In 1977, at the opening of the BPI, was established the "telephone answer service". It offers an encyclopedic information service which is open to all. From an enquiry held in 1980, it emerges that calls induced by personal or professional problems are generally prevailing over those related to studying : which is opposite to the general situation in the library. The nature of the consultation means - the telephone -has brought about a reduction of the usual social disparities that generally occur in using similar cultural equipments.
Bibliographical questions, coordinates and practical problems are the ground of the various calls. In order to face this demand, the service has set up a documentation based on reference books together with a collection of files and a daily periodical-scanning. The public information telephone is a generalist within the whole documentation field, therefore it puts a special emphasis on directing demands towards specialized organisms. Besides, it has just added one more string to its bow by beeing responsible for a monthly telematics review on videotex.