Knowledge Matters: The British Library Releases Strategy For the Next Seven Years
From a Blog Post by Roly Keating, Chief Executive, British Library:
Today we publish Knowledge Matters, the British Library’s strategy for the next seven years. It outlines the ways in which we as the UK national library want to do more for new and existing audiences, while adapting to the monumental changes that are already impacting both the knowledge industry and the wider world.
It comes as we celebrate our 50th anniversary – the Library began operations on 1 July 1973 – and reflect on five decades in which we have grown into one of the world’s great research libraries. The story of how we develop over our next fifty years begins with this document.
Knowledge Matters builds on and shares many continuities with its predecessor strategy – Living Knowledge – which spanned the period from 2015 to now, and which saw us develop and extend our reach through both the Living Knowledge Network (LKN) of national and public libraries, and through the Business & IP Centre National Network, which now extends to 21 libraries across the UK. We successfully grew our digital collection from 0.49 petabytes in 2013 to 2.95 petabytes by the start of 2023, working in partnership with the national libraries of Wales and Scotland, and the other UK and Irish Legal Deposit Libraries.
We also initiated a number of major capital programmes, including the renewal of our Boston Spa site in Yorkshire and – in the longer-term – the establishment of a permanent British Library site in the centre of nearby Leeds. We also plan to expand our iconic London campus at St Pancras – an ambitious vision for which we now have planning permission. Each of these programmes has a long and complex journey to implementation, but building on the solid foundations laid down so far, we look forward to further advancing these transformative plans over the coming years.
Along with the continuities, our new strategy also addresses a range of major trends in and around the sectors we work in; collectively these amount to a renewed commitment to serving as broad a public as possible – becoming genuinely ‘for everyone’ in the scope and accessibility of what we offer.
These include the acceleration of technological change, and especially the widespread application of Artificial Intelligence (AI), necessitating a further step-change in digital transformation to modernise our services and systems, and keep pace with the expectations of our digital users. In parallel, there’s a more urgent need that ever before for libraries to play an active role in fostering information literacy – helping people of all ages and backgrounds to evaluate critically the superabundant (and too often distorted) range of information sources now available online and via social media.
Our overarching mission remains the same: to make our intellectual heritage accessible to everyone, for research, inspiration and enjoyment. Having studied the above trends over the past 18 months, we have identified a set of key priorities that will apply across all of our purposes – whether these relate to Custodianship, Research, Business, Culture, Learning or International. Together they will shape what we deliver and how we will work in the future.
- Access, engagement and inclusion – ensuring that the services we offer, and the collections we hold, are truly ‘for everyone’.
- Modernising our library services – Investing in skills, processes, systems and capabilities to deliver the quality of library services our users deserve.
- Deepening our partnerships – collaborating with libraries and memory institutions of all kinds across the UK and around the world, to achieve more than we ever could by ourselves.
- Sustainability and resilience: – reducing our carbon impact and collaborating with partners to create a more sustainable future.
- New spaces, North and South – in Yorkshire and in London, delivering new, world-class physical spaces designed to welcome future generations of visitors and users.
Learn More, Read the Complete Post
Direct to Full Text Document: Knowledge Matters The British Library 2023–2030
21 pages; PDF.
Filed under: Academic Libraries, Libraries, National Libraries, News, Patrons and Users, Public Libraries
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.