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British Library Board (Power to Borrow) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:10 pm on 13th March 2020.

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Photo of Bim Afolami Bim Afolami Conservative, Hitchin and Harpenden 12:10 pm, 13th March 2020

I agree with my hon. Friend. It is probably worth saying at this juncture that giving the British Library the power to borrow does not mean that I now do not wish everything the British Library does to be done better; of course there are things it could do better. Indeed, my hon. Friend makes the point about the British Library showing off much more of what it has. I agree that these items should not just be for showing to Members of Parliament before they present a Bill. They should be presented much more to the public. Having the ability to borrow will give the British Library the freedom to innovate much more than it does today, and that will enable it to show more of its collections to the public. If it does not do so, I am sure that the Minister will say, “Well, hold on—you have now the ability to borrow. Why not push the boat out a bit more with different types of exhibition and exhibits?”