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Armed Forces: Libraries

Volume 505: debated on Tuesday 2 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements for the provision of libraries to the armed forces are required under Queen's Regulations; and what Library services are provided. (313618)

Queen's Regulations require that Service libraries are to be established to provide a range of books and information in support of operations, education, training, personal development and recreation for members of Her Majesty's forces and entitled civilians.

Library and information services are delivered through a world-wide network. This includes: education and recreational libraries, academic libraries, defence medical libraries, technical libraries, electronic libraries as well as specialist library services that are able to provide operational support and information relating to current affairs and those of a predominantly military nature.

As with all libraries, innovative ways have been introduced to reach out to the community. For those Service Personnel, and their families, where a library is not in local reach a full postal service is available which utilises the internal postal service and is free to the user. In some cases opportunities will arise to combine our library services with those of local authorities to mutual benefit, such as at Tidworth Leisure Centre in Wiltshire.