Visit by Chris Batt and Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) Visitors

The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLAC) executive ran an away day today at the OU. They had their own business meeting, lunch in KMI with Paul Clarke and a tour of the new library. PJS, PKS and ZZ took part in the KMi visit. Chris Batt is a fan, and has been before … this was a good opportunity to show them Cipher, Flashcom and some semantic web things.

MLA is the national development agency working for and on behalf of museums, libraries and archives and advising government on policy and priorities for the sector. MLA&#39s roles are to provide strategic leadership, to act as a powerful advocate, to develop capacity and to promote innovation and change.

CHRIS BATT OBE is Chief Executive of MLA. He is responsible for leading strategic advice on the delivery of services to users of museums, archives and libraries. Between May and November 2003 he was Acting Chief Executive. Previously Chris advised on the use of information and communication technologies in museums, archives and libraries, and led the Government&#39s People&#39s Network programme. His task was to connect all 4,300 public libraries to the Information Superhighway by the end of 2002, giving universal public access to the rich information and learning resources that are now being created in Cyberspace. It was a project completed on time and in budget. Until August 1999 Chris was Director of Leisure Services for the London Borough of Croydon where he had worked for over 20 years. Closely involved in the development of Croydon Clocktower, the award winning cultural centre, his responsibilities as Director of Leisure Services included libraries, museums and heritage, the arts, sport and recreation, parks and open spaces, and tourism. In 1999 Chris advised the Department of Culture, Media and Sport on the creation of the new Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries. He has a keen interest in the development of information technology for public use having been involved with the development of computer systems to support cultural heritage and learning since the mid-seventies. He continues to lecture in many countries around the world and has written many books and papers.

Stuart Davies is the Director of Strategy and Planning at MLA. He has been the project director for the Regional Museums Task Force which in October 2001 produced Renaissance in the Regions, a blueprint for the revival of regional museums and galleries through the creation of hub museums (financed both locally and by central government) and the strengthening of new MLA-funded cross- domain regional agencies for museums, archives and libraries. Stuart is Programmer Director for the MLA Archives Task Force. Stuart was previously Museums and Galleries Policy Adviser to the Heritage Lottery Fund, a lecturer in the Leeds University Business School, and Head of Museums and Galleries in Kirklees, West Yorkshire.

Gina Lane joined MLA in December 2000 as Quality Standards Adviser, to lead on the development of Museums Registration. In 2002 she became a Senior Adviser taking on additional responsibility for the Designation Scheme and for Workforce Development. After completing a degree in English at the University of Exeter, Gina joined Camden Libraries in London on their graduate trainee scheme, and worked in a number of posts, mostly in Information and Reference. She then joined the Libraries Clientside team in Westminster contributing to the development of their Quality Assurance programme, and subsequently went to work for Islington Libraries, her last post in libraries before joining MLA.

Sue Wilkinson read history at Cambridge and subsequently trained as a teacher and as a museum educator. At Resource Sue is Director of Learning, Access, Standards and Skills. She also manages Resource&#39s regional team and leads on the implementation of the Renaissance in the Regions project. Sue has been responsible for developing Inspiring Learning for All, an innovative best practice framework which looks at how museums, archives and libraries can stimulate and support learning.

Terry Marshall is MLA’s Finance Director and is responsible for the Freedom of Information: MLA Publication Scheme.