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Freedom of Information Publication Scheme

This page brings together publications relating to the structure of the Library, its organisation, and what we do.

  1. Who we are and what we do
  2. What we spend and  how we spend it
  3. What are our priorities and how are we doing
  4. How we make decisions
  5. Our policies and procedures
  6. Lists and registers
  7. The services we offer

1. Who We Are and What We Do

Roles and Responsibilities

The British Library Board delegates management of the British Library to the Library's Chief Officers. The Chief Officer's are responsible for formulating and implementing a unified corporate and integrated approach to the policy, strategy, and resource framework set by the British Library Board, and with due regard to the efficient and effective deployment of staff, to their health, safety and wellbeing  and to other resources throughout the organisation.

Details of the specific role and responsibilities of each of the Chief Officers can be found in the 'Trustees, Management Board Members and Senior Staff' section below.


Organisational Structure

Under the leadership of the Chief Officers, our Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) has overall responsibility for the Library's management and operations. Each member of SLT is also responsible for one or more of the Library's teams or functions.


Chief Executive Officer - Roly Keating

  • The Chief Executive’s Office is responsible for the management of the Chief Executive’s and Chairman’s private offices
  • Corporate Affairs - is responsible for media relations and reputation management, internal communications, public policy & government relations, public libraries strategy, intellectual property strategy, and the Knowledge Quarter. Head of Department - Miki Lentin
  • Development - fundraises for a range of projects on behalf of the Library, and is responsible for all of the voluntary income that we receive. The Development Office is also responsible for the Adopt-a-Book programme, Patrons programme, and Supporters programme. Head of Department - Patrick Fleming
  • Governance - provides secretariat support to the British Library Board and its committees, the British Library Advisory Council, the Strategic Leadership Team, and the three major groups that coordinate the work of the Library : Business Performance, Major Programmes, and Audit & risk Groups. Head of Department - Richard Gibby
  • Strategy Development - is responsible for developing our major visions, strategies and business plans. Head of Department - Liz White


Chief Librarian - Liz Jolly

  • The Chief Librarian's Office - coordinates and manages our Collections based activities, international engagement and public programmes.
  • Boston Spa Hub Programme - is developing the proposal made in our Living Knowledge Strategy to create a UK Printed Collections Management Hub at Boston Spa. Head of Department - Terry Chapman
  • Business Audiences – leads and develops the Library’s strategic direction for customers in the Business and the Creative Industries, and coordinates the Innovating for Growth Project and the BIPC network. Head of Department - Isabel Oswell.
  • Collection Management – ensures that the Library’s collections are managed properly throughout their life-cycle through cataloguing, metadata management, conservation and preservation activities. Head of Department - Alasdair Ball
  • Collections & Curation – leads the Library’s strategic development of our Collections to support our role as the UK’s national library and published archive, as well as strategic engagement with cultural, education and creative stakeholders. This department is also responsible for the management and stewardship of the Library’s Asian & African, Contemporary British, European & American, and Western Heritage material, including the International Dunhuang Project (IDP). Head of Department - Kristian Jensen
  • Cultural & Learning - leads the Library's strategic engagement with the wider cultural sector, as well as develops our strategic approach to engagement with the public. This department also develops and delivers our events and exhibitions, as well as our wider learning programme which provides workshops, activities and resources for schools, teachers, and learners of all ages. Head of Department - Jamie Andrews
  • Digital Scholarship – leads and develops the Library’s strategic management of digital content through digital research and curation and ongoing digitisation programmes. This department is also responsible for the Endangered Archives Programme (EAP). Head of Department - Adam Farquhar
  • Higher Education – leads the Libraries strategic relationships with the UK Higher Education sector. Head of Department - Maja Maricevic
  • Qatar Foundation Partnership - makes the history and culture of the Gulf and wider region available through items held in our Collections. The Partnership is responsible for the creation of the Qatar Digital Library (in partnership with the Qatar Foundation and the Qatar National Library), a new, bilingual, online portal providing access to previously undigitised British Library archive materials relating to Gulf history and Arabic science, including personal and official archives, photographs, maps and recordings of traditional music. Head of Department - Richard Davies
  • Research Engagement – leads the Library’s strategic engagement with researchers and develops Library services to meet their needs. This department is also responsible for the management and stewardship of the Library’s Humanities & Social Science material, and the Library’s Science, Technology and Medicine material as well as the operation of the Library’s Business & IP Centre. Head of Department - Vacant


