1. Apologies for absence
For brevity, apologies were not announced; John Tuck (JT) advised that attendances and apologies would be noted in the minutes. JT also welcomed all new representatives to the AGM.
2. Minutes of last meeting
The minutes of the last meeting, held at the London Metropolitan University on the 15th April 2011, were approved by the membership.
3. Chair’s Report
JT took the opportunity to provide thanks to individual colleagues including Pete Ryan and Anne Murphy, who have served on the M25 Steering Group (SG) for the past 4 years, and Julie Brittain who left the SG in December 2011. JT formally welcomed Kitty Inglis, Louise Doolan and Michelle Wake to the SG and provided belated congratulations to Bethan Adams who gave birth to twins in October 2011. JT acknowledged the hard work of the M25 Support Team: John Gilby, Claire Hackshall and Nikki Randall. JT also gave thanks to: Vicki Falconer for her 4 years as the M25 Administrator; Andrew Amato who left the consortium in May 2011; and Lydia Parsonson who worked with the Support Team for a brief time also.
The Consortium expressed thanks to LSE, who have hosted the M25 Support Team for several years.
JT reported that the cpd25 programme had run approximately 60 events over the last year and remains a beacon of success in uncertain times.
Following the review of InforM25, JT noted that a timely opportunity had arisen to bid to JISC bid to develop, modernize and enhance the service as part of a broader resource discovery project . A successful bid was made and this led to the SEARCH25 project (Strengthening Electronic Access to Research Consortial Holdings in M25). £107,000 was awarded to the M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries to develop a fast, flexible and simple new search tool to provide access to the combined library records of M25 Consortium members.
JT discussed the survey of member’s views on e-book procurement, including their preferences for publishers, business models, and titles. The report identified Patron Driven E-book Acquisition (PDA) at a consortial level as a desirable way forward and raised a number of important questions on how to manage consortia purchasing within the rapidly changing library systems environment. As a consequence, a bid has been submitted to JISC under the Digital Infrastructure call to seek funding for a pathfinder project called E-BASS25 (E-Books Acquisition as a Shared Service in M25).
JT provided an update on the status of the Walk-In Access scheme. As previously reported, HEFCE confirmed that funding to support the WAM25 feasibility study had not been approved. However, JISC agreed that its contribution to the project could be used in support of WATER: Walk-in Access to E-Resources. This new project is progressing under the auspices of SCONUL and has M25 Consortium membership. The aim of WATER is to provide case studies, together with a guide to putting walk-in access in place from minimal implementation to extensive cross-campus access. A series of regional community events will be held and will involve collaboration with the M25 in planning and delivering events in London and the South East.
JT referred to an important piece of work that had been completed thanks to the work of John Gilby (M25 Consortium Administration and Projects Manager) and Andrew Amato who implemented the transition of InforM25 and the Consortium’s websites to externally hosted virtual servers, thereby enhancing efficiency and reliability.
JT reported on the exciting opportunity to establish the Customer Services Group within the Consortium which will be headed up by Erin Caseley (King’s College London). This group will fill a gap in services and information and will kick off with an event at King’s College on 26th April 2012. A member raised a concern about the creation of more steering groups and task groups in relation the Customer Services Group. The member queried the need for complex bureaucracy and noted that this could be a potential barrier to participation among smaller institutions in terms of the staff time commitment available and also a barrier to innovation and implementation.
JT confirmed that the M25 Steering Group will seek to ensure that the framework needed to carry out this work will not impede progress and agility, noting also that Erin Caseley had also provided this reassurance.
A member asked if there were any formal reasons given as why two institutions had left the Consortium since the previous AGM. JT noted that he had spoken to a senior manager at one of the two institutions who had expressed disappointment at leaving the Consortium, stating that the decision to leave was linked to difficulties in getting staff members involved in Consortium activities and that this was related to the changing mission of the institution. With regard to the second institution, the Consortium had not been able to ascertain precise reasons for withdrawal. JT confirmed that there had been no reference to dissatisfaction or any financial issues.
JT mentioned that in 2013 the M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries will see its 20th anniversary and it is the intention to hold suitable (within budget) celebratory events during the year.
