Maja Maricevic took a first degree at University College London's School of Slavonic Studies and then an MA in post-modern fiction at the University of East Anglia.
She went on to work in the charity sector, doing "the kind of things recent graduates do when they've studied English and humanities".
A post at Middlesex University focused on knowledge transfer and innovation, which she said was "the first wave of something that is now the norm, with universities thinking through the commercial issues of working with companies and small business".
She then moved to the London Development Agency before joining PricewaterhouseCoopers as a higher education consultant.
This involved advising government departments and universities on branding, positioning and financial as well as operational issues, often working closely with vice-chancellors.
Ms Maricevic sees her role as helping the British Library "effectively underpin the UK research infrastructure at the time when we need to optimise all available resources" and forging new alliances with senior university librarians.
Among the initiatives she hopes to build on are the Electronic Thesis Online Service and the UK Research Reserve, which she calls "fantastic examples of the library working with universities to add value".
Ms Maricevic also plans to develop further projects to ease the pressure on university library space through reducing holdings of low-use journals and digitisation programmes with Jisc.
"My experience of how institutions function operationally and financially, and how change works, should prove useful," she said.
"We need to track changing numbers of students, the balance between undergraduates and postgraduates and between different subjects - all of which can affect how our end users work and how we can meet their needs."