About SCL 2017-05-22T11:13:09+00:00

About SCL


The Society of Chief Librarians leads and manages public libraries in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. SCL is made up of the head of service of every library authority, and advocates for continuous improvement of the public library service on behalf of local people.


The Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) was formed in 1996 in response to changes in local government. It brought together the former Association of Metropolitan District Chief Librarians (AMDCL), the Society of County Librarians, and the Association of London Chief Librarians. It replaced the Federation of Local Authority Chief Librarians (FOLACL) as the body speaking on behalf of all Chief Librarians in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Derek Jones, the Chief Librarian of the London Borough of Richmond on Thames was the architect of the new organization and its first President was Geoffrey Hare, then County Librarian, Essex.

Since its inception, the Society has grown in strength to become a major local government society acting in partnership with government and other agencies to further the strategic development of public library services.