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By | November 2012
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Chapter I



OPAC or 'Online Public Access Catalogue' is an online bibliography of a library collection that is available to the public. OPACs developed as stand-alone online catalogs, often from VT100 terminals to a mainframe library catalog. With the arrival of the Internet, most libraries have made their OPAC accessible from a server to users all over the world. Increasingly familiar piece of equipment in libraries. It consists of a machine-readable catalogue file interrogated online by the user through a VDU (visual display unit) or workstation using what computer specialists are warm of describing as an 'user-friendly interface'. This usually means a set of programs or software intended around a menu displayed on the VDU screen. From this, the user may select from a incomplete collection one of a number of types of catalogue search. These may be: author, title-; date, publisher, subject index terms, or a grouping of any of these. The user receives reasonably little instruction or support other than that presented to him on the VDU screen. If possible, the screen instructions are purposely designed to be as simple to follow and self-contained as possible. Such systems offer the help to the user of complicated information recovery technology which can development tens of thousands of bibliographic records in a matter of seconds. To the librarian, such systems lessen the obligation encountered in typical online search services of having to operate as an agent between the user and a multiple system. Today, the technology for digital transformation is, at best, coming and often forces a library to choose between risking damage to precious originals and producing the highest quality reproductions. There are few established standards or best practices and a shortage of tools for the objective measurement of reproduction quality. There is a need for more programmed support for capturing in clear data structures the...

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