Charlotte Williamson's feature comments on the needs of the increasing number of lay people appointed to health service bodies. It concludes that lay representatives 'should read professional journals' and that they need to 'draw on different kinds of knowledge, which is sometimes difficult or expensive to find'.

Librarians can provide just this kind of support in locating appropriate knowledge resources, be they clinical, ethical, cultural, consumer-related, organisational, political etc.

Lay representatives would be well-advised to contact their local trust or health authority library for help and advice on gaining access to whatever knowledge they need to support them in their task. Non-executive board members may similarly find the services of their local library of great benefit.

Mrs Tina Wilson Service co-ordinator Regional library and information unit South Thames library and information service Royal Surrey County Hospital Guildford