Scotland’s new librarian in charge of national ‘treasure trove’

Amina Shah said it was a 'great honour and privilege' to become chief of the National Library of Scotland.

Scotland’s new librarian in charge of national ‘treasure trove’ NLS
Amina Shah has been appointed chief executive of the National Library of Scotland.

The National Library of Scotland has appointed a new national librarian and chief executive to oversee the country’s “information treasure trove”.

Amina Shah, who has served as a trustee of the country’s legal deposit library, moves from her role at the University of St Andrews’ Libraries and Museums in October.

She will be in charge of the National Library’s immense world-renowned collections which includes rare books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, music and moving images.

Ms Shah said it was a “great honour and privilege”.

“Scotland has always been a nation of bards and blethers, and I believe there is no better way for us to understand ourselves, each other and the world around us, than to capture the stories of today, treasure them for the future and share them widely within our communities and across the world,” she said.

“I am excited to get to work with the team, the board and the people of Scotland to shape and share our incredible collections and to use them to support our recovery from the educational, cultural and economic inequalities brought about by the pandemic.”

A former CEO of the Scottish Library and Information Council, Ms Shah led the development of Scotland’s first National Strategy for Public Libraries.

Ms Shah has a particular interest in the role libraries, literature and culture play in empowering individuals and communities.

Simon Learoyd, chair of the National Library, said: “I am delighted that our new chief executive will be Amina Shah. 

“In a large and very strong field of candidates, Amina impressed us all with her obvious passion for the library and everything it represents and aspires to be. Amina is massively ambitious for the library and its place in wider Scottish society.

“She brings a huge amount of experience of Scottish culture and leadership in the library sector in particular. I have every confidence that she will be a great chief executive of the library taking us into our centenary year in 2025.”

Ms Shah takes up her post as chief executive and national librarian on October 4 after the current holder of the position, Dr John Scally, retires on October 1.