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The intention of the National Library of Medicine is to share with other libraries the products and the capabilities developed by the MEDLARS system. MEDLARS will provide bibliographic services of use to other libraries from the central system. The decentralization of the central system to permit libraries with access to computers to establish local machine retrieval systems is also indicated. The implications of such decentralization for the American medical library network and its effect on library evolution are suggested, as are the implications for international development of mechanized storage and retrieval systems.