British Library's 'truly exceptional' chief librarian to retire after 15 years

British Library's 'truly exceptional' chief librarian to retire after 15 years

The British Library’s chief librarian, Caroline Brazier, will be stepping down from her role next year after deciding to take early retirement.

The exact date of Brazier's departure is still to be confirmed but the library has said it is likely to be in the early summer of 2018.

Chief executive Roly Keating said Brazier had made a "truly exceptional contribution" over her 15 years of service at the Library.

Since 2011 she has served as director of scholarship and collections and more recently as chief librarian.

"In that time, she has overseen the integration of culture, learning and business as core purposes alongside research services and custodianship of the collections, and has been one of the leaders of the post-2013 implementation of digital legal deposit regulations, which will stand as one of the great legacies of the current generation of librarians," Keating said.

Before joining the institution, Brazier had over 20 years’ experience in the academic library sector in the UK and Ireland, including Trinity College Dublin and Dublin City University.

She joined the British Library as head of collection acquisition and description in 2002, based initially at its site in Boston Spa. As head of resource discovery from 2007 she focussed particularly on development of major library systems including the Integrated Library System, search and discovery systems and working towards regulations to make non-print legal deposit a reality.

Between 2009-2011, as associate director of operations and services, she worked on the future of Document Supply and on-going change management relating to the Library’s Collection Management operations. She became director of scholarship and collections in 2011 and the role was subsequently expanded to chief librarian.

In parallel with her work at the Library, Brazier has been a board member of Research Libraries UK, SCONUL and the UK Research Reserve, all of which are working towards better collaborative and shared services to support libraries. She is also actively involved at European level collaboration through the Conference of European National Libraries, where she currently serves as Treasurer.

Brazier will continue to play a full role at the Library until she leaves in early summer 2018. The process to appoint a successor will begin early in the New Year.

Brazier said that her time at the British Library "has been the highlight of [her] professional life".

"It has been a huge privilege to work here with one of the greatest library collections in the world", she said. "But, even more importantly, the Library has given me the opportunity to work with some of the most talented and dedicated people I’ve ever met, across all departments and teams. I shall really miss working with everyone, but I know the Library will be in great hands.”