Corporate Eye

Annual Reports: the new-look British Library

British Library annual reportBowen Craggs point out the great new approach that the British Library have taken to their annual report – the inclusion of video profiles of their executive team in the corporate governance section, discussing the Library. The chairman and chief executive have separate pages, each with several more video clips on. The video profiles for the management team all come with transcripts and biographies.

British Library annual reportThis is a very attractive annual report, and as Bowen Craggs point out, video profiles could easily be added to the Board profiles in the main site.

Even discounting these executive video profiles, the British Library annual report is well worth a visit to see how they’ve made it appealing – you can:

  • listen to a three minute summary of the entire report
  • read the full contents via a sitemap or attractive links to the review section from the mini-site home page
  • and view video clips of satisfied customers explaining what they’ve achieved through their relationship with the Library.

You can even send in your own comments about using the Library, and answer a poll about what you think the Library’s digital priorities should be. And the mini-site contains links back to the main site where relevant, integrating it very neatly with the information available on the main site.

All the videoclips are available to download and all come with a transcript; something that comes automatically to a library, I suppose, though I wish transcripts were more readily available across corporate sites.

However, the accounts are only available in PDF format, which is a shame given the Flash/HTML format of the rest of the site; I think these should at least be available in HTML, and ideally downloadable into Excel.

All in all, though, this is a remarkably attractive annual report, and deserves to be widely read. Hat tip to Bowen Craggs for bringing it to our attention.


For those who don’t know: the British Library is the national library of Britain. It receives a copy of every publication in the UK and Ireland, and includes 150 million items in its collection – with 3 million new items being added every year – including items from 300BC to today’s newspapers and the latest DVD. That is a lot of filing …

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