16th July 2021

New Chief Executive appointed at the National Library of Scotland

The National Library of Scotland has appointed Amina Shah as its new Chief Executive and National Librarian. Ms Shah is known at the Library having served as Trustee, and brings a wealth of leadership experience from both public and academic libraries to the Chief Executive role.

Ms Shah joins the Library from the University of St Andrews Libraries and Museums and was previously Director of Programme at the Scottish Book Trust – a role that was instrumental in promoting literacy and a diverse reading and writing community in Scotland.

Chair of the National Library, Simon Learoyd said:

‘I am delighted that our new Chief Executive will be Amina Shah.

‘In a large and very strong field of candidates, Amina impressed us all with her obvious passion for the Library and everything it represents and aspires to be. Amina is massively ambitious for the Library and its place in wider Scottish society. She brings a huge amount of experience of Scottish culture and leadership in the library sector in particular. I have every confidence that she will be a great Chief Executive of the Library taking us into our centenary year in 2025.’

A former CEO of the Scottish Library and Information Council, Ms Shah led on the development of Scotland’s first National Strategy for Public Libraries. With more than 25 years’ experience in the sector, she has a strong interest in diversity and inclusion and the role libraries, literature and culture play in empowering individuals and communities.

Ms Shah said:

‘It is a great honour and privilege to have this opportunity to lead the Library in the next chapter of its story. I am excited to get to work with the team, the Board and the people of Scotland to shape and share our incredible collections and to use them to support our recovery from the educational, cultural and economic inequalities brought about by the pandemic.

‘Scotland has always been a nation of bards and blethers, and I believe there is no better way for us to understand ourselves, each other and the world around us, than to capture the stories of today, treasure them for the future and share them widely within our communities and across the world.’

Culture Secretary Angus Robertson said:

‘I welcome the appointment of Amina Shah as Chief Executive of the National Library. Its collections are internationally renowned, and the Library is constantly finding new ways to engage the people of Scotland and beyond with innovative and entertaining content.

‘Ms Shah has a strong track record in ensuring people from all walks of life benefit from literature and culture, and her leadership will ensure the Library continues its progression to become a place that everyone can call ‘their’ library.’

Ms Shah will take up her post as Chief Executive and National Librarian on 4 October. The current National Librarian, Dr John Scally, retires on 1 October.

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