17 – 19 March 2021 :: Virtual Conference

Perhaps there has been no more opportune time for us to examine the transformational power of research libraries. The stress test of Covid-19 has been a considerable challenge for our institutions, but it has also underlined the fundamental importance of research libraries and their vital role in supporting scholarship and research, and also their remarkable tenacity in adapting to a mercurial ‘new normal’. 

The research paradigm is shifting, and the wider context in which we operate grows ever more complex. This year has, in many ways, accelerated some of these changes, including in the overnight shift to a remote, digital working environment, the impact of how research is now approached, conducted and consumed, and the urgent need to overhaul a dysfunctional scholarly publishing system.

Current events have focused our attention on critical activities, but we also wish to look to the long term and how we might achieve an optimal future for the research library, build resilience to what possible futures may bring, and embed true diversity of thought, ideas and experiences within our institutions and practices.

Register for RLUK21 View the programme

**Please note Pheedloop does not work with Internet Explorer, therefore you will need to use another browser (e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge) to participate in the conference.


RLUK21 bursary scheme

RLUK is pleased to offer up to 30 bursary places for the #RLUK21 Conference, aimed at early career professionals, those in roles below associate director level, or those who would otherwise not normally attend the event. A number of bursary places will be allocated for BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) candidates.

We welcome applications from all colleagues with a professional interest in the research sector, from the UK, Ireland or internationally. RLUK21 bursaries are NOT restricted to colleagues working in RLUK member institutions. Find out more and apply for the bursary scheme.

RLUK21 sponsor opportunities

If you are interested in sponsoring the RLUK21 Conference please find more details on this page.

Conference theme

#RLUK21 will seek to understand how the transformation of the library, and its transformational power, can shift our thinking, values, services and offer.

Who should attend?

The conference is an excellent opportunity for professionals to connect, discuss and debate together in order to help shape the research library of the 21st century.

The RLUK Conference is open to all.


The RLUK21 Conference will be a virtual event, held from 17-19 March 2021.

RLUK21 Keynote Speakers

Masud Khokhar

University of York

Cerys Hearsey


MacKenzie Smith

University of California, Davis