Innovative new library organisation seeks passionate trustees to join new CEO

Entrepreneurs, fundraisers and those with commercial and business development experience are among those being encouraged to get involved in helping run the new organisation tasked with delivering Devon’s library service from April next year.

Libraries Unlimited, the new independent public service mutual set up by the County Council, has launched a campaign to recruit a number of independent trustees to bring experience and skills to the Board.


Applicants with experience in the following areas are particularly encouraged to apply:

  • entrepreneurship
  • business development
  • fundraising
  • commercial
  • marketing and PR
  • digital development
  • property investment

Candidates with experience of working in the creative industries and of working with children and young people are also encouraged to apply.

Successful applicants will join Libraries Unlimited Chair, Julie Dent, on the Board, along with community trustees and staff trustees to work with  library staff to deliver a modern, vibrant and sustainable library service for Devon.


Julie DentJulie said:

“We have ambitious plans for the future development of this new organisation, which will place communities and staff at its centre.

“The next few years will bring lots of opportunities to build on the excellent track record of the current library service. The new flexibilities and freedoms open to Libraries Unlimited, as an independent organisation with charitable status, will enable us to access funding opportunities, develop partnerships and grow income-generating schemes that were previously unavailable to a library service run by the local authority.

“Trustees will have a passion for the future of Devon’s libraries, along with the vision, expertise and creativity to help us develop and grow sustainably. They will make a vital contribution to the new organisation and will be collectively responsible for setting and reviewing the organisation’s strategic direction, in line with its charitable objectives.

The role will be challenging, but it’s a unique opportunity to be part of a significant period of change for the library service in Devon.”


The trustees won’t be the only new team members to join Libraries Unlimited this month. The organisation has also appointed its new Chief Executive Officer.

Ciara Eastell, the current Head of Devon Libraries, was unanimously appointed by a panel with representation from both Libraries Unlimited and Devon County Council.

Speaking about the appointment, Libraries Unlimited Chair, Julie Dent, said:

“Ciara brings all of her experience in the world of libraries at a local, national and international level. She is passionate about bringing knowledge and a love of reading to everyone who uses our libraries.”

ciara_eastellCiara said:

“I am delighted to take on the role of Chief Executive of the new organisation. After over 7 years running the library service in Devon and having worked so closely on the plans for the new library mutual, I’m very pleased to be able to lead the new organisation.

“I have an absolute passion for libraries and all the benefits they can bring to people’s lives, and I very much look forward to working with the new board, and our dedicated library staff and community groups, over the coming months as we work towards establishing Libraries Unlimited as a modern, vibrant and effective organisation.”

Cllr Roger CroadCouncillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for the library service, said:

“Nobody knows Devon’s libraries as well as Ciara. She has worked tirelessly to transform the service over the past few years, and she is the perfect choice to lead Libraries Unlimited on their new exciting venture.”

Download an information pack about the trustee recruitment here.