Monash University Library Annual Report 1995

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Introduction

1995 was the year when the Internet became the "killer" application of computing and communications, and ceased to be the arcane domain of the computer expert. With the wide availability of Web browsers like Netscape and Mosaic, and their user friendly graphical interfaces, the number of users on the Internet increased by leaps and bounds, fuelled by all the hype and excitement generated by the media. For a number of years, the Library, with the support of the Computer Centre, had maintained the University's Campus Wide Information Service (CWIS), based first on Gopher and subsequently on the World Wide Web. The increasing importance of the CWIS as a means of disseminating University wide information and promoting the University's teaching and research activities, as well as its strategic importance for scholarly communication and the provision of a flexible learning environment made the University realise that a more formal mechanism for managing the CWIS was required. As a result it was placed under the responsibility of the newly established Vice-Chancellor's Advisory Board on Communications and Multimedia, chaired by Professor Greg Egan.

A number of developments in 1995 showed that while the Library needed to re-engineer itself to meet the promise of the electronic age (when information, it was believed, would be accessed without the constraints of time and space), it also had to meet the demands generated by the continuing need to provide services focussed on its print-based collections. In fact, despite the possibility of accessing a number of resources and services remotely, the various branches had more than 3.27 million visits in 1995.

Some key developments included:

  • The completion of the Information Services Building.
  • The decision by the University to fund new library buildings on the Gippsland and Peninsula campuses.
  • The completion of the Library's Strategic and Quality Plans
  • Virtual library service developments.
  • The restructuring of document delivery services.
  • The Berwick campus library development.