top of page
Rachel Van Reil, Libraries, Benesse UK



Rachel founded and shaped the reader development movement which has changed the status of reading in the UK and influenced public libraries especially.


She is much in demand as a speaker and has addressed many national and international conferences over the past 15 years.


Sometimes challenging as a 'critical friend' to libraries, Rachel is a passionate advocate for public libraries in the wider cultural and educational sector. 

Rachel is responsible for the strategic direction of the library design company Opening The Book. The company’s reader-centred approach released new energy into library work, remotivating many library staff and delivering wider cultural change in organisations.


Libraries moved from largely passive provision of books and computers to actively engaging the audience. 

Rachel has worked with library authorities across the UK, including London boroughs such as Newham and Brent, and also managed the arts-based consultation at High Street Library, Bolton, which became a model of national good practice.

Rachel is renowned for developing innovative library staff training and masterminded the ground-breaking Branching Out programme, funded by the Arts Council and managed in partnership with the UK Society of Chief Librarians.

bottom of page