Members’ Rights and Responsibilities

This report is designed to inform current Members of the Consortium, and prospective Members, about rights and responsibilities agreed to when an institution undertakes membership. It is divided into 4 sections:


a) Membership is open to:

Higher Education Institutions located in and around the M25 region (defined as the area covered by the London, South-East and East Regional Development Agencies) and which are eligible for membership of SCONUL

Other academic and academic related institutions in the M25 region which may be invited to join, subject to their meeting the following criteria:

  • they are involved in learning and research
  • they are within the agreed geographical boundaries of the Consortium
  • they sign up to the M25 access and borrowing scheme (although borrowing need not be provided if it is not freely available to the institution’s own members)
  • they agree to participate in disaster recovery support and other mutual support activities as agreed by the Consortium

2. Rights and Responsiblities of Members

a)Members can expect that the Consortium will:

  • Develop and market resource discovery, resource sharing and access to services so as to enable a greater use of Libraries and information resources across the region to the benefit of students, academics and members of the public;
  • Provide a collaborative forum for innovation, partnership and mutual support, the exchange of experience, the transmission of expertise and professional development
  • Co-operate with other bodies having similar objectives

b) Members are expected to understand and support the core values of the M25 Consortium

“To co-operate in the effective enhancement of library services and staff development in order to improve availability of and access to information and learning resources for the combined constituencies of publicly funded higher education and related institutions located within the M25 region (as defined above)”

c) Members are expected to understand and support  the mission and aims as defined in the M25 Strategic Plan.

The Mission of the Consortium is:

  • To develop and improve access to library and information services across the region in support of learning and research, by facilitating co-operation amongst Consortium members and by collaborating with relevant regional and national organisations.

The Consortium works to 3 main aims in support of its mission:

  • To facilitate access to London’s diverse and complex range of library resources for learners and researchers, through the development and delivery of collaborative services.
  • To encourage and enable mutual support of member libraries in improving services to their users.
  • To  represent the Consortium’s best interests and to influence policy-making through collaboration with appropriate regional and national organisations; this will include taking the lead on relevant strategic issues.

These are underpinned by supporting aims relating to:

  • Governance and financial management
  • Advocacy and communication

d) Members are expected to support and take part in the core activities of the M25 Consortium. These are defined as:

  • Resource discovery activities and services, primarily joining the Search25 services, specifically providing the required data to the M25 Systems Team normally within two months and to arrange remote access to library catalogues (currently via the Z39.50 protocol).
  • Access and borrowing schemes as agreed by the Consortium, subject to eligibility (schemes currently include SCONUL Access and Libraries and Learners in London). Non HEFCE funded Members will be expected to join the M25 Access and Borrowing Scheme and HEFCE funded Members will be expected to recognise M25 Access and Borrowing Scheme cards and provide borrowing at the same level as that offered to other external members.
  • Staff development activities and services offered through CPD25 (
  • Pan-Consortium disaster recovery support as defined in the M25 Consortium Mutual Support agreement
  • Collaboration and partnership activities
  • Collaborative collection management activities
  • Attendance at two general meetings a year (currently January and June (AGM))
  • Nomination of contacts for Consortium mailing lists

It is expected that there may be some legitimate exemptions, which will be subject to approval of the Consortium, but these should not preclude members from joining in the full range of activities.

3. Subscriptions for Membership

Subscriptions to the Consortium support all activities including:

  • The general activities of the Consortium
  • The search25 service and related IT activities, managed by the M25 Systems Team.
  • CPD25 staff development activities, which are funded partly by subscription  and partly through charges for individual events.

The method of calculating subscriptions is agreed at Consortium general meetings from time to time, with subscription rates reviewed annually.

N.B. Members receive preferential rates and priority booking for CPD25 events.

4. Process for membership

Applications for membership should be made to the Secretary. The process for considering applications is as follows:

a) An Officer of the Consortium will investigate the alignment of the applicant to the Consortium’s aims and objectives and will make a formal recommendation to the Steering Group.

b) The Steering Group will consider this recommendation at its earliest convenience and in turn then make a recommendation to the full membership at the next General meeting of that body.

c) In order to speed the process, if the Steering Group is in agreement, views of the full membership may be sought by email to agree a new member in principle. The Steering Group will then seek for this to be ratified at the next full General meeting of the members.

d) It is noted that the Steering Group may recommend (without assigned reason) to the General meeting that:
– Any organisation meeting the criteria for membership may be excluded
– Membership of existing members may be terminated

The secretary should be contacted for any further clarification if required.

Robert Hall
Chair M25 Consortium
January 2006

Angus Brown                                                                                                                                                                                               Steering Group: M25 Consortium
March 2013