New Books Council chair appointed as predecessor steps down after two decades
The first female National Librarian of Wales has today been appointed as the Chair of the Board of the Books Council of Wales after her predecessor stepped down following two decades in the post.
Linda Tomos succeeds Professor M. Wynn Thomas, who is retiring after chairing the Council’s Board for 20 years.
Linda Tomos said: “I look forward to working with my fellow Trustees and the talented staff at the Books Council of Wales to deliver an exciting and ambitious strategy over the next five years, strengthening the sector and reaching new audiences all over Wales.”
Professor M. Wynn Thomas said: “It has been an undiluted pleasure and privilege to serve the Council as its Chair, and to watch it develop into a major national body whose work supports the burgeoning Welsh publishing industry in its entirety.
“I am especially indebted to all those officers who have served alongside me, to the entire devoted staff of the Council, and most particularly to the three inspired and inspiring Directors with whom I have worked. Watching them has been an education.
“I wish my successor the very best, and can assure her, as she takes the Chair, that the Council goes from strength to strength.”
Members also confirmed Rona Aldrich to continue in her role as Vice-Chair of the Books Council, a role she has held since 2015.
Helgard Krause, Chief Executive of the Books Council of Wales, said: “I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to Linda upon her appointment to the role of Chair.
“I, and Linda’s fellow Trustees, have already benefitted greatly from her contribution as a member of the Board since April 2021 and her support to develop our new strategy for the next five years.
“I would also like to pay tribute to the outstanding contribution and support given so generously by Professor M. Wynn Thomas during his 20 years as Chair. His leadership has helped us all to navigate some challenging times to emerge as a stronger organisation and I look forward to working with Linda, Rona and the Board of Trustees to build on his legacy.”
Linda Tomos is a chartered librarian with over 40 years’ experience in the sector and was the National Librarian for Wales from 2015–2019, leading the National Library in Aberystwyth.
She has worked as a senior civil servant within the Welsh Government and was the first Director of CyMAL: Museums, Archives and Libraries Wales.
The Books Council was established in 1961 to support the publishing industry in Wales.
Its stated mission is to support the publishing industry in Welsh and English, which it does through grants and providing specialist services and advice to the sector, and to promote reading for pleasure which it does through a variety of reading engagement programmes.
It is a charity and is funded partly by Welsh Government through Creative Wales, and partly from the commercial operations of the wholesale book Distribution Centre.
This was the Books Council of Wales’ second AGM following its transition in 2021 to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. The Chair and Vice-Chair were appointed following a vote by members of the charity.
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