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2020 Council review of Library services

The 2020 Library review was announced to Fellows in March 2020, including terms of reference and membership of the Library Review Working Group. The Group worked throughout 2020 examining existing evidence, interviewing expert witnesses and conducting a Fellowship survey.

Council was kept informed of progress during the review process and approved the final report and recommendations at its meeting on 25 November 2020. Approval was given in the context of a wide range of considerations including the Society’s financial position, its strategic plan, Burlington House lease options and an ongoing review of membership categories and benefits.

The detailed findings of the review cover Library finances, visitors and service users, collections usage, heritage material, modern records, maps, physical Library space, information systems and technology, and Library systems, processes and management. The range of review findings reflect the Library Review Working Group’s focus on those activities most closely aligning with the needs of Fellows and the Library’s core purpose, incurring greatest cost, receiving the most use or having the greatest impact on the Society, including Burlington House occupancy.

The report to Fellows is now available in two formats: the full report and a concise version, both of which can be accessed via the links below. The final report does not provide a blueprint for action; rather, it presents a wide range of recommendations which will require further work to create a detailed implementation plan.

Comments on the plan are welcome and should be sent to the Library Users Group at