At 3am (UK time) on 18 October 2002, an Australian hospital treating victims of the Bali bombing in Melbourne urgently needed an article to deal with a medical emergency. Knowing an article had been written that would help with their problem the team put in a request to the British Library’s Document Supply site near Wetherby in Yorkshire.
From receiving the request at 3am, the Library’s staff had extracted the journal from the site’s 130km of shelving within 5 minutes, and had scanned and send the article to the Melbourne hospital via the Internet by 3.20am. The article was the management of blast injury by L.M. Guzzi and G Argyros from a 1996 edition of the European Journal of Emergency Medicine.
Natalie Ceeney, Operations and Services Director at the British Library, said, 'This case underlines the vital importance of an information resource like the British Library. We were able to draw on the vast scope of our collections and get the required document to the people who needed it within a very short space of time. I am glad the British Library was able to offer any assistance it could in these tragic circumstances.'
Press release from 18 October 2002.