Minutes 23 January 2007 Business Meeting

Minutes from the Business Meeting held at The British Library, London

Robert Hall (London South Bank University) Chair

Fiona Ainsworth (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew), Maretha Allwright (Natural History Museum), Robert Atkinson (Birkbeck, University Of London), Nick Bevan (Brunel University), Julie Brittain (Institute of Development Studies), Josephine Burt (The Open University), Pat Christie (University of the Arts London), Genein Cox (M25 Consortium), Dr Mary Davies (King’s College London), Douglas Dodds (Victoria and Albert Museum), Suzanne Enright (University of Westminster), John Gilby (M25 Consortium), Julie Howell (London Metropolitan University), Katharina Hübschmann (Institute of Contemporary History & Wiener Library), Nicky Kershaw (Anglia Ruskin University), Máire Lanigan  (St Mary’s College), Christine Levey (Goldsmiths College), Caroline Lloyd (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine), Marina Logan Bruce (St George’s University), Rosemary Lynch (University  College of the Creative Arts), William Marsterson (Middlesex University), Darlene Maxwell (Royal College of Art), Diana Mercer (University College London), Julia Munro (University of Reading), Ann Murphy (University of Greenwich), Brian Murphy (Queen Mary), Andrew Noble (Thames Valley University), Judith Preece (University of East London), Jane Savidge (University of Surrey), Deborah Shorley (University of Sussex), Mark Toole (University of Brighton), Maureen Wade (London School of Economics and Political Science), Jan Wilkinson (The British Library), Christine Wise (University of London Research Library Services), Jean Yeoh (King’s College London).

In attendance for the morning programme
Joanna Bowring (The British Museum), Graham Bulpitt (Kingston University), Clare Jenkins (Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine), Elizabeth Malone (Kingston University), Di Martin (University of Hertfordshire), Christine Muller (University of London Research Library Services),  Joanna Newman (The British Library), Carole Pickaver (University of Kent), Anne Poulson (School of Oriental & African Studies), Jean Sykes (London School of Economics and Political Science),

Elizabeth Chapman (University College London), J. Adam Edwards (Roehampton University), Jackie Cheeseborough (Royal College of Nursing), Michael Clarke (London Libraries Development Agency), Dr Helen Fletcher (Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College), Richard Golland (Imperial War Museum), Graham Higley (Natural History Museum), Vicky Kontou  (Courtauld Institute of Art),  Andrew McDonald (University of East London), Christopher Mills (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew), Mary Nixon (Goldsmiths College), Frances Norton (Wellcome Library), Philip Payne (Birkbeck), David Pearson (University of London Research Library Services), Stephen Pickles (Institute of Education), Peter Ryan (Canterbury Christ Church University College), Nicky Whitsed (The Open University in London), John Wolstenholme (Thames Valley University)

The Business Meeting was preceded by a morning session themed:
Print to Digital: Managing the Transition”.

Presentations were heard from the following speakers:

John TuckHead of British Collections, British Library
Download: Digital and Content Strategy Developments at the British Library 

Professor Di MartinDirector of Leaning and Information Services, University of Hertfordshire
Download: Print to Digital: Managing the transition of staff roles and skills 

Michael PophamDigital Library Manager, Oxford University
Download: The Oxford-Google Digitization Project

Howard PictonParliamentary Affairs Manager, Bank of England and member of SCOOP
Download: Government Publications: Some issues on transition from Print to Digital

John GilbyManger Systems Team, M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries
Download: Orange the New Yellow: New look InforM25

Minutes of the afternoon business meeting

1. Apologies for absence and welcome to new members

Members were informed of three institutions which have been accepted into membership. These institutions are:

  • University of Bedfordshire
  • Ravensbourne College of Art
  • Trinity College of Music

These members will be officially welcomed into membership at the annual general meeting in June.

2. Approval of Minutes of last meeting
The minutes from the Consortium’s AGM held on 9 June 2006 at the Mayfield House, Falmer Campus, University of Brighton, were approved by the members.

3. Constitutional Issues
Members agreed to the following amendments to the Articles of Association, necessary for application for charitable status:

    • to change the reference of the AGM being held in the Spring to Summer as this is now our practice.
    • to delete all reference to Vice-Chair in the Articles as we no longer have this position. Where there is mention of the Vice-Chair deputising for the Chair, to change to “either Secretary or Treasurer”
    • to change references to the “M25 area” to “the areas covered by the London, East of England, or South East England Regional Development Agencies” as this is our  agreed geographical catchment area.
    • to delete references to “observer status” as we agreed not to have this category of member.

4. New strategic developments and changes to working groups
Members were asked to receive and discuss a report on changes to Working Groups and new strategic developments agreed by the Steering Group. RH noted the important role of the Working Groups in the activities of the Consortium and explained that the Steering Group felt that it was time to have a fundamental review of the groups.

Working Groups

  • Disaster Management Group: RH noted the important work that this group had carried out, not just for the Consortium, but influencing library disaster planning throughout the UK. The group would complete its work on business continuity planning and the conversion of its web pages to the new M25 style and then disband.

  • Disability Working Group:  RH noted that this group had been set up at the time of the DDA and SENDA legislation, but most of the relevant work had now been done.  He reported that before the disbanding of this group, Adam Edwards is expected to lead on the undertaking of one final piece of work in the area of access to member libraries for disabled students and based around an access card or entitlement.

