Minutes from the M25 Consortium Business Meeting held at
The Frank Lampl Building, Kingston Hill Campus, Kingston University.
Present: Nick Bevan, Consortium Chair (Brunel University)
Julie Brittain (Institute of Development Studies), Marina Logan-Bruce (St George’s, UoL), Elizabeth Chapman (UCL Library Services), Douglas Dodds (Victoria and Albert Museum), Miriam Haardt (Wiener Library Institute of Contemporary History), Simon Hall (Roehampton University), Robert Hall (London South Bank University), June Hayles (Queen Mary, UoL), Julie Howell (London Metropolitan University), Sandy Leitch (Kingston University), Rosemary Lynch (University College of the Creative Arts), Margaret March (Anglia Ruskin University), Andrew McDonald (University of East London), Mary Nixon (Goldsmiths, UoL), Frances Norton (Wellcome Library), Philip Payne Birkbeck, (University of London), Peter Ryan (Canterbury Christ Church University), Elaine Salter (University of Westminster), Jane Savidge (University of Surrey), Deborah Shorley (Imperial College London), Tim Stone (University of Bedfordshire), Mark Toole (University of Brighton), Maureen Wade (London School of Economics and Political Science), John Wolstenholme (Thames Valley University), Rupert Wood (University of Reading), Helen Workman (Oxford Brookes University).
In attendance: Suzy Ball, Genein Cox-De Sousa, John Gilby (M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries)
Present for the morning session:
Ben Barkow (Wiener Library Institute of Contemporary History), Matthew Brook (Royal Holloway, UoL), Ann Cummings (Brunel University), Helen Edwards (London Business School), Richard Golland (Imperial War Museum), Tim Green (London School of Economics and Political Science), Kitty Inglis (University of Sussex), Maire Lanigan (St Mary’s University College, Twickenham), Robert Macredie (Brunel University), Stephen Pickles (Institute of Education), Sophie Villiers (The British Library).
Apologies: Emma Bull (Queen Mary, University of London), Graham Bulpitt (Kingston University), Pat Christie (University of the Arts London), J. Adam Edwards (Roehampton University), Peter Hassell (Royal College of Art), Antony Hopkins (Courtauld Institute of Art), Katharina Hübschmann (Wiener Library Institute of Contemporary History), Nicky Kershaw (Anglia Ruskin University) Nigel Lees (Royal Society of Chemistry), Caroline Lloyd (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine), Antony Loveland (Central School of Speech and Drama), William Marsterson (Middlesex University), Julia Munro (University of Reading), Alasdair Paterson (Royal Holloway, University of London), Carole Pickaver (University of Kent), Ian Snowley (The British Library)
The business meeting was preceded by a morning session themed “Your Space, Our Space, Whose Space? 21st Century Students and the Challenge for Libraries”.
Professor Rob Macredie, Pro-Vice Chancellor Brunel University delivered the keynote speech entitled “What do you know? Improving student services”.
Mark Toole, Director of Information Services at the University of Brighton gave a presentation entitled, “Web2.0? Library 2.0? Focus on supporting the learning, teaching and research not the technology!”
Tim Green, Library IT Manager at the London School of Economics and Political Science gave a presentation entitled, “Prime Space”.
Presentations were followed by a panel discussion comprising the 3 speakers.
1. Apologies for absence and welcome to new members
Members were asked to note apologies. NB noted that Kitty Ingles (University of Sussex) was a newly appointed M25 Representative.
2. Minutes of last meeting
The minutes of the meeting held at the University of East London on 24th January 2008, were formally approved.
3. Steering Group Membership
MW reported the results of elections for Secretary, Treasurer and for one Steering Group member. With an equal number of nominations for vacancies, the following were appointed to those positions without the need for a vote:
Secretary – Adam Edwards (Roehampton University)
Treasurer – Caroline Lloyd (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
SG Member – Frances Norton (Wellcome Library)
4. Chair’s Report
Nick Bevan introduced his report on M25 Consortium activities since the last Members’ meeting.
The report highlighted activities such as the Consortium’s 15th Anniversary celebrations held in April at the House of Commons and the Steering Group’s annual planning day held in March. He reported the SG decision to recruit an additional 0.5 FTE member of staff to develop the members-only web pages over the next two years. He also noted the plan to review M25 resource discovery services, in particular looking at integration of services, over the next year.
