Automating the British Library ‐ a case study in project implementation

Richard Foot (Based at PA Interim Management which is a division of PA Consulting Group, 123 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 9SR. Tel: 0171 730 9000, Fax 0171 333 6198, e‐mail Richard.Foot@pa‐consulting. com)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Publication date: 1 April 1998


The British Library at St Pancras opened its doors for the first time on 24 November 1997. This article describes the project to implement the new automation system which provides readers with a system for research which is quick, accurate and is able to conduct searches for all possible sources. This was not previously possible using the manual system. The project was one of the most important of its kind undertaken in this country and required the appropriate project and risk management skills. Not only are these skills difficult to define in terms of a job description but they are increasingly difficult to find in the IT market. The solution was a team which included those with library expertise and detailed knowledge of the specific requirements at St Pancras and the technical skills required for developing and implementing a new automation system.



Foot, R. (1998), "Automating the British Library ‐ a case study in project implementation", New Library World, Vol. 99 No. 2, pp. 69-71.

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Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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