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March 1, 1976

Regional Medical Libraries

Author Affiliations

President Washington State Medical Association Seattle

JAMA. 1976;235(9):908. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260350014008

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To the Editor.—  On behalf of the physicians of the State of Washington, I strongly endorse Martin Cummings' commentary, "Your National Library of Medicine" (233:1359, 1975). Although he focuses on the resources and services of the National Library in Bethesda—and these are unparalled in concept anywhere in the world!—I believe he inadvertently underemphasizes the enormous potential of the associated 11 regional medical libraries for making current medical knowledge available to physician patrons throughout the country.These regional libraries are not intended to be depositories of books, rather they are expeditors of network service, but with limited budgets. To circumvent this constraint in our state, the Washington State Medical Association and several of our larger county medical societies have been working with the Pacific Northwest Regional Health Sciences Library to develop a complementary program. The professional associations employ librarians who are actually stationed in other institutions' libraries. There, the librarians take