A digital library, like any library, is a service which is based on principles of selection, acquisition, access, management and preservation, related to a specific client community. This paper examines some of the key challenges which these processes encounter when dealing with digital collections, with particular attention to the issues which are raised for national libraries. Examples are the challenge of selecting significant national
digital publications, the challenge of how to acquire efficiently those digital publications which are selected, the challenge of integrating access to digital and traditional information resources, the challenge of ensuring reliable delivery of digital publications given their changeable physical location, and the enormous challenge of how to preserve digital publications. The paper refers to the National Library of Australia’s Digital Services
Project, which has developed system requirements in the light of these issues and challenges.
The Development of the Digital Library The term “digital library” began to be heard in the early 1990s, as universities and other institutions began to build discipline-based collections of information resources in digital form, and to provide access to these collections through local and wide area networks. Today, hundreds of services which might qualify for the
description “digital library” have been developed, and it is possible to survey what has been achieved by such services and what challenges have been identified.
Definition of “digital library”
The Digital Library Federation has proposed the following definition :
Digital libraries are organizations that provide the resources, including the specialized staff, to select, structure, offer intellectual access to, interpret, distribute, preserve the integrity of, and ensure the persistence over time of collections of digital works so that they are readily and economically available for use a by a defined community or set of communities.
to be continued to http://www.ziddu.com/download/9236848/Digital-Libraries-a-National-Library-Perspective.pdf.html