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
Roles and Responsibilities
The British Library Board delegates management of the British Library to a senior executive committee known as the Executive Leadership Team (ELT). The Executive Leadership Team is 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 member of the Executive Leadership team can be found below in the 'Trustees, Management Board Members and Senior Staff' section.
Under the leadership of the Executive Leadership team the library is organised into two Divisions plus the Chief Executive’s Office.
Chief Executive’s Office - 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, and is also responsible for the Library’s Strategy Development, International Engagement, Corporate Affairs, Fundraising and Donor Development, and secretariat support for the British Library Board.
Collections Division - Director of Collections - Caroline Brazier
Departments within the Collections Division work to develop the Library’s content in all formats and languages, and from all periods:
- British Library / Qatar Foundation Partnership Programme – develops and manages the Qatar Digital Library in partnership with the Qatar Foundation. Head of Department - Richard Gibby
- Business Audiences – leads and develops the Library’s strategic direction for research audiences in Higher Education, Business and the Creative Industries. 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
- Cultural Engagement - leads the Library's strategic engagement with the wider cultural sector. Head of Department - Jamie Andrews
- Digital & Marketing Operations – provides and manages the Library's website, and also acts a central resource for British Library marketing activities, assisting with: web design, analytics and maintenance; market research; design; brand management; customer data management; and events planning, marketing and delivery. Head of Department - Graham MacFadyen
- 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
- 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, History & Classical Studies, Western Heritage, and European & American material, as well as the International Dunhuang Project (IDP), the India Office Library and the Sound & Vision collections. Head of Department - Kristian Jensen
- Eccles Centre for American Studies – promotes the Library’s North American material and supports American Studies in schools and universities. Head of Department - Phillip Davies
- Public Engagement & Learning – leads and develops the Library’s strategic direction for public and learning audiences. This department is responsible for the management and operation of the Library’s public programme and exhibitions. Head of Department - Roger Walshe
- 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 - Jude England
Operations Division - Chief Operating Officer - Phil Spence
Departments within the Operations Division deliver the Library’s front line services to our Readers and other customers, and provide core support services to the Library’s internal operations:
- 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
- Corporate Procurement Unit – leads and develops the Library’s procurement strategy. This department is also responsible for legal services. Head of Department - Alasdair Fraser
- Customer Services – 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
- Engineering & Construction – operates and maintains the Library’s buildings and systems. Head of Department - Patrick Dixon
- Facilities & Property – provides and manages (primarily outsourced) facilities services, including catering, cleaning, business travel and space planning. Head of Department - David Read
- Integrated Risk Management – manages security, health & safety, risk, and business continuity. Head of Department - Peter Brooks
- IT Operations – develops, installs, and maintains the Library’s IT infrastructure. - Head of Department - Lee Edwards
- Planning & Compliance – 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, records management and compliance. It also manages and stewards the Library’s collections Corporate Archive material. Head of Department - Sandra Bradbury
- Strategic 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
- 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
- Process Development – supports continuous improvement and business change. Head of Department - Martyn Lunn
- Public Lending Right – manages payments from government funds to authors, illustrators and other contributors whose books are borrowed from public libraries. Head of Department - Julia Eccleshare
- Reader & Reference Services – manages the day to day use of our Reading Rooms, including Reader Admissions and Research Services. Head of Department - Jeremy Shillito
- Strategic Partnerships & Licensing – leads and develops the Library’s major collaboration projects and publisher relationships, and also manages the Library’s Intellectual Property. Head of Department - Simon Bell
An online visualisation of our structure can be found on the data.gov 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 Executive Leadership Team (ELT):
- Chief Executive Officer – Roly Keating
- Chief Operating Officer – Phil Spence
- Chief Librarian – Caroline Brazier
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.
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.