Do you have information vision? In other words how do you see information technology evolving to meet information needs. Perhaps yours is a vision of conversing with a computer via an input device such as a telephone, and having it traverse knowledge bases and collect data, then report to you results along with options. Perhaps you envision experiencing information through the technology of virtual reality; after reading about an automotive engine, mathematics, or the human body, why not take a journey within them? Perhaps you imagine acquiring documents, images or books that are no longer in print or readily available, by having them downloaded to your computer or faxed to you. Information professionals and users are and will continue to turn visions like these into reality.
In reviewing the current literature it's easy to see that information technology is making access to information more personal, portable and convenient. For example, some information services, are offering personalized current awareness programs and delivering the results by broadcasting remotely to either your portable computer, or vehicle via "smart radio", so that in some cases information is there waiting for you.
In this issue of the Journal, Jim Dator and Bindi Borg reflect on the way information technology should change the way we think about traditional workplace structures. Essentially, enhanced access is transforming the way organizations operate, their products and services. Ted Koppel describes the way data communication and computer architecture are used by CARL Systems, Inc. to cross geographic boundaries and broaden information access. Ann Coder summarizes current thinking about new models for reference. These include user-centered services, on-demand library services, and reengineering systems to give the user the maximum sense of control. Larry Osborne offers a look into barcode technology, the critical link between the online database and the physical collection. Ann Rabinko describes the management of an image digitizing project of which the end result provides enhanced access to photographic images. There is a trend toward use of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to supplant conventional, paper based business processes. Marla Whitney describes the process and advantage of doing business electronically.
I would like to think that all information professionals, and users, have a vision of the way information will be packaged, delivered, and presented in the future. As computer architecture and communication technology continue to be vital tools in turning vision into reality, its important to remember that it's you, that add value to these systems.
James P. Adamson