The development of Italy's national library network (Servizio Bibliotecario Nazionale, SBN) consisted of three phases:
1) definition of the objectives and fundamental guidelines of the cooperation model, of the related methodological apparatus, of the architectural choices, of the management procedures, and of the organisational aspects; the initial nuclei of the two national libraries and the central database (Indice) were implemented in this initial phase and the political and institutional relations established and formalised;
2) consolidation of the project's infrastructure components, i.e., the organisational components (protocols and agreements between partners), the technological components (acquisition of IT resources) and the methodological components, which were refined as cooperation developed; in the same phase the network was expanded, with a robust central system;
3) management and growth of the national system with the aim of ensuring an "open" network as regards use, technologies, cooperation strategy and service expansion.
In 1997, a private company studied the evolution of the SBN network. The study reports consists of the following five parts: 1) Analysis of the present situation; 2) Efficiency of the present solutions; 3) Definition of problems and needs; 4) Outline project for the technical and organisational solution; 5) Final considerations.
The first two parts analyse the present situation of the SBN, more specifically, the efficiency of the present situations at the various levels and identification of the critical nodes, and also examine the problems and needs of the various categories of users. The next two parts illustrate the draft macroproject for the proposed technical and organisational evolution while the final part analyses specific aspects such as organisational impact, relative realisation risks, some reference elements for a cost/benefit analysis and indications regarding the monitoring criteria for projects under way or to be implemented in the future.
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