Joanna Ball is Head of Library Content Delivery and Digital Strategy at the University of Sussex, where she provides strategic direction for the teams who acquire, license and deliver the Library’s print and digital resources. She is also responsible for technical innovation and the development of library systems, including the library services platform, discovery system and institutional repository. Additionally, she has driven the development of a research data management (RDM) policy and solution for the University.
Joanna’s career has given her experience of all aspects of library management. Her previous roles at Sussex have been within Academic Liaison, where she was responsible for the Library’s research support and services. She initiated the Library’s annual seminar series for researchers and managed the development of a new researcher space, including a peer-support system for doctoral students to facilitate its use. She spent her early career in roles in college and departmental libraries at the University of Cambridge, including the Classical Faculty, the Whipple Library for the History of Science, and Trinity College, where she managed the busy undergraduate library as well as the outstanding special collections in the Wren Library.
She has written and presented on a number of issues, including researcher space and support, the changing role of subject librarians, and the challenges for libraries in providing support for RDM and open access (OA). Joanna has been interested in e-books since being a co-founder of ebooks@cambridge, a collaboration which introduced access to e-books through the Cambridge library network. She is fascinated with the way that new demand-driven models are challenging libraries to examine their role and the way in which they work. She is also excited and frustrated in equal measure by OA – on the one hand its potential to transform scholarly communication but on the other the current preoccupation with compliance.
Joanna has been active within the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) for much of her career, earlier within the Career Development Group and most recently as chair of its Electoral Board. She is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
When not working or deep in conversation with her colleagues about the future of libraries, Joanna juggles family life with running and cycling over the South Downs.