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December 9, 1992

The Medical Library as a Patient Aid

Author Affiliations

North Shore University Hospital Cornell University Medical College Manhasset, NY

JAMA. 1992;268(22):3200. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490220044021

To the Editor.  —Ms Lindner's1 overall philosophy about providing consumer medical information is commendable; patients have the right to information. She does not, however, address the problem of financing such services in libraries that do not have grants such as the grant provided by the state of New Jersey. She also minimizes the issue of responsibility for the information or misinformation provided.The economic reality is that many hospital libraries find it difficult to serve their present constituency and are not in a position to add new services. Many libraries are one- or two-person departments and lack the resources to provide consumer health information. Health care personnel need certain levels of assistance and materials while consumers need different materials and often labor-intensive services. Furthermore, Lindner neglects to address the future of the Regional Consumer Health Information Center, if funding by the state of New Jersey ceases.Until hospital accreditation