Chief Operating Officer - Phil Spence

  • The Chief Operating Officer's Office - has oversight of our finance and planning activities, strategic risk management and security, IT, remote customer services, commercial activity, estates, and facilities.
  • Accounting – provides financial services to the Library, including financial and management accounting, financial planning, treasury and cash management and account payable and receivable functions. Head of Department - Mick Wilkin
  • Commercial Services – manages the commercial strategy for the Library, and identifies/implements new business opportunities and revenue streams. This department is also responsible for the management of the Library’s publishing activities and Shop. Head of Department - Caroline Brown
  • Digital & Marketing Operations – provides and manages the Library's website, and also acts a central resource for British Library marketing activities. Head of Department - Graham MacFadyen
  • Estates & Facilities – operates and maintains the Library’s buildings and systems, and provides and manages (primarily outsourced) facilities services, including catering, cleaning, business travel and space planning. Head of Department - Patrick Dixon
  • Finance - The Head of Finance coordinates the work of Accounting, Procurement, IRM, and Planning & Compliance to ensure compliance with statutory and regulatory frameworks in relation to finance, procurement, and other aspects of governance. Head of Department - Jayne King
  • HR – leads and develops the Library’s policies on corporate diversity, employee relations and remunerations, and advises Library managers on day to day and strategic HR issues. Head of Department - Dawn Whelan-Smith
  • IT Services – develops, installs, and maintains the Library’s  IT infrastructure, and is also responsible for our Web Archiving programme. - Head of Department - Lee Edwards
  • Operations North – provides a single point of contact with the Library for remote users of our services. This department is responsible for document supply services, customer services, ticket booking, interlibrary loan, and complaints management. Head of Department - Andy Appleyard
  • Operations South – manages the day to day use of our Reading Rooms, including Reader Admissions and Research Services. Head of Department - Jeremy Shillito
  • Organisation Development – develops the Library’s capabilities and capacity through corporate learning, leadership development, succession planning, staff wellbeing and engagement, and recruitment. This department is also leads and develops the Library’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme. Head of Department - Alistair McIntosh
  • Planning & Assurance – provides assurance, control and audit activities in support of the Chief Financial Officer. This department is responsible for the management of the Library’s financial systems, payroll, internal audit, business planning, management information, project management, and risk management. Head of Department - Sandra Bradbury
  • Procurement – leads and develops the Library’s procurement strategy. This department is also responsible for legal services. Head of Department - Alasdair Fraser
  • Public Lending Right – manages payments from government funds to authors, illustrators and other contributors whose books are borrowed from public libraries. Head of Department - Janine Armstrong
  • Safety & Security Management – manages security, health & safety, records management, information compliance, and business continuity. Head of Department - Peter Brooks


An online visualisation of our structure can be found on the website.


Trustees, Management Board Members and Senior Staff

The British Library Board is ultimately responsible for the provision of the Library's services. Individual Board members sit on British Library Board Committees relevant to their areas of expertise - the Board Audit Committee, Remuneration Committee, 'Whistleblower', Construction Projects Committee, and Investment Committee.

The British Library Board delegates operational management of the British Library to the Library's Chief Officers:

In 2013 the government took the decision to abolish the position of Registrar of Public Lending Right and to to transfer legal responsibility for administration of the PLR Scheme to the British Library Board. To support its administration of PLR, the British Library has set up an advisory committee – the British Library Advisory Committee for Public Lending Right - to provide expert advice to it on the operation of the PLR Scheme and to represent the views of PLR stakeholders. The Committee replaces the former Management Board which advised the former Registrar on the management of the Scheme. 


Our Locations and Public Access Arrangements

Details of our opening hours and addresses can be found on the British Library website.


Our Contact Details

You can find out how to contact us (or how to make a complaint) on the British Library website.


Subsidiary Bodies

The British Library owns no subsidiary companies.


Legislation Relevant to the British Library's Functions

The statutory duties of the British library are set out in the British Library Act 1972 , the Public Lending Right Act 1979, and the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 (as amended by the Legal Deposit Libraries (Non-Print Works) Regulations 2013).

The sponsoring government department of the British Library is the Department for Culture, Media & Sport.


Organisations With Which the British Library Works in Partnership

The Library works closely with a limited number of strategic partners on programmes that are of strategic importance to the Library in the long term, are of significant scale, and are of mutual benefit.

These partnerships tend to be in four key sectors:

  • Content - we partner with organisations such as the BBC, the National Archive or the British Film Institute to provide access to a richer and wider array of content than the Library could provide on its own
  • Education - we partner with organisations such as JISC to coordinate our work with researchers in the Higher Education sector
  • Commercial - we partner with commercial organisations such as Google, BrightSolid, Gale or the Qatar Foundation to enable us to digitise and provide access to our vast hard-copy collections on a scale that the Library can not provide on its own
  • Technology - we partner with organisations such as Microsoft in order to develop technical solutions and expertise on matters such as Digital Preservation.


Meetings of Chief Executive with Ministers and External Organisations

A list of of meetings with Ministers or senior members of major external organisations attended by the Chief Executive of the British Library can be found in this spreadsheet - from January 2015 onwards. All meetings are to discuss general matters of shared interest unless otherwise noted.

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