The British Library Reviews

Updated 30 May 2020

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3.2
56%
Recommend to a Friend
75%
Approve of CEO
The British Library CEO Roley Keating
Roley Keating
20 Ratings
Pros
Cons
More Pros and Cons
  1. "Easy paced job pleasant people"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Library Assistant Grade E in London, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at The British Library full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Nice company to work for easy to get on with people

    Cons

    If working in one of basements no natural light unless you go upstairs for breaks

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  2. "Weird Place"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Security 

    I worked at The British Library full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    People are nice, especially at Boston Spa.

    Cons

    Staff don't like change and will resist any changes. Management are weak and will cave into Trade Unions at the earliest opportunity. Staff in London dont communicate with each other. Staff think they should only work 4 days but still get paid for 5 (that was actually put forward by the TU's)

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  3. "Incompetence Central!"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Security Officer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at The British Library full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Cheap Staff Canteen, Civil Service Benefits.

    Cons

    Terrible Managers who haven't got a clue. Senior Management are as useful as chocolate fireguards. Some snooty staff who think they are gods gift because they are managers! morale as low as it can realistically get. No Openness to change. And gloomy old falling apart buildings that are no longer fit for purpose.

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  4. Helpful (1)

    "Small team, good environment, openness to innovate, frustrating beaurocracy"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Applications Developer 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at The British Library full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Recent years have seen improvement in scope definition and agreement before projects hit development. In a fairly small team, the right people with the right attitude have the opportunity to make positive changes. There are 2 main streams of backend development - Java or .NET. Both offices are in fantastic locations. St. P is centrally located with great transport links. Boston Spa site isn't quite so easy, unless you drive. It's close to the A1 and has ample free parking though. Easy enough to pop into the local market town of Wetherby at lunchtime. There are great running routes in the vicinity of the library and therefore many people go running or walking around the local villages. Working conditions are very comfortable, terms and conditions (if you exclude salary) are brilliant, like nothing you'd get anywhere else. Devs are encouraged to research new tools and technologies - if you come to work here and bring with you some great suggestions, the teams will definitely listen.

    Cons

    The nature of the business means that it's a very long time from conception to delivery, due to inefficient but necessary processes. Technology (the department in which tje Dev teams sit) is currently having a bit of an identity crisis. It sometimes feels like there isn't a realistic departmental vision. Having said that, management are approachable and do seek feedback, unfortunately the staff who are most disgruntled don't seem to voice it in a constructive way. Agile isn't really applied here. We do work in sprints and have backlogs, but that tends to be where it ends. There are great opportunities here for those in the commercial world, who've actually worked in Agile environments, to come in and lead some changes! You'd never come here for the salary which is notoriously low for all dev grades.

  5. "Nice building, low morale and pay"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at The British Library full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Public sector ethos. Nice, middle class and polite.

    Cons

    Top heavy management, resistant to change, hard work not rewarded. Overwhelming PC culture.

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  6. "Make the changes"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Information Technology in Boston Spa, England
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at The British Library full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good benefits, low stress and pressure and helpful colleagues.

    Cons

    Too many people stuck in the past who don't want anything to change. The negative minority outweigh the positive majority. Too many senior managers are afraid to make decisions.

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  7. "IT Going Around in Circles"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT Specialist in Leeds, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at The British Library full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Work life balance is good Dedicated colleagues try and do their best to deliver to the Library in difficult circumstances

    Cons

    IT Management is out of touch with the staff, keep on making steps backwards rather than forward Too many managers compared to workers Nepotism in the IT leadership with an unhealthy clique between many members of the senior team

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  8. "Really interesting place & role - but some areas have v low staff morale"

    3.0
    Current Employee - Project Manager 

    I have been working at The British Library full-time

    Pros

    The roles and place are v interesting, with some great staff. Worklife balance is good depending on line manager (a clocking in system is touted as 'flexi working' but not v flexible for many staff.)

    Cons

    Unfortunately due to some unchallenged bad management practices - there is currently v low morale in the organisation in some areas.

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  9. "Human Resources"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Human Resources in Wetherby, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at The British Library full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Friendly, comfortable, stable, benefits and support

    Cons

    Sometimes stuck in old ways

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  10. "Great benefits but poor pay"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in London, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at The British Library full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    It's the British Library Generous flexible working - good work/life balance Good holidays Good pension Great people

    Cons

    Poor pay Career progression not great

Found 49 reviews