British Library Board Members x 4

Body: British Library
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sector: Culture, Media & Sport
Location: Most of the Board members’ work is based at the Library’s building in St Pancras, but at least one Board meeting per year is held in the Library’s campus in Yorkshire and the successful candidates will be expected to undertake some travel in connection with the role, for which reasonable expenses will be paid.
Skills required: Communication / Media / Marketing, IT / Digital
Number of Vacancies: 4
Remuneration: The role is remunerated at £9130 per annum. No pension is payable for the appointment.
Time Requirements: The appointment is for a term of four years. The role is for one to two days per month.


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

The Secretary of State has appointed Jana Bennett, Delroy Beverley, Laela Pakpour-Tabrizi, Jeremy Silver and Wei Yang as Trustees to the British Library Board for four years from 13 May 2019.

Date: 17/06/2019

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date

    Interviews held on 11th, 15th and 28th February 2019

  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Secretary of State wishes to appoint up to four new members to the Board of the British Library, one of the world’s greatest libraries, at a critical and exciting moment in its history.

To ensure that the Board is equipped to manage the Library effectively and also to respond well to future challenges and opportunities, the Secretary of State is looking in particular for candidates who can demonstrate one or more of the following attributes:
1. A successful commercial track record with Board-level experience of businesses and enterprises in the private sector, and the ability to bring to the Board a deep understanding of financial management and business planning.
2. Digital skills and experience with a deep understanding of how data and technology are transforming research and the creation of knowledge.
3. Experience as a leading researcher and board-level practitioner in medicine, the life sciences or physical sciences.
4. Digital skills with experience of providing online services in the education, research or culture sectors.


The British Library is an equal opportunities employer and wishes its Board to reflect the diversity of contemporary UK society. It is actively seeking to improve its diversity by gender, and will especially welcome applications from candidates of different age groups and from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

In 2023, the British Library will mark its 50th anniversary as the national library of the United Kingdom and, in Living Knowledge (published in 2015), the Library has set out an ambitious vision for growth, innovation and development as that landmark date approaches. Major developments under way include projects to digitise and make globally available its most important historic collections; to refresh and transform its service to researchers, online and on-site; to widen its reach and presence for people across the UK, including new partnerships with public libraries; to extend and enhance its Grade 1-listed building in St Pancras, London, as part of a major development partnership; and – over the longer term – to renew and improve its 43-acre campus at Boston Spa in Yorkshire, where the majority of the collection is now held.

The British Library Board is responsible for establishing the overall strategic direction of the organisation under the terms of the British Library Act 1972 and within the policy and resources framework agreed with the Secretary of State. Members of the Board have corporate responsibility for ensuring that the British Library complies with any statutory or administrative requirements for the use of public funds. Other important responsibilities of Board members include:
 overseeing the delivery of planned results by monitoring performance against strategic objectives and targets;
 representing the Library, as its ambassadors, to stakeholders and potential donors; and
 ensuring that high standards of corporate governance are observed at all times.

Person Specification

All candidates for appointment to the British Library Board should be able to demonstrate the following essential criteria:
 A strong commitment to, and appreciation of, the British Library’s vision and values, and its public service and entrepreneurial goals;
 An interest in the strategic issues facing the national library in the context of the UK’s research infrastructure and knowledge economy over the next decade;
 Sound intellectual and judgmental skills, experience of strategic decision making, and the ability to operate effectively at Board level or equivalent;
 Good communication skills, and the ability to act as an ambassador for the Library to people of all backgrounds and to engage in profile raising, to be an articulate and enthusiastic exponent of both its traditional strengths and also its strategic agenda for redefining the Library for the digital age; and
 Willingness to participate fully and network in support of the Library’s fund-raising activities.

Additional Information

These are public appointments and will be conducted in compliance with the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments and under the principles of merit, fairness and openness. If you would like to speak to someone about the application and appointment process, please contact Priya Mistry at DCMS, on 020 7211 6402 (email address:

To talk to someone about the British Library and its Board, please contact Richard Gibby at the Library, on 020-7412-7591 (email address: Further information can be found on the British Library’s website at

How to Apply

Please submit, by 12:00 (midday) 3 December 2018:
 A CV providing details of your education and qualifications, employment history, directorships, membership of professional bodies and details of any publications or awards;
 A covering letter setting out how you meet the criteria set out in this specification;
 Completed diversity monitoring form; and
 Declaration of any conflicts of interest.

Completed applications should preferably be emailed to: Please put ‘British Library’ in the subject line. Or, if this is not possible, post a hard copy to Priya Mistry, Public Appointments Team, DCMS, 100 Parliament Street, London SW1A 2BQ. In case of difficulty, please contact Priya on 020 7211 6402.

The Diversity Form will be kept separate from your application and Conflicts of Interest Form, and will not be seen by the selection panel in order to meet the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments.

Ministerial Message
OCPA-July-2018-Monitoring-Form- FINAL (1)
OCPA Complaints Procedure
Conflicts of interest guidance (3)
Privacy Notice- Public Appointments 2018 - applicants
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