Minister for civil society Rob Wilson has been given responsibility for public libraries at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
Wilson has been minister for civil society at the Cabinet Office since 2014 and will continue with this role alongside holding the libraries brief. The libraries brief was previously held by Ed Vaizey, the country's longest serving arts minister, who left the government in Theresa May's reshuffle last week when he was replaced by Matt Hancock.
Nick Poole, chief executive of libraries body CILIP, said: “I would like to congratulate Rob Wilson on his appointment. I am sure he is relishing the opportunity to support and develop libraries as they improve life chances for families and communities across the country. Libraries add value to the UK economy by supporting enterprise and employment, they save the NHS money through public health initiatives, and are an essential part of improving literacy skills.
“As minister for civil society, Rob’s experiences spearheading initiatives that improve social mobility, give everyone equal chances and create a stronger society will be invaluable. I look forward to working with Rob and his team to ensure that there is the political leadership, policy support and investment to create modern and sustainable library services that meet the information needs of the public now and in the future.”
Other members of the DCMS ministerial team are Karen Bradley MP, who is secretary of state for DCMS, and Hancock MP, minister of state for culture and the digital economy. Under the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act it is the DCMS secretary of state who ultimately is responsible for the stewardship and improvement of public library services in England.