The former Controller of BBC Radio 4, and founder of Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature, James Boyle has been appointed as the new Chair of the National Library of Scotland (NLS) by Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop.
Mr Boyle has had a wide and distinguished career and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role. He spent most of his career at the BBC and was head of BBC Radio Scotland when it was named UK Radio Station of the Year. As Controller of Radio 4, he reformed the network, producing with his team an entirely new schedule. Programmes in the new schedule subsequently won six Sony Gold awards — the radio Oscars.
He has since remained active in the culture and arts world. His public service posts include Chair of the Scottish Arts Council, Chair of the Scottish Cultural Commission, founder and first Chair of Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature and founder of Glasgow UNESCO City of Music. He replaces Professor Michael Anderson who served as Chair of the NLS Board of Trustees for 12 years and made an enormous contribution to the current success of the Library.
Mr Boyle said:
'I am very proud to be appointed and understand well that it is a privilege as well as a great responsibility.
'The National Library of Scotland is a cultural treasure house and a digital powerhouse. It is one of the engines of our economy supporting research, providing information to Scottish businesses and working with the universities.
'At the same time, the collections, exhibitions and the services are for everyone. At the National Library on George 1V Bridge Edinburgh there is a welcoming environment and indeed a café atmosphere as you arrive to begin the work of your research. There is an equally good experience if you visit the Library online. There we help people from home and abroad to explore the digital collection.
'I will work with the Trustees, the National Librarian, the staff and supporters of the National Library to extend the success of recent years.'
Martyn Wade, National Librarian and Chief Executive of NLS said:
'The Library is very fortunate to have someone of James Boyle's calibre and experience to lead our Board of Trustees and guide our future development. We are very much looking forward to working with him as we seek to continue to develop and improve the many services we offer to people in Scotland and further afield.'
Mr Boyle was a member of Court at Edinburgh Napier University for eight years and is currently Chair of the British Council Advisory Committee in Scotland. He has honorary doctorates from Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Edinburgh Napier Universities. He is married and has three sons and three grandsons.
25 October 2012