January 31, 1996 12:30 PM PST

Electric Library debuts tomorrow

Infonautics Corporation will tomorrow launch an online reference database that provides access to text and graphics of reference information including 150 newspapers and 900 magazines.

Dubbed The Electric Library, the service will be provided on the Internet, Microsoft Network, and Apple's eWorld for $9.95 per month for unlimited access.

The Internet provides too much irrelevant information when researching a specific topic, according to Joshua Kopelman, cofounder and executive vice president of Infonautics. "The Net is intimidating because people have to sift through a lot of information to get their answers," he said. "We're not in competition with the Net, we're just trying to give people specific answers to specific questions," he added.

Search engines will get better in the future, but they may charge for certain information, according to Kopelman. "A lot of archived information already costs money, and people don't want to pay ? la carte; they want to pay one price," he said.

The distinction of people going to libraries and going to their PC for research will blur in the future, said Kopelman. "Physical libraries will never be obsolete, but research will never be the same," he said. "The days of spending hours finding books and articles are over."


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