International Library Leaders Programme

A crowd of people.

An intensive five-day leadership course for library and archive professionals

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About the programme

An incredible opportunity to join an intimate group of international library professionals and go behind the scenes at our iconic institution, meet our experts and learn from their experiences of dealing with the challenges facing libraries today.

During this intensive week-long programme you will:

  • attend a session on information literacy with our Chief Librarian, Liz Jolly
  • discover how our expert curators use library collections to engage with researchers and broader audiences
  • learn how we design and manage digitisation projects
  • find out how we care for our physical and digital collections
  • visit our storage facilities in Boston Spa, Yorkshire
  • meet peers from around the world to share and discuss key issues in contemporary collection management through a series of workshops, case study reviews and focus groups.

Download our 2023 brochure.

Who is the programme for?

Working library professionals, aspiring leaders and mid-career managers with a minimum of three years’ relevant experience in a library, archive or cultural institution. We welcome delegates from anywhere in the world.

Hear what previous delegates had to say about the programme.

Where and when

The programme runs from 12 – 19 July 2023. Sessions take place at the British Library in London every day except 14 July, when delegates travel to our site in Boston Spa, Yorkshire. Delegates can also opt-in to visit other cultural institutions across the weekend of 15 – 16 July.

Support and guidance

Entry requirements

We seek applicants from a wide range of roles across libraries and archives worldwide. We are looking for professionals who are keen to gain an insight into how a national library functions. You’ll be taken behind-the-scenes and see the huge breadth and variety of operations that take place each day to maintain a public facing library, open to everyone. Applicants are encouraged to exchange knowledge with their peers around the future of libraries and those with a collaborative outlook will benefit most from this programme.


The programme fee for 2023 is £1,990 per person. This covers all course materials, refreshments and lunch during the programme, and return transport to the Library’s Boston Spa site. The fee does not include travel costs to and from the UK, accommodation costs or any other expenses.Once your place has been confirmed by email and an invoice issued, we ask that payment is made within 30 days to guarantee your place. 

How to apply

You can apply online for the 2023 International Library Leaders Programme, or you can download and complete the application form (PDF) and email it to with the subject line ‘ILLP 2023 Application’.

The deadline for applications is 12.00 GMT on Monday 27 February 2023. Successful applicants will be notified by Friday 24 March 2023.

If you have questions about the programme or application process please contact us at

Useful information

Our priority is the safety of our visitors and staff. We’re following UK Government COVID-19 guidance and monitor changes to this advice regularly. Should anything change from current guidelines, we may include safety measures such as social distancing or revise our course instruction methods to reduce the risk of virus transmission. Please see our 2023 brochure for more information in the event of cancellation due to regulations. 

Please read the background information (PDF) and terms and conditions (PDF) documents and indicate that you have read and agreed to these when submitting your application.