Although CD-ROMs on stand-alone workstations were introduced to libraries in the middle to late 1980s, CD-ROM networks were not widely used in libraries prior to 1989 (Gunning, Myers, & Bailey 1993:50). At that time, only a handful of larger institutions and those universities with engineering programs or sophisticated computer expertise operated CD-ROM networks. Today, CD-ROM networks are no longer restricted to these types of institutions. Among libraries at smaller institutions, CD-ROM networks are still found less frequently because of funding problems and lack of staff expertise.
The purpose of this chapter is to review the evolution of a CD-ROM network in an undergraduate library—ours—at a college with limited financial and personnel resources, and examine the impact of the network’s development on the library’s collection, personnel, and services. We will enumerate the factors that went into the decisions and experiences surrounding the evolution of our li-brary’s network. A list of helpful titles is appended.
King’s College is a small (1,982 students) undergraduate institution awarding more than half of its baccalaureate degrees in occupational or professional disciplines. The library, containing some 150,000 volumes, is staffed by five li-