Twenty-seven years ago, when I started the postgraduate library in our local hospital, I made a point of personally finding out the consultants' and other staff 's main medical interests.

I asked if they would like to be kept up to date with literature on their subject. I had an excellent response: about 75 per cent were keen.

So each morning at about 7.30am, I read through all the journals we received and copied current contents and relevant articles. This was usually done by 9.30am.

Now there is the luxury of all this work being done on computers. The librarian can provide current awareness in a few minutes, though it takes time to become familiar with items to send staff.

Out of nine chief executives at the hospital, only two ever availed themselves of the library facilities.

M Davies Barnet Herts