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We describe a librarian knowledge-based system that generates a search strategy from a query representation based on a user's information need. Together with the natural language parser AQUA, the system functions as a human/computer interface, which translates a user query from free text into a BRS Onsite search formulation, for searching the MEDLINE bibliographic database. In the system, conceptual graphs are used to represent the user's information need. The UMLS Metathesaurus and Semantic Net are used as the key knowledge sources in building the knowledge base.