British Library: Living Knowledge

14.20 – Wednesday 3rd July

Room 2.219


Living Knowledge: think national, act local – creating opportunities for all

The UK, in common with many other nations, is pursuing an industrial strategy that puts investment in knowledge, innovation and creativity at the heart of its recipe for sustainable, deep-rooted economic growth. Competitive success in such a world depends upon the freest possible flow of ideas, inspiration and information and libraries – not just the British Library, but the whole, inter-connecting system across the UK – are the vital enabler of that. This presentation will provide an overview of the UK-wide partnerships developed with national and public libraries to transform libraries into hubs of culture, creativity and enterprise in the heart of communities.

Isabel Oswell, Head of Business Audiences, British Library

Isabel Oswell has specialised in marketing, strategy and new business development, both in the UK and abroad. She joined the British Library in 2002, having worked in the professional services and technology sectors, including EY, BT, OneSource and Bain & Company. Isabel is responsible for the Library’s strategy and services for SMEs and, inspired by New York Public Library, set up a Business & IP Centre in St Pancras in 2006 to leverage the Library’s world-class business and intellectual property resources for the benefit of entrepreneurs. Since 2011 the Library has been working with major city and central libraries across the UK to establish a national network of centres, some of which are delivering satellite services via their branch libraries.

Liz White, Head of Strategy Development, British Library

Liz joined the British Library as Head of Strategy Development in 2013 and is a member of the Strategic Leadership Team. Liz led the development of Living Knowledge: The British Library 2015-2023, setting out the Library’s mission to make our intellectual heritage available to everyone for research, inspiration and enjoyment. Liz also established the Living Knowledge Network, a partnership between 22 major public libraries, the National Library of Scotland and the National Library of Wales.
Liz is a Trustee of Libraries Connected and the Chartered Management Institute and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts She will join IFLA’s Public Libraries Section from August 2019.


Chair: Nick Poole, Chief Executive, CILIP

Nick became Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CILIP on 22 June 2015. Nick was previously CEO of the Collections Trust, where he was responsible for developing UK and international standards for information management, advising on digital programmes and leading partnership initiatives with a range of leading digital companies. Nick was elected to the Board of Wikimedia UK on 25 July 2015. He is former Chair of the Europeana Network and provided representation to the European Commission on culture and technology policy. Prior to joining the Collections Trust in 2005, Nick held a number of roles at the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), including responsibility for Regional policy development and as a National ICT Adviser. Nick is currently Chair of BIC Ltd, the book industry supply chain organisation.