Vice President - National Library of Wales

Body: National Library of Wales
Appointing Department: Welsh Government
Sector: Culture, Media & Sport
Location: There may be times when the Vice President is required to travel to meetings and events
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: No
Time Requirements: 18 days a year
Closing Date: 10/01/2022 16:00

Vacancy Description

The National Library is Wales’ pre-eminent library and archive.  It is a massive information resource and treasure house on all subjects, freely available to everyone, and a living store of the recorded cultures of Wales.  In reality, it has two dimensions – a splendid physical building in Aberystwyth housing the print, manuscript, visual and audio-visual collections, and an online library available through the internet.


The National Library of Wales (‘the Library’) was established by Royal Charter on the 9th of March 1907.  Supplemental Charters were granted in 1911 and in 1978, with slight constitutional revisions.  On the 19th July 2006 a new supplemental Charter was granted by Queen Elizabeth II.  The 2006 Supplemental Charter changed the constitution and the Library’s governance significantly and recognised devolution of Government from Westminster to Wales.  Whereas previously the Library had a Court of Governors and a Council it now has a Board of Trustees.


The Library is also a registered charity (registered number: 525775) and Welsh Government Sponsored Body (WGSB).


It must therefore function as: (a) a Royal Charter foundation and a Registered Charity and (b) a Welsh Government sponsored body.  This dual nature governs how it operates and fulfils its role and obligations, and requires a delicate balance between the pursuing and fulfilling (a) the ‘objects’ of its Charter and Charitable status, which reflect its foundation purpose, and (b) the principles of arms-length Government.  A Framework document drawn up by the Welsh Government, in consultation with the Library, sets out the details of the terms and conditions under which the Welsh Ministers provide grant-in-aid to the Library.


The Library currently employs 235 (FTE216) members of staff.  In 2021-22 it will receive £12.8 in revenue and £3.6m capital in grant-in-aid from the Welsh Government.


The Library’s primary ‘object’, as expressed in the 2006 Supplemental Charter is:


To collect, preserve and give access to all kinds and forms of recorded knowledge, especially relating to Wales and the Welsh and other Celtic peoples, for the benefit of the public, including those engaged in research and learning.


The Library’s responsibilities and associated activities are best expressed as five ‘core functions’, each of which has many aspects:


  • collecting;
  • preserving;
  • giving access and information;
  • publicising and interpreting; and
  • professional collaboration (especially with libraries and archives across Wales, and also other Welsh Government Sponsored Bodies, including Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales).


At the heart of the Library are its rich and diverse collections, some of which have been ‘inscribed’ in UNESCO’s Memory of the World register:


  • printed works: books, periodicals, newspapers and other printed material amounting to about 6m volumes. They are a ‘legal deposit’ library (one of only six in the UK and Ireland) and collect a high proportion of the entire printed publications of the UK and Ireland, some of which is now in electronic formats;
  • manuscripts: 30,000 items, the oldest dating from 113 AD, and including the earliest literature of Wales and early British and European texts;
  • archives: 15km, 2,500 collections, including the Welsh Political Archive, estate records, records of the Court of Great Sessions and the Church in Wales, all wills proved in Welsh dioceses before 1858, modern literary papers and the archives of Welsh organisations and businesses;
  • maps: over 1.5m, and thousands of atlases;
  • pictures: 50,000 works documenting Wales, mainly through landscapes and portraits;
  • photographs: 950,000 prints, negatives and transparencies – the largest collection in Wales;
  • microforms: e.g. of newspapers, archives and family history sources;
  • sound and moving images: 7m feet of film, 300,000 hours of video, 250,000 hours of sound recordings, 200,000 items from the ITV Wales Archive, and thousands of records and tapes, all maintained by the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales;
  • electronic material: millions of digital objects, including CD-ROMs, e-books, e-journals, websites, electronic archives and digitised items.
  • and in 2021 the establishment of the National Broadcast Archive will provide the National Library with an effective vehicle to extend public access to its rich visual image archive.


Person Specification


  • Demonstrates a commitment to the values and the vision of the National Library of Wales, and an appreciation of its role and purpose as a national organisation in Wales, including the cultural, learning, health and well-being, economic and socio-political contexts in which it operates; and an understanding of its obligations under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015;
  • can evidence strong interpersonal, communication and stakeholder management skills, including ambassadorial skills;
  • committed to increasing diversity and promoting equality and to challenging discriminatory practices;
  • Has experience of developing strategic partnerships, and of outreach and engagement activity who will drive the agenda of ensuring the Library serves and represents the diverse communities and regions of Wales;
  • demonstrates senior leadership skills and the ability to provide effective support and challenge to a high profile organisation;
  • demonstrates the ability to think and operate strategically;
  • demonstrates a thorough understanding of good governance;
  • demonstrates business and commercial acumen and experience of income-generating activities (including fundraising);
  • has experience of operating at a senior level in a complex, multi-disciplinary organisation;
  • has an awareness of Welsh Government policies and strategies and of how they influence the work of the Library and the culture sector as a whole; and
  • has a commitment to Nolan’s Seven Principles of Public Life












How to Apply

If you need any further assistance in applying for this role, please contact the Welsh Government’s Public Appointments Team on

For further information about Public Appointments in Wales, please visit

NLW Vice President Information for candidates elv Dec 2021
NLW Vice President Information for candidates wlv Rhagfyr 2021
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