St Aidan’s in Harrogate were delighted to have a very welcome visit from British Library CEO, Roly Keating last week. He spent the morning talking to pupils in Year 11 and Year 9 English classes as well as speaking with Sixth Form students taking Media Studies, History and Politics courses.
Roly took over the top job at the British Library 5 years ago after almost 3 decades at the BBC where his team was responsible for the launch of BBC iPlayer. His various senior roles included BBC2 Controller, producing programmes such as Top Gear and Dragons Den.
The British Library, in terms of items catalogues, is the second largest library in the world and during his fascinating presentations of facts, history and future plans he touched on topical issues such as ‘fake news’ ‘e-books versus print’ and the challenges of big data storage and instant access. Students also heard about the British Library site at Boston Spa, which houses original copies of every newspaper ever published (over three quarters of a billion news pages, plus 3 million original sound recordings).
Many students also got the chance to ask questions, which touched on the role of the library in the 21st Century, the challenges of restoring and protecting the nations archive and how to identify reliable sources of information in the age of Google and Social Media.