Furniss to chair APPG for libraries

Gill Furniss, Sheffield MP and Shadow Minister, will chair the re-launched All-Party Parliamentary Group for Libraries.

The establishment of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Libraries is being supported by the Chartered Institute if Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), the library and information association. CILIP provides the secretariat for the Group.

Furness, who is currently Shadow Steel, Postal Affairs and Consumer Protection Minister, said: “As a former librarian and now a MP, I am proud to chair the APPG for Libraries. My first job was as a library assistant in Firth Park Library at the age of sixteen. Before entering politics I spent my early career working in libraries and gained a degree in library and information services as a mature student.

“I’ve seen what libraries mean to a whole range of people looking for work, studying, wanting the best start for their children, and escaping isolation and loneliness. I’m delighted to chair the All-Party Parliamentary Group and raise the profile of libraries in communities, businesses, hospitals, schools, prisons, across government, colleges and universities.”

Nick Poole, CILIP chief executive, said: “I look forward to working with politicians from all parties to raise the profile of libraries and information services in Parliament. I’m encouraged to see this government’s increasing recognition of the vital need for basic and advanced skills to create the opportunities and prosperity the UK needs. We have incredible libraries embedded in communities, organisations and businesses. We now need to connect the need for skills with the services that can meet them.”

A special event, hosted by Lord Graham Tope CBE, will celebrate the re-launch at the House of Lords on Tuesday 31 January. The event will include a speech by Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson and a reading of Ben Aaronovitch’s new children's best-seller from Ben Bailey Smith.