International Library Leaders Programme

A group of people gathered round an open manuscript on a table

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

Published date:

The application deadline for the programme taking place 18-22 July 2022 has now passed. We will open the call for applications in early 2023 for next year’s programme. If you would like to join our mailing list and receive updates from the British Library’s international office, please get in touch:

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 an exclusive session on library leadership and management with our Chief Librarian
  • 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 the 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 the full programme brochure for 2022.

Who is it 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 International Library Leaders Programme takes place at the British Library in London and at Boston Spa in Yorkshire. This year, the programme runs 18-22 July 2022. Details of the following year’s programme will be announced in early 2023.

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 2022 is £1,990 per person. This covers all course materials, refreshments and lunch during the five days, and return transport to the Library’s Boston Spa site in Yorkshire. The fee does not include travel costs to and from the UK, accommodation costs or any other expenses. We encourage applicants from a range of backgrounds. To get in touch please email

How to apply

The application process for the next programme will open again in early 2023 with an application deadline in March 2023. To stay up to date with details of the next programme and to register your interest, please contact: us at

Useful information

Our priority is the safety of our visitors and staff. We’re following UK Government COVID-19 guidance. We may include social distancing throughout the programme and revise our course instruction methods to reduce the risk of virus transmission.

We will be monitoring the situation continually and reserve the right to change or cancel the programme at any point if necessary, or if circumstances arise that are outside of our control, including, but not limited to, an insufficient number of applications, or in order to comply with updated Government COVID-19 guidance. In the event that the programme is postponed or cancelled by us due to COVID-19 restrictions, delegates will be invited to register for a later date or to arrange a refund of the fees paid. However, we are not responsible for any visa fees, travel or any other costs that may have been incurred.

Download the programme brochure for 2022.