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Eek! I've always wondered about that. Luckily we have a small team so it hasn't been an issue. I know you can set 'read only' access to the library in the Library Manager; I don't know if they have any better options. I keep my libraries under version control (TortoiseSVN) in case I have to restore anything.
Because the library must be a single file, and all users must be able to access that single file concurrently,users can edit the same part at the same time. The library file is saved each time a user saves a part. So of course, only the last edit to a specific part will be saved. If the library were built like a database, with each part it's own record, this could be controlled. But it's not so, yes, the problem has no resolution. I've been bit by that one also. Read only doesn't help if you need to give multiple people access to libraries.
We have designated just a few people as librarians with write access to the company library. If anyone else needs to build or modify a part, tehy do it in specified working libraries. The librarians will then approve the part and move it to the company library. The librarians just haev to communicate regularly.
Pete is correct as to the behavior of the unmanaged libraries with net list projects.
You may want to take a look at the Central Library with integrated projects in PADS VX - you have more control of the "master" library.