Digital libraries will replicate many of the features of traditional libraries, but they may also draw on techniques developed by video rental companies and bookstores in making information both readily accessible and attractively presented. A generalized schema for global information systems of this type is essential; it must address issues of data structure and system interoperability so that information of all types can be freely exchanged across whatever platforms may develop in the future. The ability to search, identify, and retrieve not only text but recorded sound and complex images depends on a systematic approach to handles and metadata. The mode of access to data will be partly determined by economic and social forces and could require additional tagging. The global digital library may well be an inevitable next stage in the evolution of information sharing, but its implementation requires a plan that addresses the complexities of these issues on a broadly conceived and coherent basis.