Hit The Stacks Without Leaving The Dorm

Carnegie Mellon University students may no longer have to trudge to the library to scan the latest in scientific research. Thanks to Project Mercury, one of the first electronic library systems using distributed computing, they can tap into the library electronically with nearly any type of personal computer from anywhere on the campus.

The on-line system currently carries seven journals on computer science and artificial intelligence. Within seconds of asking to see an article, the student's PC displays fine-quality images of the journal pages, including diagrams and graphics. Although CMU doesn't plan to have books on-line, it is negotiating with various publishers to carry other scientific journals.

Project Mercury allows for a more decentralized library system consisting of 14 data bases on smaller workstations around the campus. That means each department can set up a data base and publish its own papers or journal without having to go through a central library clearinghouse.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.