The Medical Library Association's "Standards for Hospital Libraries 2002" have been developed as a guide for hospital administrators, librarians, and accrediting bodies to ensure that hospitals have the resources and services to effectively meet their needs for knowledge-based information. Specific requirements for knowledge-based information include that the library be a separate department with its own budget. Knowledge-based information in the library should be directed by a qualified librarian who functions as a department head and is a member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals. The standards define the role of the medical librarian and the links between knowledge-based information and other functions such as patient care, patient education, performance improvement, and education. In addition, the standards address the development and implementation of the knowledge-based information needs assessment and plans, the promotion and publicity of the knowledge-based information services, and the physical space and staffing requirements. The role, qualifications, and functions of a hospital library consultant are outlined. The health sciences library is positioned to play a key role in the hospital. The increasing use of the Internet and new information technologies by medical, nursing, and allied health staffs; patients; and the community require new strategies, strategic planning, allocation of adequate resources, and selection and evaluation of appropriate information resources and technologies. The Hospital Library Standards Committee has developed this document as a guideline to be used in facing these challenges.