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Libraries All Party Parliamentary Group

Libraries All Party Parliamentary Group

The role of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Libraries is to:

Promote the role of libraries in society and the economy, and examine themes in the wider information and knowledge sector.

About us

The Group is Chaired by Gill Furniss MP, with Lord Tope CBE and Lord Bird MBE as Co-Chairs.

The APPG is supported by CILIP, the library and information association, who provide the secretariat and the public enquiry point for the Group. If you have queries about the Group please contact Ayca Ilcen,

Our work

Libraries Week

The APPG was delighted to support Libraries Week, a celebration of the nation’s much-loved libraries. Libraries Week took place 8-13th October 2018 and had a wellbeing theme. All types of libraries showcased how they bring people together, combat loneliness and support better mental health. The campaign saw over 1,000 libraries taking part across the UK, and support from Ministers, MPs and Peers for their local libraries.

The APPG hosted a reception in the State Rooms of the Speaker’s House in the House of Commons to launch Libraries Week at Parliament on the 9th October. Speakers included Libraries Minister Michael Ellis MP, Chair of the Libraries Taskforce Prof Steven Broomhead, Chair of the Libraries APPG Gill Furniss MP and CILIP CEO Nick Poole. Guests were treated to a special performance by the New Young Voices Collective Choir, who perform regularly in libraries.

APPG launch of Libraries Week at the Houses of Parliament

The Summer Reading Challenge

In June 2018 the Group supported the launch of the Summer Reading Challenge at Parliament. Co-ordinated by The Reading Agency, the Summer Reading Challenge is run through libraries across England, Scotland and Wales. In 2017 734,552 children aged 4-11 years took part by borrowing, reading and talking about their favourite books, and a further 27,206 pre-schoolers joined in using the Mini Challenge materials.


Gill Furniss at launch of Summer Reading Challenge


Gill Furniss MP
Credit Dale Cherry


Northamptonshire Libraries

In March 2018 Gill Furniss MP, Chair of the Group, wrote to DCMS Secretary of State Matt Hancock with concerns about proposals to close or transfer 21 libraries calling for a formal inquiry and for DCMS to establish a clear and transparent definition of ‘comprehensive and efficient’ under the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act.

CityRead London launch

In March 2018 the Group hosted a launch of CityRead London 2018. Each year CityRead calls on Londoners to read a book together, getting them into their libraries, reading for pleasure, and exploring London through its stories. Hosted by Lord Tope the event showcased the 2018 book, The Muse by Jessie Burton, an exploration of the experience of arriving in London from Trinidad in 1967 – and the Spanish Civil War.

Creating the Library of the Future roundtable

In November 2017 the APPG hosted a roundtable to discuss the opportunities and challenges that public libraries face. Chaired by Gill Furniss MP and with speakers from the British Library, Arup, Carnegie UK Trust, James Reckitt Library Trust and CILIP the event examined the future of public libraries and how they can meet the changing needs of individuals, communities, the economy and wider society.


APPG hosted Creating the Library of the Future roundtable


Credit Rolf Marriott Photography and CILIP



The new Group was re-launched at a special event at the House of Lords on Tuesday 31 January 2017.

Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson, actor Ben Bailey Smith and Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell joined politicians in a packed committee room at the House of Lords for the event.


Ben Bailey Smith, Gill Furniss MP and Chris Riddell at the relaunch of APPG Libraries relaunch

 Ben Bailey Smith, Gill Furniss MP and Chris Riddell (left to right)

Credit Rolf Marriott Photography and CILIP


Libraries create the readers of the future illustration by Chris Riddell for the Libraries All Party Parliamentary Group


Dedicated illustration for the launch by Chris Riddell, children's Laureate and political cartoonist


About All Party Parliamentary Groups

APPGs are informal working groups at Westminster without formal powers. They bring together MPs and Peers from different parties with a shared interest in an issue.

They are run by and for members of the House of Commons and Lords, though many involve individuals and organisations from outside Parliament.

More about All Party Parliamentary Groups

Official register of the Group


This is not an official website of the House of Commons or the House of Lords. It has not been approved by either House or its committees. All-Party Parliamentary Groups are informal groups of Members of both Houses with a common interest in particular issues. The views expressed in these webpages are those of the group.

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