Malaysia (13), Pakistan (3), Philippines (6), Singapore (5), South Korea(18), Sri Lanka (6), Taiwan (7), Thailand (16), Uzbekistan (1)

Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific (103)

Canada (252)

Alberta(32), British Columbia(45), Manitoba(6), New Brunswick(4), Newfoundland (31), Northwest Territories (1), Nova Scotia (15), Ontario (66), Prince Edward Island (1), Québec(38), Saskatchewan(12),Yukon(1)

Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America (83)


From the above figure it can be guessed how much developed are the library networks in USA, Canada and European countries as compared to the developing nations around the world.

























Copyright © 2001 Pawan Kumar Jha. All rights reserved.
October, 2001
Hauz Khas,New Delhi-110016

Note: The Dissertation is based on the sources mentioned in the "References"