Following our Annual General Meeting held at the University of York on 21 March 2014, we are pleased to announce that John MacColl has been elected as Vice-Chair of RLUK. John’s appointment comes during an exciting period for us as we devise our new strategy for 2014-2017 with the active input of our members. RLUK’s Vice-Chair is a new role, created to ensure greater continuity and consistency of RLUK strategic future as the Vice-Chair will automatically succeed the RLUK Chair, currently Stella Butler (University of Leeds), after their term ends.


John is University Librarian and Director of Library Services at the University of St Andrews, which joined RLUK in 2012. John was elected to the RLUK Board in 2013 and chairs RLUK’s Modelling the Library Role in Research Data Management strategic working group.

John said of his election as Vice-Chair : “I am delighted to be the first Vice-Chair of RLUK, and to have the opportunity to work more closely with the Chair, Stella Butler, with the other members of the Board, and with the excellent Executive team.

“RLUK is one of the world’s top research library groupings, and its position and voice both within the UK and in international collaborations have strengthened in recent years. Researchers in our universities and other institutions need leadership from the library community in this digital age, when exciting new ways of using collections are possible, collections are themselves redefined by outputs and data, commercial interests need to be ethically channelled, and enduring scholarly values need to be proclaimed. In short, we have an enormous and exciting agenda, which I hope to help progress as Vice-Chair.”


We also welcome Simon Chaplin and Jon Purcell to RLUK’s Board of Directors, both serving for the first time.

Simon Chaplin is Head of the Wellcome Library and was previously Director of Museums and Special Collections at The Royal College of Surgeons of England. He is a member of the Arts Council England’s Designation Panel and the RIBA Library’s Advisory Committee.

Following his election Simon said: “There are many challenges and opportunities that are shared by university and independent research libraries. I am looking forward to working with fellow board members to address these through the new RLUK strategy.”


Jon Purcell is Librarian at Durham University. He was previously Director of Library Services at the University of St Andrews, Deputy Librarian at Newcastle University and Head of Technical Services at Liverpool University

Jon said: “It is a very exciting time to be joining the RLUK Board and I look forward to helping to implement the new RLUK Strategy over the coming months and years.”


Simon and Jon will join Wayne Connolly (Newcastle University) who was re-elected for a second term, and continuing members Chris Banks (Imperial College London), Caroline Brazier (British Library), Jessica Gardner (University of Bristol), Anne Jarvis (University of Cambridge), John Robinson (SOAS), Phil Sykes (University of Liverpool) and Jan Wilkinson (University of Manchester).


RLUK Chair, Stella Butler, commented: “I am delighted that the RLUK board has been so significantly strengthened by these elections. The board’s commitment to the work of RLUK ensures we maximise the contributions our libraries make to the knowledge economy of the UK.”


Research Libraries UK

Research Libraries UK is a consortium of 34 of the largest research organisations in the UK and Ireland, including the three UK national libraries. Founded more than 25 years ago, RLUK has directly and indirectly sponsored some of the major free online UK resources in support of research, including Copac, the de facto UK Union Catalogue. RLUK’s mission is to work with their members and partners, nationally and internationally, to shape and to realise the vision of the modern research library