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The Biomedical Communications Network (BCN) is the embodiment of the plans of the National Library of Medicine to provide improved information, document, and education services to the health community. The BCN also will be the “core” public service network to ensure the most expeditious delivery of health information and education products to a selected public. As such, utilization of communications satellites as well as other more common forms of telecommunications are planned.
The library component of the Network will provide decentralized library services to medical libraries, medical schools, hospitals, MEDLARS Centers, local medical centers and individual medical practitioners. These decentralized services will be provided through an information network with its hub at the Bethesda, Maryland site of the NLM.
The NLM intends that the library services network be a controlled rather than a permissive system. This simply implies that participation and access to the services of the system will be determined by the NLM. Planning has already progressed to the point where services to be provided can be enumerated.