Members of the British Library Advisory Council

Body: British Library
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sector: Culture, Media & Sport
Location: Meetings are now a mixture of virtual; St. Pancras, London and occasionally to the Library’s campus in Yorkshire.
Number of Vacancies: 4
Remuneration: The appointment is not remunerated or pensionable. However, expenses incurred in the course of your duties will be reimbursed in line with the Library’s travel and subsistence policy.
Time Requirements: Appointments are for a fixed term of three years. Whilst not automatic, at the end of this term you may be reappointed for a second term of three years. You will be expected to devote no less than four days per year, including associated preparation time and attendance at meetings, to the role.

This is not a ministerial appointment.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched

    20/06/2022

  • Closed for Applications

    08/07/2022 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift

    11 – 14 July 2022

  • Final Interview Date

    Informal, video or telephone-based interview between 19 – 22 July 2022

  • Announcement

    TBC

 

Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The British Library wishes to appoint four members to its Advisory Council, which provides advice, insights and suggestions to the Library’s leadership. Applications are sought from candidates with expertise in a relevant field such as: collaborative (post-graduate) academic research, data sciences, life and physical sciences, education, culture, publishing, media, business and commerce, entrepreneurship, libraries, or the creation and management of knowledge.

The Library is committed to eliminating discrimination and advancing equality of opportunity in its appointments. We particularly encourage applicants from underrepresented groups and those who have achieved success through non-traditional educational routes. This ensures that we will benefit from a full range of diverse perspectives and the Advisory Council is representative of the people we serve.

About the British Library

As the national library of the United Kingdom, the British Library’s mission is to “make our intellectual heritage accessible to everyone, for research, inspiration and enjoyment”. Choice of the word ‘everyone’ is deliberate to include all communities and the Library aims to reflect the diversity of contemporary UK society. The British Library is committed to supporting diversity and inclusion, and the Board is actively seeking to improve its own diversity and will especially welcome the applications of candidates from underrepresented groups and those from different cultural and geographic backgrounds.

In 2023, the British Library will mark its 50th anniversary as the national library of the United Kingdom and, in Living Knowledge, the Library has set out an ambitious vision for growth, innovation and development as that landmark date approaches. Major developments underway 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 role and structure of the British Library Advisory Council

Mandated by the British Library Act 1972, the Advisory Council has no governance responsibilities but exists “to advise the British Library on any aspect of the development and operation of its services, and its relations with libraries, at home and overseas”. It consists of a chair plus up to 25 other members, appointed by the British Library either by virtue of their positions in the national libraries or library systems of the United Kingdom, or for their ability to offer insights and advice in relation to the Library’s services, future plans, stakeholder constituencies or other functions.

The Advisory Council normally meets three or four times a year, in March/April, July and October. However, in some years an additional meeting, workshop or event may be convened to reflect on key strategic issues.  Meetings now take place both virtually, and in the British Library’s St Pancras building in London, but there may be occasional visits to the British Library’s facility in Boston Spa, Yorkshire.

Advisory Council meetings are usually attended by the Library’s Chief Executive, Chief Librarian and Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Board, plus one or two members of the Library’s strategic leadership team who will present an issue or topic for discussion by the Council.

Person Specification

Members of the Advisory Council are expected to possess:

  • Sound intellectual and judgement skills
  • Good communication skills
  • An informed appreciation of the challenges facing the British Library as it seeks to look after the nation’s intellectual heritage, to deliver services for research, business, culture and learning, and to engage with diverse users, audiences and international partners
  • A high level of commitment to the breadth of activities of the British Library and to supporting its public service and entrepreneurial goals
  • The ability to contribute useful advice, insights and ideas to the Library’s leadership.

Additional Information

As the British Library is a public body, you will be expected to adhere to the Seven Principles of Public Life.

How to Apply

If you wish to apply for this post, please supply the following:

  • A copy of your CV, including your current postal address, email address and contact (mobile and home) telephone number(s).
  • A covering letter outlining how your experience is applicable to this role.

All applications should be sent by email, with “BL Advisory Council application” in the header, to michelle.clewer@bl.uk by Friday 8 July 2022.

Short-listing will determine which candidates best demonstrate the specified qualities and experience, they will then be contacted by the Council’s chair during July for a short, telephone / zoom -based interview.

Successful applicants will be notified by Monday 18 July 2022.

 

Disability Confident

We guarantee to interview anyone with a disability whose application meets the minimum criteria for the role. By ‘minimum criteria,’ we mean that you must provide evidence in your application, which demonstrates that you meet the level of competence required under the majority of the essential criteria.

If you wish to apply under this scheme, state this in the covering email or letter when submitting your application. This will in no way prejudice your application.

All applicants are expected to abide by the Seven Principles of Public Life and the 12 Principles of Governance

Expenses

Expenses incurred by external candidates during the recruitment process will not be reimbursed, except in exceptional circumstances, and only when agreed in advance.

Queries

Any enquiries can be directed to Michelle Clewer, Head of Governance at the British Library, by email to michelle.clewer@bl.uk by telephone to 020 7412 7591 (direct).

Attachments
BLAC members role description June 2022 FINAL
BLAC members role description June 2022 FINAL

This post is NOT regulated by The Commissioner for Public Appointments.

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