The British Library Employee Reviews

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2.0
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outdated management and lack of knowledge
IT Support (Former Employee) –  Wetherby, West Yorkshire17 February 2019
The best parts about working at the library are the flexible working hours as well as holidays. Way too many managers whom have no idea what they are doing, there is also a lack of knowledge accross the board. A lot of things are dependant on xyz person.

When things go wrong everyone is looking for someone to blame.
Highly uncertain on future as the Library is going through a transformation but very little information is given to employees.
Most teams in IT extremely understaffed yet workload goes up, no incentive to keep people and not able to hire anyone decent due to pay levels. Pay bands exist but wage is never uplifted, poor progression in general.

Most people are nice in all teams but work is very repatative.
A lot of credit taking by managers that do nothing and general dumbness. Many projects taken up but nothing ever delivered on time or working.

Meant to be diverse but all managers/decision makers are white.
Pros
Flexible working hours
Cons
Lack of knowledge, too many managers
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2.0
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outdated management and lack of knowledge
IT Support (Former Employee) –  Wetherby, West Yorkshire15 February 2019
The best parts about working at the library are the flexible working hours as well as holidays. Way too many managers whom have no idea what they are doing, there is also a lack of knowledge accross the board. A lot of things are dependant on xyz person.

When things go wrong everyone is looking for someone to blame.
Highly uncertain on future as the Library is going through a transformation but very little information is given to employees.
Most teams in IT extremely understaffed yet workload goes up, no incentive to keep people and not able to hire anyone decent due to pay levels. Pay bands exist but wage is never uplifted, poor progression in general.

Most people are nice in all teams but work is very repatative.
A lot of credit taking by managers that do nothing and general dumbness. Many projects taken up but nothing ever delivered on time or working.

Meant to be diverse but all managers/decision makers are white.
Pros
Flexible working hours
Cons
Lack of knowledge, too many managers
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2.0
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Frustrating and demotivating
Operations Manager (Former Employee) –  Wetherby, West Yorkshire11 October 2018
Projects overrun and are over budget, decisions and issues take forever to get a resolution and communication is poor which makes for a very frustrating place to work. Although t’s & c’s are good, there are constant rounds of redundancies and restructures which in my experience were handled very badly and most people at the northern site were fed up. Some good initiatives such as wellbeing, CI and SLT integration but they end up being tick box exercises with no substance behind them.
Pros
Good salary and pension. Some nice people.
Cons
Red tape and over complicated processes, insensitive managers dealing with restructures and redundancy situations.
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2.0
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Library life
Library and Information Assistant (Former Employee) –  London4 April 2018
I worked in the British library for nearly 12 years. Library work is changing as digital records take over from physical media. I worked in the basement and reading rooms. The Library was moving from long term permanent staff to contract workers, and working with Google and Microsoft
Pros
Holiday time
Cons
Poor pay
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2.0
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poor atmosphere
Soft Services Manager (Former Employee) –  London20 March 2018
poor atmosphere. I worked here for 6 months and couldn't wait to get away. There is a very nasty blame culture. Managers are lazy and will spend hours playing with the internet instead of working. Poor
Pros
Easy job
Cons
Blame culture
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5.0
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team work
Event Assistant Manager (Current Employee) –  London22 January 2018
A well presented highly personable and efficient event’s organiser with an ability to work independently in a changing and multi-tasking environment with numerous and competing deadlines.
Pros
free lunch
Cons
long hours
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3.0
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Friendly Environment
Finance Business Partner (Current Employee) –  Boston Spa15 January 2018
Staff are extremely friendly and helpful.
Lots of specialisms regarding Collections as well as back office roles
Flexible working
Based on two sites with travel between if role requires
Pros
Flexible working
Cons
Pay has been frozen
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3.0
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Great place for learning new skills
LIBRARY ASSISTANT (Current Employee) –  London9 January 2018
A typical day at work usually invovles solving many customers and solving any problems with requests that we come across. The best part of the job is the amazing collection of items that you have access to, though in some roles this is fleeting. It's a great place for those who love problem solving or learning in general.
Pros
Educational atmosphere
Cons
Repetative tasks
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3.0
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Public Sector Mind Set
Estates Energy Manager (Former Employee) –  London16 November 2017
Planning ahead was always a bit last minute, mainly to be budget spending targets
Difficult to influence procurement rules
Always forced to go for the lowest price tender
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4.0
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Pressure for more with less
Technical Quality Manager (Former Employee) –  Wetherby, West Yorkshire11 October 2017
This is an organisation with some really good people. Unfortunately financial government pressures mean a lot more has to be done with a lot less creating stress and pressure on the workforce.
Pros
Flexi time
Cons
Static pay
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5.0
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School workplacement
Admin Assistant Trainee (Former Employee) –  King's Cross St. Pancras Station29 March 2017
Friendly staff warm and welcoming especially at the staff entrance where I was based. Some managers in surrounding offices not so pleasant to full time employees, however were fine with me.
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5.0
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Great Management
Library Assistant (Former Employee) –  Euston11 February 2016
The management is excellent and the staff and managers are very supportive. The management are very organised on a daily basis and I enjoyed working in a busy environment.
Pros
Great Team
Cons
Wage
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4.0
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strict hours and professional standard
Library Assistant/Data Entry Management (Current Employee) –  London, ENG25 July 2015
The British Library is a public institution with over 1000 employees with professional standard applied to all aspects of all work positions. It is a great place to work if interested in libraries with busy but friendly attitude and good supportive management.

