An operating assumption for the networked environment is that many different information systems need to interoperate for users to successfully discover and retrieve distributed resources. Meaningful interoperability is often elusive. In the library community, the Z39.50 standard protocol (ISO 23950/ANSI/NISO Z39.50) for information retrieval promised seamless and transparent networked access to library resources. Too often, the reality has not lived up to the promise. This paper discusses two efforts that offer solution paths to Z39.50 interoperability.
This study, undertaken in 1998, attempted to bridge the gap of information and understanding about the current situation of state library agencies' use, opportunities and issues related to technical standards.