Mahendra Mahey has been the manager of British Library Labs (BL Labs) for over five years, an Andrew W. Mellon foundation and BL funded initiative supporting and inspiring the use of the BL’s data in innovative ways. BL Labs encourages and helps scholars, artists, entrepreneurs, educators and innovators to work with the BL’s digital collections through competitions, awards and other engagement activities. Mahendra is currently working on developing an international support network with colleagues to bring national, state, university and public libraries together that either had, are planning and already have digital experimental ‘Library Labs’ to share expertise, knowledge and experience in order to build better 'Library Labs' for their organisations and users.
He has a strong background of working with digital technology as a manager, educator, adviser and community builder in Further and Higher Education for researchers, educators, librarians and businesses both in the UK and internationally. He worked for 8 years at the University of Bath on a number of collaborative projects within UKOLN (a former centre of expertise for information management) including; the pioneering Jisc-funded UK academic software Developer Community Supporting Innovation (DevCSI) network initiative built from the innovative and very well received annual ‘Developer Happiness’ events he helped organise (similar to dev.ac.uk); CERIFy, implementing a European data model for managing research information; the Digital Repositories Research Team (RRT) which supported projects around digital repositories for scholarly outputs such as academic papers, data, educational materials, multimedia and finally incubating new research around the analysis of digital repository use cases, scenarios and workflows, toolkits to develop dublin core application profiles and digital repository ecologies.
Mahendra was an e-resources and technology adviser for over 4 years building supportive communities for teachers, librarians and managers working in Further and Higher Education colleges through the Jisc Regional Support Centres (in England at the University of Wolverhampton and Scotland at Edinburgh Telford College, now Edinburgh College).
Finally, he has over 10 years experience in Further/Higher education in the UK and Poland, working as a lecturer and manager in Psychology (specialising in Child Development), Computing, Multimedia, and English for Speakers of Other Languages, developing open flexible learning materials in print and online and managing flexible learning centres.
He tweets at @BL_Labs and @mahendra_mahey