Vacancy -- President - National library of Wales

Vacancy details

National Library of Wales
The President’s activities will vary from week to week. They will undertake the role remotely and from the National Library of Wales’ buildings in Aberystwyth as required. There may be times when the President is required to travel to meetings and events
The President will be remunerated based on a fee of £337 per day.  Travel and other reasonable expenses that might be incurred in carrying out work on the Board can also be claimed from the Library

Function of body

The National Library of Wales’ purpose is to make our diverse culture and heritage accessible to all to learn, research and enjoy. 

As a Welsh Government Sponsored Body, the Library will receive £12.8m in annual revenue funding from the Welsh Government in 2021-2022.  The Library is also a Royal Charter body and registered independent charity. Its management and operations are overseen by a Board of Trustees.  

The Library subscribes to the Welsh Government’s wider policies and priorities, including the Well Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and the Welsh Language Act 2010 and integrates its work into supporting of all of the seven well- being goals as well as the five governance elements of the Sustainable Development Principle. 

For further detail on the Library’s purpose, vision and objectives, please go to:

Role description

This is a high-profile, strategic and influential role in the cultural sector in Wales.

The new President will join the National Library of Wales during a period of change as the findings of the 2020 tailored review are addressed and as the Library moves to implement its new five year strategic plan for 2021-2026.

The President is accountable to the Deputy Minister for Arts and Sports for the National Library’s performance and for the delivery of strategic priorities. Developing a close relationship with the Deputy Minister and key members of the Welsh Government is a crucial part of the role.

The position requires a person of stature and vision, capable of leading a national institution in a senior non-executive role, and of being an advocate for the Library with its key stakeholders.  The President acts as a spokesperson, a representative and a figurehead for the Library, operating with tact, diplomacy and well practised powers of persuasion. 

The President is the Chair of the Board, and ensures that business is dealt with effectively and efficiently. He / she ensures that the Board is fit for purpose, offering appropriate scrutiny and a strategic steer. The President is responsible for ensuring that Trustees receive induction, training, and performance assessments, and comply with governance requirements under the Royal Charter, Charities Act, and the Board’s Code of Conduct. The President also represents the Library at joint public appointments processes with the Welsh Government to select new Trustees.  

At the Library, the President chairs the Appointments and Remuneration Committee (which oversees Trustee and senior staff appointments, including that of the National Librarian) and is also a member of the Governance and Performance Committee, the Financial Planning committee, and of the Audit and Risk Committee.

 Part of the President’s role is establishing a strong and supportive working relationship with the Library’s Chief Executive and National Librarian and with the senior executive, providing advice, support and challenge, but whilst respecting executive responsibility.

From time to time, the President will represent the Library in the Welsh and English media, during visits by senior public figures, and at the opening of exhibitions and events.

The President must always be able to work comfortably and effectively within the bilingual cultural, political, social and economic context in which the Library operates.




Welsh language skills

The Welsh Government acknowledges the importance of developing and growing bilingual capabilities in public appointments in Wales, and welcomes applications from candidates who demonstrate their capability to work in both English and Welsh.  The following list of language requirements represents an objective assessment by the recruiting body of the Welsh language skills required to undertake the duties of this particular post.
Can read most work-related material
Can prepare most written work in Welsh
Can understand all work-related conversations

Person specification

We are seeking someone who: 

  • demonstrates an understanding, a commitment, and an enthusiasm for the Library’s work and for Wales’ cultural sector;
  • has an awareness of Welsh Government policies and strategies and of how they influence the work of the Library and the culture sector as a whole;
  • has extensive leadership skills and experience of driving change;
  • has a commitment to equality issues and to challenging discriminatory practices;
  • has a commitment to Nolan’s Seven Principles of Public Life;
  • is able to communicate effectively with the Library’s audiences in both Welsh and English.

 Essential Criteria:

  • Demonstrates a commitment to the values and the vision of the National Library of Wales, and an appreciation of its role and purpose as a national institution in Wales, including the cultural, learning, health and well-being, economic and socio-political contexts in which it operates; and an understanding of its obligations under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015;
  • can evidence strong interpersonal, communication and stakeholder management skills, including ambassadorial skills;
  • committed to increasing diversity and promoting equality, identifying relevant experience to develop an inclusive and diverse Board;
  • Has experience of developing strategic partnerships, and of outreach and engagement activity who will drive the agenda of ensuring the Library  serves and represents the diverse communities and regions of Wales;
  • demonstrates senior leadership skills and the ability to provide effective support and challenge to a high profile organisation;
  • demonstrates the ability to think and operate strategically;
  • demonstrates a thorough understanding of good governance;
  • demonstrates business and commercial acumen and experience of income-generating activities (including fundraising); 
  • has experience of operating at a senior level in a complex, multi-disciplinary organisation.

Interview dates

15 November 2021
7 December 2021

Closing date

13/10/2021, 18:00

Additional information

How to apply

To apply for this role, click on the ‘Apply’ button below. The first time you apply for a post, you will need to complete a registration form for the Welsh Government’s online application system.  You will only need to register once, and you will be able to keep yourself updated on the progress of your application, and any other applications you make, via your registered account.

Once you’ve registered, you’ll be able to access the application form.  To apply you will need to submit two supporting documents. The first, a document outlining how your knowledge, skills and experiences meet the criteria for the role as outlined in the information for candidates.  This document should be no more than 2 sides of A4.  Your application may be rejected if you exceed this limit.  The second document is a full, up to date CV.  The two documents should be uploaded to the ‘Reasons for applying’ section of the online application form.

In your application, you will also be asked to provide details of any activities which have helped you to develop skills that would be useful in a public appointment role, and list the organisations for which you undertook these activities.  We also need to know about any political activity that you’ve undertaken over the last 5 years. 

It is recommended that you register for an account and access the application form as soon as possible so that you see how the application form is structured, before starting to prepare your evidence.  You don’t have to complete the application form all in one go.  You can save your responses, and log in and out as required, until you’re ready to submit – just follow the guidance in the application form.

If you’d like to apply for this opportunity in Welsh, please use the ‘Newid Iaith / Change Language’ link at the top of this page, to take you to the Welsh version of this advert, from which you can apply in Welsh.

If you need any further assistance in applying for this role, please contact the Welsh Government’s Public Appointments Team on

For further information about Public Appointments in Wales, please visit

Commissioner for Public Appointments logo

This vacancy is closed to applications.