Towards the hybrid library
Achievements in research programs are seldom what was envisaged at the start. It is still too early to judge the success or failure of the first phases of the UK Electronic Libraries Program (eLib), as several projects are still not completed. Despite this, some lessons learned are becoming apparent. In this article, I reflect on a little of what has been learned, and explore some of the implications. The eLib program has a heavy evaluation component, but the views expressed here are personal, deriving as much from living and working with the projects for the last three years as from any formal evaluations at this stage. From these reflections, I look forward briefly to the latest phase of eLib. My aim is to argue for the concept of the hybrid library as a logical follow on from current developments. Institutions should remain an important focus for digital library activities, and users in those institutions require the sort of integration of digital library services which the hybrid library promises.