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Redefining our people

Keeping customers satisfied

It has been a year of changing work patterns for many of the Library’s people, as new technology and improved services have been introduced to meet increasing customer needs.

The introduction of the Library’s new Integrated Library System on time and within budget is one of the year’s most significant achievements. It represents a fundamental part of the British Library’s programme to bring all its services together as one library. As well as demonstrating the importance of high calibre IT skills, changing over to the new system has involved new ways of working for many cataloguing staff.

‘In the past people had to work with different computer systems and the Integrated Library System has fulfilled a long-standing need to bring them together,’ says Caroline Brazier, Head of Collection Acquisitions and Description. ‘Putting the new system in place has involved cultural as well as operational changes. It has meant getting people to think in new ways.’

New working patterns have been introduced in Reading Rooms to improve consistency of customer service. Elements of customer service work in London have been moved to Yorkshire, necessitating a number of redundancies. Yet despite the inevitable upheaval for many of those involved, staff have succeeded in achieving the highest-ever levels of customer satisfaction across all the Library’s services.

‘Congratulations are due to everyone who has worked so hard during this period,’ says Natalie Ceeney, Director of Operations and Services. ‘The significant changes to jobs and working patterns have been tough on staff, who deserve much credit for the way they have kept services going and achieved great customer satisfaction figures during this challenging time.’

Throughout the Library, a major investment is taking place in IT and digital technology, demanding new sets of skills in key areas. In the Reading Rooms, for example, making digital resources available to users requires specialists in electronic information services. A strategic investment is being made in science, technology and medicine, led by a dedicated team that has been set up to develop innovative services for new markets for information about scientific research. At the same time traditional curatorial skills are being updated to meet the changing expectations of the Library’s customers in the information environment of the 21st century.

Joined up services

Image of Leathea Lee, Joshua Lunn and Glen Prior Leathea Lee, Joshua Lunn and Glen Prior, with their colleagues, co-ordinate services in Reading Rooms. They're joining up online ordering, book delivery and provision of e-resources so Readers have access to the full range of material they need.

Always on

Image of Ramesh Shah The Library's building security teams are on duty 24/7, and, like Ramesh Shah, St Pancras Control Room Supervisor, work day and night shifts. Ramesh often works the Christmas shift and this year was among public service staff invited to Downing Street to receive personal thanks from the Prime Minister.


Image of Sarah MacEwan Sarah MacEwan revised the induction programme for all new staff. Everyone now gets a chance to meet the Chief Executive, hear about the Library's objectives and understand how each team member contributes to the way users perceive the Library.


Image of Claire Breay People recorded information on scrolls and tablets before developing the book - or codex. Claire Breay is managing the project to put the massive volume that is the world's oldest Bible, the Codex Sinaiticus, online.

Next - Redefining our services and their users

Discover more:
The 21st century Library
Years of achievement
Chairman's statement
Chief Executive's review
Raising the standard
Attracting substantial support
Redefining our people
Redefining our services and their users
Redefining our public spaces
Redefining our collections
and collection management