A full Chair’s Report can be found in the AGM paperwork that was submitted in advance to the membership.
4. Steering Group (SG) membership
Members were asked to note the following:
4.1 Consortium Officers
John Tuck(JT) has been elected for a second term to the position of Chair
Caroline Lloyd (CL) has been elected for a second term as Treasure.
4.2 Election of Steering Group members
Bethan Adams (St George’s University of London) and Angus Brown (Imperial College London) were elected for a second term.
Following co-option in 2011, the following members were formally elected to the Steering Group, Louise Doolan (The British Library), Kitty Inglis (University of Sussex) and Michelle Wake (University College London)
The additional four vacancies for elected representatives on the Steering Group have been filled through a non-contested election by, Ann Cummings (Brunel University), Martin Scarrot, (St Mary’s University College, Twickenham), Cathy Walsh (University of East London) and Rupert Williams (Science Museum).
The Steering Group will co-opt Erin Caseley (King’s College London) to led on the Customer Services Group initiative.
JT again extended warm thanks to those members whose term on the SG was ending: Julie Brittain, Anne Murphy and Pete Ryan.
5. Director’s Development
During 2010/11, over 60 per cent of M25 Directors took part in a series of conversations about learning and development, contributing to a lively debate about what it means to be a Director in the twenty-first century. The report on these findings, compiled by Rosemary Lynch, was considered by the Steering Group in July 2011. It was agreed that Kitty Inglis would take forward some of the recommendations, in particular a specific event for Directors to be held during 2012/13.
Kitty Inglis noted that following the development of the report, the Consortium intends to establish a Director’s Development discussion forum in the online Director’s Room. KI noted that John Gilby, M25 Administration and Project Manager, said there was a window of opportunity in May 2012 to initiate this. KI also noted that the Consortium is looking for about 3 volunteers to assist with organising an appropriate director’s development event in 2012/2013. If anyone wants to volunteer, please contact Kitty Inglis by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Treasurer’s Report (Caroline Lloyd)
M25 Treasurer, Caroline Lloyd (CL), noted it is a requirement (as a charitable company) to have these reports. CL reported that the Consortium’s financial accounts for 2010-11 had been approved by Kingston Smith, and from there had been submitted to Companies House and the Charities Commission. There were no queries from the membership.6.2 Proposed budget and subscriptions for 2012/2013
CL acknowledged a question from a member who asked why, in times of hardship, there is a need to increase subscriptions when surpluses have been generated by cpd25 and there is also a substantial reserve? CL explained that when subscriptions were discussed by the M25 Steering Group consideration had been given to freezing the subscriptions this year; however, it was agreed that this would not be good practice and would lead to the need to make a more substantive increase in a future year, e.g. by 2-3%. The M25 Steering Group decided that a modest increase of 1% was required to ensure that income from subscriptions keeps pace with recurrent expenditure. CL also noted the cpd25 income stayed roughly the same, but expenditure had decreased in the previous year; this had therefore resulted in the greater than usual surplus. CL advised that the Consortium cannot rely on such surpluses for recurrent expenditure and a decision was made by the M25 Steering Group to allocate the surplus to new projects as outlined in the proposed budget (submitted with the pre-meeting paperwork to members). CL also noted that as agreed at the AGM in 2011 the reserves are linked to the risk register.The membership approved and agreed to:
- The proposed Subscriptions and Budget for 2012/2013;
- The re-appointment Kingston Smith to carry out the annual review of the 2011/12 accounts and Trustees Report.
7. Members’ issues
Elizabeth Chapman (London School of Economics and Political Science) drew the AGM’s attention to the forthcoming retirement in July 2012 of Jean Sykes. She emphasised the huge and significant role played by Jean in the creation and continuation of the M25 Consortium. Elizabeth asked if colleagues could sign the retirement book for Jean, given she was such an important person in the history of the Consortium. This was fully supported by the Chair and all of the membership. Formal thanks are noted to Jean Sykes for her energy, commitment and support for the Consortium and for her significant role in its establishment and development.
AGM concluded at 10:10am.