Ten Things the Library Can Do For You


As we never tire of saying on W4MP (because it’s TRUE!): the Commons Library is your best friend. Remember that this list is not just for Westminster-based staff; many of the resources are just as relevant to those of you based in constituency offices. The Library is open Monday-Thursday: 9am-6pm,  Friday: 9am-4pm – or to  the rise of the House if later. During Recess opening hours are 9am-5pm (4pm on Fridays)

You can download the Ten Things Leaflet (PDF) to print and keep with you and find more at http://intranet.parliament.uk/commons-library  or on the Library blog at  http://www.commonslibraryblog.com

1.  Help with Queries

Need help tracing a report, a person, a piece of legislation, a debate?  Not sure where to start?  Ask us via telephone or e-mail, or come to the Members’ Library or Members Centre.
Call 020 7219 3666 or email: hclibrary@parliament.uk

2.  Policies, Bills & Statistics Explained

Research papers on all major public bills (before 2nd Reading and after Committee stage).  Debate packs for most non-legislative debates. Regular updates on social and economic statistics.  Today’s topical briefings are available around the estate or from the intranet.

Call 020 7219 3666 or email: hclibrary@parliament.uk

Intranet: http://intranet.parliament.uk/people-offices/offices-departments/commons-departments/commons-information-services/commons-library/

3.  Analysis from Subject Specialists

We have over 60 research specialists covering everything from administration of justice to Zimbabwe.  Contact a specialist direct or call 3666.
Call 020 7219 3666 or email: hclibrary@parliament.uk

Directory of Subject Specialists (on the intranet): https://intranet.parliament.uk/Documents/people-offices/office-departments/commons-departments/commons-information-services/commons-library/Publications/Subject-Specialist-Directory-full.pdf

Research briefings can be found on the intranet and the public Parliament website.

You can also sign up to subject alerts by email: https://intranet.parliament.uk/research-online/commons-library-services/commons-library-services/information-resources/research-current-awareness/

4.  Finding Documents

Can’t find it on the internet – or not sure what you have been asked to find?  Google let you down?  We can help!
Call 020 7219 3666 or email: hclibrary@parliament.uk or come to the Members’ Library or the Members’ Centre.

5.  Online Services

Many of the Library’s services are available online, including: Library briefing and papers; newspapers and journal databases; reference sources; statistics; parliamentary documents.
Intranet: http://intranet.parliament.uk/research-online.

6.  Loans

Borrow and reserve books, pamphlets and recordings of current affairs programmes from the Book & Video Service.  If we don’t have the book you want – as long as it is factual, we’ll find it for you!  Missed a programme on iPlayer or catch-up?  They may be able to obtain it for you.  https://intranet.parliament.uk/research-online/research/commons-library-loans1/

Call 020 7219 3666 or email: hclibrary@parliament.uk

7.  Newspapers and Journals

The latest newspapers and journals are available in the Members’ Library.  Nexis News, our online news resource, is available on the intranet:

Many journals can also be consulted online on the intranet:

8.  Information Skills

Gain a basic introduction to the procedures and publications of Parliament.  Learn about online resources, including media and parliamentary sources.  Find out how to search the database of Parliamentary material.
Call 020 7219 2973 or email:  librarytraining@parliament.uk

9. Help with casework

The Commons Library provides a range of services and resources to help Members and their staff answer constituent enquiries.  These resources provide impartial background information on issues raised by constituents and advice on where to find further help and information, such as Government departments and other agencies.


FAQs and explainers by the Commons Library to help caseworkers with constituent queries.  There is a series of casework-related articles which can be found here: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/constituency-casework/

10.  Information for Constituents

Members of the public who want information about the House’s work, membership or history can be directed to the House of Commons Enquiry Service.
020 7219 4272 or email hcenquiries@parliament.uk
Also see https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/offices/commons/house-of-commons-enquiries-service/contact-us/  This is on the public website.

Follow @commonslibrary or subscribe to ‘Second Reading’ at: www.commonslibraryblog.com


Library Guides

These guides can be downloaded from the intranet or you can pick up a hard copy from the Members’ Centre.

The first four are linked from this page: https://intranet.parliament.uk/people-offices/offices-departments/commons-departments/commons-information-services/commons-library/publications/

1.  Online Resources from the Library


This includes key resources such as Library Research Papers, Standard Notes and Debate Packs; it also includes parliamentary documentation and more specialised subscription resources, such as law databases, Who’s Who, journals, and news and media sources.

2.  Services for Members Staff


This leaflet gives an overview of the Library services available to Members’ staff

3.  Information Skills Training


Information on the training that the Library provides in the use of online resources.

4.  Using the Library from the Constituency


The House of Commons Library may not be physically near you, but almost all of the services available to Westminster-based staff are also available to constituency staff.

5.  Library Loans Service


The Library Loans Service provides loans of books and other published material (journals and official publications), DVDs and CDs of parliamentary and current affairs programmes, and an inter-library loans service for material not held in the Library.

This guide is provided by Working for an MP (w4mp).  Most of the material in Guides is subject to Crown copyright protection. Unless otherwise indicated material may be reproduced free of charge in any format or media without specific permission. This is subject to the material being reproduced accurately and not being used in a derogatory manner or in a misleading context. For more details see our Copyright page