The value of a library for patients as a way of providing written health information in the general practice setting has been investigated using a questionnaire. In 15 months, 243 books were borrowed from one library. Each book contained a questionnaire and 163 questionnaires were returned (67%). It was found that 106 respondents (65%) would not have sought the information elsewhere and 159 respondents (98%) found the books they had read to be very useful or of some use. The perceived level of anxiety after reading was raised in nine respondents (6%) but reduced in 71 (44%). Patients read books on 53 separate topics overall, although 73 respondents (45%) read on 10 recurring topics. A patients' library thus enables most patients to gain useful information from their general practice without increasing their anxiety.