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In September 1990, the University of Washington (UW) received a Phase I IAIMS Planning Grant from the National Library of Medicine and embarked upon a planning process involving the entire health sciences center. As a result of our relatively late entry into IAIMS planning, we have been able to learn from the experiences of other health sciences centers and to leverage our existing institutional efforts. Consequently, our progress has been rapid, and in a little over a year, we drafted a long-range plan and embarked on several related research and development projects. The hallmarks of our planning process include careful study of both the UW institutional environment and the experiences of other IAIMS institutions throughout the United States; broad, interdisciplinary participation of faculty, librarians, and administrators; an intensive educational process; a focus on people rather than technology; and, above all, leveraging of existing institutional and research projects that support our vision for the future.