Libraries and the challenge of electronic publishing

The launch of electronic publishing is throwing the actors of the information chain off balance. The electronic document now enables authors to become their own publishers and publishers to become their own distributors. As the electronic document holds all the data elements necessary for its processing, libraries will soon have to change their working methods radically, and start offering value-added services. In order to find their proper place in the electronic environment of the future, librarians must rediscover the fundamental meaning of their profession, which is to help the user to get access to the information he needs. In this context, INIST's position as a virtual library (for both database production and document supply) is exemplary.