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The British Library in a Globalised World

Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library

Tuesday 16 September 2014 – Plenary session, 10:00am to 10:55pm

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Roly Keating took up the post of Chief Executive of the British Library in September 2012.

Since then he has overseen a series of significant developments, including a historic move to large-scale digital collecting with the implementation of the Non-Print Legal Deposit regulations, the incorporation into the Library of the Public Lending Right service, the closure of the historic Colindale site and the opening of The Newsroom, a new reading room at St Pancras dedicated to news collections across all media formats.  

Roly joined the Library after a long and successful career at the BBC, where his roles included Controller of BBC Two, Controller of BBC Four and Director of Archive Content, with editorial oversight of the BBC's online services including BBC iPlayer.

Roly is a member of the Barbican Centre Board and a Trustee of Turner Contemporary in Margate.  He is currently serving as a panel member for the Public Libraries Report, led by William Sieghart.


Roly Keating will consider the role of the British Library as a national library on the international stage. 

He will reflect on the changing nature of the Library’s services as it adapts to the evolving needs of its users, both at home and abroad.  A number of innovative partnerships have been developed, particularly to enable parts of the Library’s collection to be shared online, drawing in new audiences. 

The British Library is currently developing a new strategy, to be published early next year.  It will consider the Library’s role up until its 50th anniversary in 2023, and Roly will share progress on this work, and some of the early findings that are being made.

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