Taking a penetrating look at the history of information systems, from the past to the present and future, veteran librarian and digital network expert Harold Billings discusses the impact of the information revolution on libraries and information hubs worldwide. Tracing the seminal origins of the Web to the new, borderless access to information, Magic and Hypersystems is a powerful meditation on how libraries can not only fit into the digital information flow but also capitalize on their role in it. Billings connects the dots from sixteenth century knowledge organization - based on magic, image-based memory - to global information systems of today as embodied in the twenty-first-century relational library model where information flow is boundless. Billings believes the profession stands at the cusp of a tremendous opportunity - to construct a global, relational library that will provide a rich base of information for all knowledge seekers. He encourages libraries to build new structures and alliances that will equip them to connect their users to the richest possible information sources. He examines the key issues of the day, such as: - The future of library education and librarianship - New models of cooperative collection building - Strategic alliances with information communities (CAUSE, EDUCOM) and the corporate world (Eastman Kodak, Xerox) - Governance of OCLC and other networking organizations - Fees for service - Linking technologies (reference linking, Digital Object Identifiers) - Strained relations of publishers and libraries Are libraries the centers of influence in the great global information village? Food for thought and fresh ideas for growing the relational library of the future abound in this treatise on equal and limitless information access.