Electronic Resources: A New Set of Questions for Resource Sharing Efforts
This chapter explores the questions and possibilities presented by the interaction of two components of the greater library system. The first of these components is electronic resources, that is, the so-called new media, which are becoming a rapidly increasing portion of library collecting. The other component is the resource sharing environment, that is, the aspect of interlibrary cooperation in which libraries pool resources, both formally and informally, to extend the resources of each and every library cooperating. Resource sharing can be seen as a form of library cooperation, which was once described as an unnatural act. Cummings et al., in their significant study of the economics of research libraries prepared for the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, purported that the availability of text and data in electronic format opens up a new host of opportunities for resource sharing.