Commons Library Subject Specialsts


The Commons Library produces loads of research papers, many of which are available for all to see on the public parliamentary website here.

If you work for a Member and have a detailed enquiry, it may help to speak with a Commons Library subject specialist. There is a comprehensive list on the intranet here.

Education Loan Boxes for schools in your constituency


This sounds like an exciting project from Parliament’s Education Outreach Team
who are looking for help from Members and their staff in promoting it.
Read on to see how you can help schools in your area get involved.
It’s first-come-first-served….

Parliament’s Education Service has a new range of debating themed loan boxes, which will be available for schools to hire free of charge from 16 September 2013. The contents of the loan boxes have been designed to promote pupils’ investigations into the work of Parliament through interactive role-play and discussion.

Designed specifically for Primary, Junior and Special Educational Needs (SEN) schools, the loan box scheme seeks to encourage children to take part in Parliament style debates, using the resources provided in the boxes.

Each loan box each contains various tactile objects, key items of costume, sounds and images to help schools set the scene for their very own parliamentary experience; groups will even be able to create their own debating chambers with the large backdrop images provided.

Support materials and lesson guides are included for teachers and classroom support staff, with suggestions for additional activities and ways to encourage children to become active citizens.

Parliament’s Education Service will commence advertising this new scheme to UK schools in the next few weeks but we would welcome your assistance in promoting this opportunity to friends and colleagues working in Primary and Special Schools in your local areas.

Please be aware that applications for loan boxes must come directly from school staff and loans will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis; loan periods will typically last for 6 weeks per booking. Loan boxes will be delivered and collected, free of charge, to any school location across the UK.

All enquiries should be directed to or you can call Parliament’s Education Service, Outreach team, on 0207 219 4647.

Sexist internet Trolling – What it is, and how to combat it


Thursday 13 Jun 2013, 15:00 – 16:00.  Attlee Suite, Portcullis House

The Diversity and Inclusion team welcomes Helen Lewis, Deputy Editor of the New Statesman for a talk with Q&A, on sexist trolling on the internet, to complement events in the run-up to Parliament Week, which this year focuses on women and democracy, and how to increase participation.

Helen Lewis has been writing about internet “trolling” and online abuse for 18 months. She will talk through the scope of the problem, what motivates “trolls”, the challenges they present for news websites and forums, and what can be done to tackle them.

All welcome to attend, for further details please contact Anne Foster on x1412 or email


W4MP has requested that information from the meeting is made available to those not able to attend the meeting.  If this happens we will bring it to you via the w4mp website.

What is the Parliamentary Current Awareness Service?


Are you making best use of the wonderful resources available to you from the Commons Library?

Here’s one you can’t afford to ignore: the Parliamentary Current Awareness Service.  It’s available on the intranet here.

Go on – have a look now!

While you’re there, check out some of the other stuff the Library offers. The main page is here.

Need more?  Why not subscribe to their topical updates on current affairs, including selected news articles, Hansard records, economic indicators, Library briefings and talks. You can do that here.

Feeling a bit more pampered now? Good!