Libraries Taskforce

Implementing the Independent Library Report for England, providing leadership and helping to reinvigorate the public library service.

Role of the Taskforce

The Taskforce’s role is to enable the delivery of the recommendations from the Independent Library Report for England and to build upon and add value to existing good practice, partnerships and other activities that are already supporting public libraries. It also promotes libraries to national and local government and to potential funders, and creates a strong and coherent narrative around the contribution public libraries make to society and to local communities.

The Taskforce reports to ministers via the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Local Government Association (LGA).

The priorities for the Libraries Taskforce are:

  • promoting public libraries to the public and to decision-makers
  • providing library services and potential partners with easy access to evidence and data to inform their decision-making
  • providing clearly signposted, step by step guidance and peer support to support sustainable library services
  • helping the sector (paid staff and volunteers) obtain the insights, skills and support it needs for the future


The members of the Taskforce are:

  • Professor Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive of Warrington Borough Council and Chair of the Libraries Taskforce
  • Sheila Bennett, Head of Libraries Strategy and Delivery, DCMS
  • Neil Churchill, OBE, Director of Patient Experience, NHS England
  • Katherine Fairclough, Chief Executive, Cumbria County Council
  • Mark Freeman, President of Libraries Connected (formerly the Society of Chief Librarians) (and Libraries and Information Services Manager, Stockton-on-Tees)
  • Diana Gerald, Chief Executive, Book Trust
  • Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library
  • Paul Martin, Chief Executive for London Boroughs of Wandsworth and Richmond
  • Karen Napier, Chief Executive of the Reading Agency
  • Cllr Matthew Lee, Member, LGA Culture, Tourism and Sport Board
  • Clare Perkins, Deputy Director - Priorities and Programmes Division, Public Health England
  • Nick Poole, Chief Executive of CILIP, the library and information association
  • Iain Varah, Member of Chief Cultural and Leisure Officers Association and Chief Executive of Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure
  • Sue Williamson, Director, Libraries and Birmingham, Arts Council England


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