I learned to be informed, accurate and efficient in cooperation with others as well as to work to strict deadlines and comply with strict regulations.
Pros
Library books to use at all times; good canteen, discount in the Shop.
Cons
Relatively low pay and long hours.
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4.0
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calm work place
Supervisor (Former Employee) –  London, ENG13 April 2015
The British Library have good management and hard working staff and good job security. It's a nice and calm place to work in !
The hardest part of the job is long hours but it's a good team.
Pros
nice and calm place
Cons
long hours
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5.0
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Varied and challenging
Administrative Officer (Former Employee) –  Boston Spa, West Yorkshire4 February 2015
Retrieval and dispatch of items required by users of the British Library reading rooms in London, using automated systems.
Retrieval, scanning and dispatch of items by electronic delivery to all parts of the world with in 2 hours of receipt of the end users request.
Pros
Freindly work collagues
Cons
Repetattive work
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4.0
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Estates Administrator / Procurement
Estates Administrator / Procurement (Former Employee) –  Wetherby, ENG18 September 2014
The work loads were acceptable, but the opportunity for career progression were limited.
Pros
Flexible Working, Colleagues
Cons
Inertia for change, Management Bullying.
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4.0
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A good place to work as team
Storeman (Former Employee) –  London, ENG19 March 2014
well my day was starting receiving the goods and checking all
after that time to put all on your exactly places, draw everything on system.
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4.0
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A very relaxed but professional environment.
Administrative Officer (Former Employee) –  Wetherby2 August 2013
The British Library provided many opportunities for advancement.
Pros
Flexible working hours.
Cons
Long distance for daily travel.
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2.0
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Civil Service nightmare!
Manager (Former Employee) –  London9 July 2012
Salary bands are tightly restricted, so there is no consequent capability built-in to earn salary upgrades - if you begin employment at a starting salary on the lower-end of the Grade rate (for example, Grade A salary band = 37, 500 - 42,000) you remain at that rate until you retire or leave.

Because of the slant of the interview questions and requirements, previous experience and qualifications are unlikely to get you very far, as HR is looking for the right answers, not the most qualified people.

My typical day began at about 06:30, and usually ended at about 19:30 (my actual hours of work were contracted to be 09:00 - 16:30 Mon-Fri), as i was required to perform disciplinary/grievance hearings etc. for people who worked alternating 12-hour shifts, so I had to wait most days until the evening shift came on so I could communicate with my teams. That meant my work week, instead of being 37.5 hours, was normally 56 to 60 hours.

I found the technical part of the job the most involving, as it meant I could actually carry out the functions listed in my employment contract, although very soon after I started, my own morale became pretty much non-existent.

The one thing I learned, too late, was not to express my opinions!
Pros
subsidised staff restaurant, additional staff privilege holidays
Cons
no recognition for effort or ability, effectively the person who digs the best holes will be handed a larger shovel
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Overall rating

3.6
Based on 23 reviews
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3.9Work/Life Balance
3.3Salary/Benefits
3.1Job Security/Advancement
3.0Management
3.3Culture

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