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This paper examines the potential of the library catalog to serve as a portal to the Internet. The first section provides an overview of the development of the catalog, including the emergence of the union catalog, standardization of cataloging practice, MARC format, and the insufficiency of resources to catalog all the titles acquired by libraries. The second section addresses catalogs in the new millennium, including the variety of formats cataloged, enhancements in online catalogs to improve the quality of access, gateways to networked resources, database aggregations, OCLC's CORC (Cooperative Online Resource Catalog) service, and creation of a digital library architecture that embraces different formats and permits crossfile searching. The third section covers portals and catalogs, including definition of an Internet portal, differences between portals and catalogs, and deficiencies and benefits of portals. The fourth section discusses catalogs as portals, including goals and arguments in favor of libraries providing access to Internet resources. The fifth section offers recommendations for the future. (Contains 15 references.) (MES)

Descriptors: Access to Information, Cataloging, Electronic Libraries, Gateway Systems, Internet, Library Catalogs, Library Role, Library Services

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Autor: Thomas, Sarah E.


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