Meet the Leadership Team

Library, Archives and Learning Services provides staff and students with both digital and physical access to our collections, and also the skills needed to get the best out of them. We support and partner on open access, digital skills and scholarship, academic skills and learning environments providing innovative thinking and collaboration.

Director of Library, Archives and Learning Services

Kirsty Lingstadt

My vision is for us to have outstanding services, a Library students and staff love using, and fantastic collections that are accessible for all and usable for digital humanities or other computational research. By the time our students finish their degrees, our inspirational learning environments (both digital and physical) and our support and training will have equipped them with the skills needed for future success. I want our researchers and others to enjoy using our collections, with our support in managing their research data.

Kirsty Lingstadt

I have over 20 years experience in Museums, Archives and Libraries. My focus is connecting people to collections and I therefore embraced digital ways of working early on. I am always interested in trying out new technologies and ways of doing things.

Prior to York I was Head of Digital Library & Deputy Director of Library and University Collections at the University of Edinburgh. Before that, I had a range of management roles in the cultural heritage sector, including Historic Environment Scotland and various local authorities.

Highlights of my career include developing a makerspace at the University of Edinburgh, co-curating Treasured Places RCAHMS Centenary exhibition, adding crowd-sourcing of content to, and setting up and developing digital preservation services at both HES and University of Edinburgh. 

I am currently Co-chair of the RLUK Digital Scholarship Network and a Board member of the National Library of Scotland.

Assistant Director, Engagement

Jackie Knowles

My vision for the Library is for us to continue to put our user communities and their experiences at the heart of our services by bringing together strongly interrelated and growing areas of strategic importance. Our section is focused on delivering excellent core services, as well as introducing new services to meet University priorities.

Jackie Knowles

I have worked at the University of York since March 2011. I hold an MSc Econ in Information Management from the University of Wales Aberystwyth and I have over 25 years of work experience in the library sector. My previous roles have included consultancy and project management work, being an e-resources manager for the University of Durham, and Information Assistant roles both at Aberystwyth University and in the private sector.

I am currently responsible for the Engagement section which is made up of two main teams:

  • The Faculty Librarian Team works to ensure that the academic and student voices are heard, that the Library collections are developed to reflect teaching and research needs and are responsible for information literacy teaching within departments.
  • Customer Services are responsible for delivering front line enquiry support to visitors of the library whether they be students, staff or members of the general public. Through both in person and virtual means we ensure our users can access the building, resources, and help services on offer.

Assistant Director, Content and Open Research

Sarah Thompson

My vision is for all the academic content published by York authors to be openly available to anyone across the world, not locked behind paywalls, so that it can be reused and further developed for teaching, learning and research. Our library collections will become a fusion of open and purchased digital content that we can offer to our staff and students in ways that stimulate and inspire new approaches to research and scholarship.

Sarah Thompson

I spent my early career in Scotland but have now been working at the University of York Library for over 25 years. When I started at York almost all our collections were print-based, whereas most of what we buy now is digital. We are seeing a similar sort of transformation happening now with open access, and it’s exciting to be involved in that. This is an area where you need to work both locally within your university and at scale, in collaboration with other libraries, consortia, publishers and service providers, to help influence change and share good practice. I’ve participated in quite a few national and international groups and initiatives, but perhaps one highlight is seeing our very own White Rose University Press publish its first open access books and journals.

I am currently responsible for the teams in Content and Open Research that acquire and manage all the library’s information resources and collections, both physical and digital, as well as both purchased and open access. Our content and collections support the teaching and research activities across the university, and therefore cover a wide range of subject disciplines. We are responsible for the tools and systems which make our content and collections discoverable and findable, and we support our academic authors to publish their work open access, manage their research data and learn more about open research practices.

Keeper of Archives and Research Collections

Gary Brannan

Access to our collections is easy, simple and intuitive; our collections growing responsibly to document and represent the world around us; providing a high quality, internationally-significant research and discovery centre that’s accessible 24/7 from anywhere in the globe. We are a sustainable institution, working for public and social good, encouraging everyone to be curious about the world around us, why it is the way it is, and how we can make a better world in the future.

Gary Brannan

I am a York graduate, and my first job was as Archives Trainee here at the Borthwick in 2004-5, working as part of the team that moved the collections and services to our new building. I then qualified in Archive Administration from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and became an Archivist at West Yorkshire Archive Service, developing digital access initiatives such as the West Riding Air Raid Precautions Twitter project; the social media tracking of the Olympic flame and Tour de France. I returned to the Borthwick in 2014 as Access Archivist, working on the York’s Archbishops Registers Revealed and Northern Way projects. I became Keeper of Archives and Research Collections in 2019, and oversaw our successful application to become a nationally-accredited service.

I am currently responsible for the Archives and Research Collections which are comprised of the Borthwick Institute for Archives, the University Rare Books Library, the University Art Collection, and the partnership with York Minster Library. We care for - and provide online and physical access to - historic records dating from the 11th century to present day in one of the largest archive repositories outside of London, as well as a significant and growing collection of rare and unique books. We also curate and display a collection of over 900 artworks; provide access services at the biggest Cathedral Library in the UK; and ensure that the University’s modern records are managed and secured for the future.

Assistant Director, Programme Design and Learning Technology Team

Richard Walker

My vision for programme design support provision at York is to facilitate an active, student-centred learning design approach which is inclusive of the needs of all our learners.We can best achieve this by working across teams and service boundaries to provide a joined-up service offering to individual academics and programme teams.

Richard Walker

I have over 20 years’ experience supporting learning technology developments within the higher education sector. I joined the University in 2003 to set up our central e-learning service provision. Prior to this, I held research and teaching posts at Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands, and at the Euro-Arab Management School in Granada, Spain, working in association with the European Foundation of Management Development.

I am currently responsible for the Programme Design and Learning Technology team which supports departments in the design, delivery and evaluation of learning technology interventions at activity, module and programme level. Working from a pedagogy-first approach, drawing upon our own research and evidence from the sector, we help staff to find the right tool and approach to meet their learning objectives.

In addition to our programme design work, we are the service owners for a number of digital systems for teaching, learning and assessment activities such as the Blackboard VLE, Canvas LMS, Replay lecture capture service, VLE Exam service, Collaborate web conferencing and Mentimeter interactive quizzing and polling services.

Assistant Director, Learning Enhancement Team

Cecilia Lowe

My vision for learning enhancement at York is for students to know that they are in charge of their own learning and that there is a cornucopia of engaging resources and very interested people around them that they can find and call on easily to answer their questions and talk about their progress - and for academic programmes to reach a stage where there is such shared understanding of expectations, standards and progression that a Learning Enhancement team is redundant.

Cecilia Lowe

I have been involved in teaching and education all my life - from teaching in a comprehensive in Doncaster in my early career, through a stint in Sri Lanka as a VSO at a teaching college - then some harrowing months as an ICRC translator in Sri Lanka during troubled times - then back to higher education working at a university in Ankara, Turkey and then joining York in 2007. My interest is in providing the best higher education learning experience possible in order to nurture critically independent, articulate, confident thinkers.

I am currently responsible for the Learning Enhancement team which provides academic skills services to all students - from pre-arrival to UG, PGT and PGR graduation - via online resources, workshops, one-to-one appointments and programme-linked provision. We also work with colleagues, committees and working groups to address learning enhancement issues as they arise.