  • Advocacy Working Group: RH reported that the Steering Group wanted to clarify the remit of this group in relation to that of the Collaboration and Partnership Working Group. The name of the group had therefore been changed to the Marketing and Communication Working Group. The group would be asked to produce an annual marketing plan.

  • Quality Working Group:  RH expressed appreciation for the work that Nicky Kershaw has done as Chair of this working group and reported that Adam Edwards will be replacing her as the Chair in the New Year.

  • The London Health Libraries Group: RH noted that this group had done some useful work, but was currently maintaining a watching brief on the re-organisation of the London health authorities.

  • The Collaboration and Partnership Working Group: RH noted the important role of this group in maintaining relationships with a range of regional organisations. However, the Steering Group felt this work could be overwhelming and had therefore asked the group to reduce the number of organisations with which it collaborates and focus on those of most benefit to the Consortium.

  • Resource Discovery Working Group:  This group will continue to oversee the InforM25 suite of services and will continue to look out for ways of supporting members, e.g. with institutional repositories and respond to any appropriate JISC funding opportunities.

  • CPD25: RH noted that this is one of the M25’s most successful services and no changes were proposed, other than the possible need for more administrative resources in the future.

In discussion, it was noted that there was currently much work to be done around existing institutional repositories, but that the Consortium should not duplicate the work of other groups, e.g. the SHERPA-LEAP project. It was proposed that the reference to JISC funding opportunities should be changed to external funding opportunities in general; RH agreed. The point was made that the Disabilities group, in looking at access issues, should not duplicate work already being done by other groups.

Constitutional Arrangements
Members of Working Groups:  RH outlined the proposals to regularise arrangements for membership of groups, with fixed terms and regular calls for expressions of interest by staff in Member institutions. The aim was to utilise the expertise of members but also allow for healthy turnover in group membership and opportunities for staff development. Some flexibility would remain, to retain members with special expertise as necessary.  In discussion, it was noted  that SCONUL had recently instituted time limits for membership of groups and had decided against any flexibility, to encourage turnover. RH replied that the Steering Group would consider this point.

New activities
RH outlined plans for new activities in the following areas and asked for Members’ comments:

  • Database of expertise within the Consortium
  • Advice/influence on consortial purchasing
  • Database /Directory of research collections in Consortium libraries

In discussion, it was suggested that work on documenting research collections should build on MASC25. It was also proposed that the Steering Group should look at the work of the NOWAL consortium in consortial purchasing of e-books.
RH reported that the Steering Group would hold an annual planning event, each Spring, to develop the action plan for the following year in time for the annual budget round.

5. Collaboration with London Higher
Mary Davies introduced the Factsheet on Libraries in Higher Education, a recent collaborative effort done between the M25 Consortium and London Higher. She stated that examples given in the factsheet were only representative of a fraction of the Consortium’s membership and that the factsheet will be updated annually to highlight examples from other institutions.
RH thanked Mary and members of the Collaboration and Partnership Working Group for their hard work on this initiative.

6. Procedure for selection of new Chair of CPD25

6.i CPD25 Annual Report
Members noted the report which was presented by Jean Yeoh current Chair of CPD25. JY highlighted the new staff exchange scheme; there had been some expressions of interest but no actual exchanges as yet. JY noted the large membership of the CPD25 Task Groups and thanked the members for the enormous amount of work they put in to make CPD25 such a success.

6.ii Selection procedure for Chair of CPD25
 MW introduced a paper outlining a selection procedure for the Chair of CPD25; this would be vacant from July 2007, as Jean Yeoh was stepping down. Members were asked to discuss and if appropriate agree the procedure.  In discussion, it was proposed that the selection process be described as an interview. rather than a discussion. Even though the position is a voluntary one, it was important to have a rigorous process to select the right person. It was also suggested that the interview panel include an external member,   with expertise in staff development.  Subject to these changes, the procedure was agreed.

7. Report on Action Plan
Members received the report on progress against the Action Plan for 2006/7 that sets out how the Consortium will meet the objectives contained in the Strategic Plan 2005/6 – 2008/9

8. Treasurer’s Report

8.i Members received the annual accounts for the financial year 2005/06, audited by Roy Williams. The accounts which represent the Consortium’s general activities only, show that reserve levels are higher than initially expected and reflect a good financial position.

8.ii Subscription levels for 2006/07
The treasurer reported that next year’s subscription charges are expected to remain unchanged, other than a small increase to reflect inflation.

The treasurer also stated that he was seeking VAT advice on the implications of joining the accounts of M25, InforM25 and CPD25, which are currently managed separately. He noted that an implication may be CPD25 having to charge VAT on courses, thus increasing attendance fees.

Action: Treasurer to bring an update at the June 2007 AGM

8.iii AIM25 Project
Members were informed of the decision made by the Steering Group to grant £10K to the “Building on Success: Adding Value to AIM25” project . The sum will be used to fund the technical development work required to create interoperability between AIM25 and the InforM25 service.

9. Members issues
There were no issues raised by members.

10. Any other business

Genein Cox was introduced as the new Administrative Assistant to the Consortium

Members noted the programme of meetings for the 2007/08 and were asked to volunteer venues for the January 2008 Business Meeting and June 2008 AGM.

1 June, 2007 Annual General Meeting – Royal Naval College, Greenwich
January 2008 TBC
June 2008 TBC

Maureen Wade

1 February, 2007