Other developments outlined in the report included a review of the training programme by CPD25 and the development of a collection of resources relating to space utilisation by the Quality Working Group. NB also highlighted the Consortium’s desire to provide direct support for students through developing walk-in access to e-resources through the WAM25 project, for which HEFCE funding was being sought.
In closing he introduced the four new members who joined the Steering Group in January: Julie Brittain; Sandy Leitch; Ann Murphy and Pete Ryan.
5) Report on progress against the Action Plan 2007/08
NB reported on progress against the 2007/08 Action plan. He noted that the SG would re-visit the Consortium’s Strategic Plan during the coming year.
6) Update on Key Projects
6.1 Task & Finish Group on Directors’ Services
Rosemary Lynch, Chair of the Task and Finish Group reminded members of the key priorities of the group. She introduced the idea of the “Directors’ Room”, a proposed password-protected area of the M25 website which will provide an online environment for discussing ideas and exchanging information and advice.
RL also invited members to take part in the new “Exchange” initiative, which was being introduced in response to feedback received from Directors themselves. These face-to-face, shared learning opportunities were targeted at a small number of Directors with particular interest in the themed subject. Two future such opportunities would take place in July focusing on “Leadership and Management” and “The challenge of delivering shared learning services”. RL also introduced the template for Directors’ profiles, aimed at describing their areas of experience and identifying what they could offer / what they would like to achieve from the Exchange initiative, eg mentoring, exchange of experience.
MW updated members on progress of the WAM25 (Walk-in access to e-resources in the M25 Consortium) project. She reported that the first stage of the feasibility study, funded by HEFCE as part of its Shared Services programme, has been approved by HEFCE in April. The final outcome report would be considered by the WAM25 Steering Group on 19 June and submitted to HEFCE on 27 June. The report would request further funding from HEFCE for a pilot project to implement walk-in access to e-resources in eight M25 institutions.
Of the six partners who took part in the feasibility study, one was not expected to continue into the pilot project. An additional partner had agreed to participate and two further partners were being sought.
MW reported on progress with the extension of AIM25. The Consortium had part-funded the project to provide a link between InforM25 “Search catalogues” and the AIM25 service – a resource discovery service on archive collections in London. The project was on target and almost complete.
7) Treasurer’s Report
Members receive a report from the Treasurer including information on:
7.1 Update on Consortium finances
7.2 Proposed budget and subscription levels for 2008/09
Nick Bevan advised members that bringing the three arms of the M25 into a single entity would mean that only one subscription invoice would be received from 2008/09 onwards. The overall increase in subscriptions was 3% to cover inflation. The new two-year 0.5 web services post would be funded partly from recurrent expenditure and partly from reserves.
NB asked for members’ views on the idea of slightly increasing CPD25 event prices so they operated on a small profit, to help fund Consortium initiatives. The alternative would be an above-inflation increase in subscriptions. This idea was met with mixed opinions and no consensus was reached at the meeting. NB proposed to bring a paper to the next AGM detailing the two options so that members could vote on them. The eventual decision would take effect from the following academic year.
NB reported that the SG would review the Consortium’s reserves policy in the coming year.
8. Constitutional Issues
Progress report on application for charitable status
Nick Bevan reported that the application forms had been sent to the Charities Commission. There was an estimated 15-day form checking process, followed by a 12-week processing time on the application. He expected to be able to inform members of the outcome early in the next academic year.
9. Members’ Issues
No members’ issues had been notified.
10. Any other business
• Nick Bevan raised the issue of requests from suppliers to give demonstrations at M25 members’ meetings. He was reluctant to set a precedent of allowing certain suppliers to do so to the detriment of their competitors. However, supplier presentations could be useful on specific topics relevant to particular meetings. After discussion it was agreed to maintain the current policy of professional speakers at these meetings.
• Programme of meetings 2009/10
Members were asked to note the January 2009 meeting was scheduled to be held at Goldsmith’s, University of London.
Members were asked to volunteer to host the June 2009 and January 2010 members’ meetings.
Deborah Shorley (Imperial College London) offered to host the June 2009 meeting.
• NB proposed that the morning sessions of the members’ days should be opened up in future to allow more members per institution to attend; this was agreed.
• NB thanked Sandy Leitch and the staff of Kingston University for hosting another successful M25 meeting.
• NB gave special thanks and appreciation to Maureen Wade for all her hard work and various contributions over her tenure as secretary of the Consortium. MW noted the help given to her by Genein Cox-de-Sousa and John Gilby.