Annual Report and Accounts 2000-01


(Librarian: David Jones)

1  Purpose

The Library provides research, information and bibliographic services to support the legislative, deliberative and judicial functions of the House.

2  Organisation

The Library, which serves Members of the House, has 25 permanent and 2 part-time staff; 14 of the 21 graduates on the staff hold professional library qualifications. An extra Library Clerk was appointed in March 2001 in order to provide a research service in the satellite library.

3  Activities and Financial Performance

At the beginning of the year, the collection of legal books housed near the Law Lords' offices was transferred to the care of the Library. An Assistant Librarian was appointed to provide library services to the Law Lords; to supervise the collection; and to integrate it into the Library's main collection.

A satellite library for the use of Members with accommodation in the 7 Little College Street extension was opened in December 2000. Two Assistant Librarians and a Library Assistant were appointed to staff the satellite library. The small and steady demand for services is likely to increase when the Millbank House accommodation opens later in 2001.

Information technology

  • An Access database was developed to record research enquiries carried out for Members and records of enquiries since 1977 were transferred to the new database.

  • An important upgrade was installed on the system on which the Library's housekeeping is maintained: the modules controlling the Library's ordering and receipt of books and the details of the physical location of the books in the catalogue were upgraded from the old DOS system to a Windows-based system.

  • The reader-printer, used for accessing and copying from the Library's collections of microforms, was replaced by a scanner which permits the scanning of copies from microforms to a personal computer from which the images can be printed.

Work began during the Summer recess on the necessary renovation of the Library's basement storerooms in the Palace. The old stationery storeroom was dismantled, renovated and converted into a storeroom for legal periodicals and for the publications of the devolved assemblies. Over the next 2 years, the other 7 storerooms in the basement area will be renovated.

Members' use of the Library's research services showed a small decrease on the previous year, which is usual towards the end of a Parliament. Staff at the Information Desk dealt with 16,073 enquiries (13,470 in 1999-2000). 2,392 new titles or new editions were added to the Library's catalogue (1,486 in 1999-2000) and 4,470 items were added to the POLIS database (4,104 in 1999-2000).

Budget provision for 2000-01 was £1,440,900. Out-turn expenditure was £1,444,226 (£1,251,616 in 1999-2000). VAT refunds and income totalled £32,301 (£30,593 in 1999-2000), of which £10,000 was used in aid of the budget.

4  Future Activities

  • The development of a Library webpage on the Parliamentary Intranet.

  • The installation of the PDVN in the uncabled parts of the Library's main suite.

  • Re-arrangement of the basement storerooms following renovation work.

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