Director of Research Services

Ref: 6940

The British Library

London, England

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Role coordinated by:

Danielle WIllard-Kyle

Principal Researcher

t: +44 (0) 20 3928 7341


Primary Practice Group: Arts, Culture and Sports

Salary & Benefits: Competitive

Closing Date: 14/01/2024

As one of the world’s great libraries, our duty is to preserve the nation’s intellectual memory for the future and make it available to all for research, inspiration and enjoyment. At present we have well over 170 million items, in most known languages, with three million new items added every year. We have manuscripts, maps, newspapers, magazines, prints and drawings, music scores, and patents. We make our collections and programmes available to all. We operate the world’s largest document delivery service providing millions of items a year to customers all over 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 by anyone, anywhere.

We are now seeking a new Director of Research Services. This is an exciting, reconfigured role joining the Direction Group and Strategic Leadership Team, demonstrating the Library’s commitment to excellence in library and research services. Alongside overseeing the strategic development of the library services across both the London and Boston Spa sites, you will be lead the research services, develop the content strategy and acquisitions policy, and play a key role in representing the library nationally and internationally. You will work closely and collaboratively with colleagues from across the Library on strategies, projects, and programmes to facilitate and encourage the ‘One British Library’ approach.

We are looking for a highly experienced library professional with experience of programme management, developing and delivering strategies within a high-performing environment, and the proven ability to think creatively around strategic planning and problem solving. You will be able to demonstrate a real understanding of current issues and best practice in librarianship as well as a personal commitment to professional development in line with development within the sector. You will also have an understanding and a genuine commitment to anti-racism, diversity and inclusivity issues and how they impact the Library.

The closing date for applications is 23:59 GMT on Sunday 14th January.

The British Library is committed to equity and inclusion and welcomes applications from all individuals regardless of personal characteristics or background. We particularly welcome applications from people with disabilities, LGBT+, and black, Asian, minority ethnic backgrounds in keeping with the British Library’s strategic plan and workforce diversity policies. 

In return we offer a competitive salary and a number of excellent benefits. Our pension scheme is one of the most valuable benefits we offer, as our staff can become members of the Alpha Pension Scheme where the Library makes a generous contribution. Another significant benefit the Library provides is the provision of a flexible working hours scheme which could allow you to work your hours flexibly over the week and to take up to 5 days flexi leave in a 3 month period. This is on top of 25 days holiday from entry and public and privilege holidays.

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