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Dame Lynne Brindley, Chief Executive

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As a major international research library, in receipt of the UK legal deposit privilege, the British Library preserves the intellectual memory of the UK, we are a major player in the research ecosystem, we support economic growth and we offer an essential treasure house of the history, technological development and culture of the world.

What matters to us is that we preserve the national memory and enable knowledge to be created both now and in the future. Our role is a dynamic one of helping to grow the world’s knowledge base through the stimulation of fresh ideas and applied insights.

Now, in 2010, we are reinterpreting the ideals set out in the British Library Act 1972 in a 21st century context, in order to remain a leader in the global networked information environment.

Innovation in the technology landscape has led to a world in which the creation, storage, access and dissemination of knowledge have been completely and irrevocably changed.

As a guarantor of continued public access to both our rich legacy of content and new forms of digital content, it is essential that we take a long-term view. In today’s climate of significant financial challenge, we believe it is more important than ever to have a strong sense of our direction of travel.

We consulted a range of experts, researchers and stakeholders in the course of developing our vision. We have developed this vision so that we can chart a course for the future between the likely boundaries of this dynamic operating environment, in a way that allows us to negotiate the uncertainties and seize new opportunities without risking our legacy.

We are delighted to present our vision for 2020, set against our understanding of this dynamic, challenging and globally-networked environment. We will use our vision as the framework for our 2011–15 strategy. The strategy will set out in more detail how we intend to deliver our vision over the next four years.

We look forward to hearing your views. You can email us at

Twitter users: please add the hashtag #bl2020vision.

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