Library 2020

‘Library 2020’ is a programme designed to secure a sustainable future for the House of Commons Library. It was introduced by the Library’s Management Board in November 2018 and will complete in spring 2020. The programme will improve the efficiency of the Library service to meet the rising demand for its expertise.

The House of Commons Library has supported MPs for over 200 years. We pride ourselves on providing politically impartial and expertly researched information, resources, and training, to help MPs and their staff scrutinise legislation, develop policy and support constituents.

Library 2020 will improve how we share our expertise with MPs and MPs’ staff. The programme will help them make the most of our service while reducing pressure on our staff. We will do this by improving online access to our expertise and evolving our service model to respond more quickly to what MPs and their staff need.

Library 2020 will:

  • Improve our online presence by bringing all publications and services to commonslibrary.parliament.uk
  • Ensure all Library publications are mobile responsive, accessible and searchable
  • Create a programme of support, training and guidance to help MPs and MPs’ staff find, understand and use the information they need
  • Research the needs of MPs and MPs’ staff and use findings to inform how we evolve our service

What we are doing now

  • Improving our website. We have brought our research, resources, and training and events to one place – commonslibrary.parliament.uk. It is now easier than ever to find our impartial briefings, access our online catalogue of books, journals and databases, and book training courses. We will continue to improve the structure of our site, using intelligence from service designers and user experience specialists to create effective user journeys and improve search.
  • Making our historical research available on our website. We are migrating all of our research briefings from researchbriefings.parliament.uk to commonslibrary.parliament.uk. From March 2020, everyone will be able to access our full catalogue of research on our website. That’s over 8,000 briefings dating back to 1995!
  • Improving support for constituency caseworkers. We have produced a series of FAQs and explainers aimed specifically at those MPs’ staff who deal with constituent queries. Our constituency casework articles address topics like tenancy related fees, appealing benefits decisions, immigration appeal rights, common leasehold issues and much more. We will provide feedback opportunities for caseworkers to continue improving the content of these articles.
  • Developing new research skills guidance. We are writing online research skills guidance for MPs’ staff. This guidance will include information on where to find research resources and how to perform specialist, impartial research.
  • Improving remote access to our resources. We are focused on ensuring that MPs and MPs’ staff working outside of Westminster – in constituency offices or on the go – can access our resources.
  • Putting our new Statement of Services into effect. Our new Statement of Services was approved by the Members’ Administration Committee in September 2018. It includes our fair use policy which outlines what customers can expect from us and makes our limitations clear. We are currently implementing it internally to help our staff better manage demand.
  • Implementing changes from our customer research programme. Working with external researchers, ‘KnowResearch’, we have conducted a research study into the needs of MPs and MPs’ staff to better understand what they need most from the Library service. We are now using the findings to inform service changes and create new feedback and evaluation opportunities.

Want to know more?

We are happy to speak to any MPs, MPs’ staff and Parliamentary staff about the Library 2020 programme, how it may affect you or opportunities to get involved. Please email papers@parliament.uk and we will be in touch.


This page was updated on 3/1/2020.