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Speaker Biography

Tim Coates

Tim Coates was managing director of Waterstone's in its formative years, having also been managing director of WH Smith in Europe. He worked on the book industry supply chain projects of the 1990's and has become known for his work to improve public libraries in the UK over the past 12 years. He advocates better use of the existing funding and the importance of concentrating resource and management effort on the core of the service, books and reading. He calls for money to be taken away from administrative and non-front-line reader contact jobs and spent on more books, longer opening hours and more modern buildings and facilities. He has participated in successful library improvement programmes in many councils, of which Hillingdon in particular has received wide praise and attention. He is also Chair of LLL, the alliance of library users in London, which seeks urgent improvement in the boroughs of the metropolis.


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