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The British Library Code of Service

The British Library Code of Service reflects the level of service you can normally expect from us. It is not simply a list of expected levels of service. Through it we also provide contact points for suggestions, comments and complaints.

Every working day services are offered in 16 Reading Rooms and study areas; there are more than half a million reader visits each year. We send out more than four million documents each year to remote users and add three million items to our collections. Our catalogue records are available worldwide. We fund research. We run a varied programme in publishing, education and public events.

The British Library serves two sets of users - those who currently use our services and those who will seek to use them many years in the future. We must balance our commitments to these two groups and sometimes our services to you may be affected by our need to invest effectively for the future.

The British Library Code of Service reflects our intention to make clear to you the level of service you can normally expect from us. We shall be adding continuously to these published standards while monitoring and revising existing ones in consultation with you.

The British Library Code of Service is not simply a list of expected levels of service. Through it we are also providing contact points for suggestions, comments and complaints. Because the Library has such a wide variety of services we are publishing specific service standards for each of them. However through our Code of Service we also promise:

  • to treat you at all times with courtesy, professionalism and efficiency
  • to communicate with you in clear, straightforward language
  • to deal promptly with all enquiries, both written and in person
  • to welcome all your suggestions and comments

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