Friday 13 January 2012

Note: The following minutes are unapproved and will be formally agreed at the next meeting of the Steering Group.

Minutes of the planning meeting held at School of Pharmacy

Present: Lydia Parsonson (LP), John Gilby (JG), Kitty Inglis (KI), Sandy Leitch (SL), Caroline Lloyd (CL), Antony Loveland (AL), Pete Ryan (PR), John Tuck (JT), Michelle Wake (MW), Angus Brown (AB), Ann Murphy (AM), Louise Doolan (LD)

Welcome and any apologies

New members were welcomed to the Steering Group.
Apologies from Bethan Adams (BA).

Recruitment Update

Introduction to Lydia Parsonson; Temporary Administrator.

AL and CL will lead a review of the Support Team roles and Job Descriptions. The review aims to look at the role of the Support Team as a whole, with the view to making any changes prior to recruiting a permanent M25 Administrator.

SL, CL, AL, JT and JG met in the morning to begin the information gathering process and AL and CL will also meet with Claire Hackshall (CH); cpd25 Administrator.

Conference 2012 Update

MW confirmed the M25 Conference  is scheduled on Thursday 19th April at Ravensbourne College, with a theme of  ‘Blending of Virtual and Physical Space”.

Most of the morning speakers have been confirmed except for the Key Note Address.  Prof Eric Thomson, VC at Bristol and President of Universities UK is yet to confirm MW will follow up. [Post meeting note: E.Thomson unavailable but Professor Anthony Smith – Vice-Provost (Education at UCL) has agreed to speak.] Speakers have also been confirmed for the afternoon updates and thanks to both Johns for arranging an update on the SEARCH25 Project. There will be a conference team meeting at Ravensbourne on 25th January to consider the registration process. A number of Conference titles were suggested by the conference team. ‘Bricks and Bytes: Blending Virtual and Physical Space’ was agreed. JT thanked everyone involved.

Financial Update

CL advised that at the March Meeting the Steering Group would need to finalise its decision on potential subscription increases for 2012 / 13. All else being equal, no increase would result in a £5,000 surplus. CL will present a paper outlining the options at the next Steering Group Meeting for consideration and decision.

CL confirmed that most Subscriptions from the current year have been received and CL and the Support Team would follow up any outstanding.

Action: CL/Support Team to follow up outstanding subscriptions.

CL confirmed the financial year ran 1st August – 31st July

Planning Agenda

JT advised that the Consortium is in the second year of a three year strategy and that we need to consider the development of a new Strategy during this final year. Underlying this strategy will be work on clarity of our priorities, clarity around the mechanisms to deliver them, clarity about defining the priorities and remits, responsibilities and timescales and how we monitor progress.

It was agreed that the Consortium would a) not rewrite 2010-11/2012-13 strategy at present time but b) would use the November 2012 Networking event to include a  consultation event with M25 Directors to develop priorities and trends for a new 2013/14- strategy. This could take a similar form to the event in 2009.

Action: JG to ensure this is flagged up for 2012 Networking event.

1. Marketing and Communications

PR advised that additional clarity around ‘what are our priorities’ in terms of the business of the Consortium’ was required in order to guide the marketing Strategy. It was important to understand the relative importance of each of the priorities emerging from the Strategic Plan. Each theme of the strategic plan has a significant marketing element that requires a different approach. Marketing had not worked well as a bolt on activity.

There are identified targets in the Consortium strategy that supported key areas. The Marketing and Communications Group had looked at how to contribute and support those activities, but had found it challenging to realise some of these targets. The task and finish group method has presented increasing difficulties in parcelling up this work

Discussion focused on establishing the relative priority of marketing to new members or existing members, the need to promote / market new initiatives e.g. Directors Room, Staff room and the e-books initiative.

A key activity is to market the M25 to non-members, and demonstrate value for money to existing members. The task and finish group considered these were different pieces of work and required a different approach. If funds were available, parcelling this package of work to someone with marketing expertise may be more beneficial.
PR expressed the opinion that marketing could not exist as a separate entity and that it should become a strand of each activity.  If recruiting new members is a priority, that needs to be the focus of the group delivering the project.

JT asked if the way forward would be to identify a sum of money to commission someone to complete a piece of work rather than a task and finish group approach. This requires additional investigation.

SEARCH25
The importance of marketing SEARCH25 was discussed and the project completes in July 31st 2012. AB suggested developing a marketing theme around launch of SEARCH25 to promote the consortium. The target would be to remind members of the 20th Anniversary in 2013.

Action 1a:  AM to establish a group to promote SEARCH25 and work with the project group to allow promotion to be complete by September 2012. AM confirmed that with the support of AB, she would also look at a refresh of the access agreement documents and scheme to deliver alongside the Search25 marketing. (Post meeting note, AM’s term of office concludes in April 2012 and an additional chair for this task and finish group will be required).

JT suggested that a short list should be complied to identify the range of marketing initiatives we aim to achieve by September 2012.

Action 1b: For March Steering Group, PR and AB to outline draft text which can be used a) to articulate benefits to new members; and, b) elements which can also be used to demonstrate value for money for existing members. This would include focal point of a SEARCH25 launch and reference to the 25th anniversary in 2013. On the basis of this, SG will agree sum of money to outsource editing/design/production. AR/AB also to draw up short list of marketing initiatives realistically achievable by September 2012.

Action 1c: Access. AB confirmed that with the support of AM, he would look at a refresh of the access agreement documents and scheme to deliver alongside the SEARCH25 marketing.

2. Directors Development

KI identified that the Directors’ Room has enormous potential to create a safe communication space for high-level networking and communication between Directors, but this is not always happening.
It was noted there was a desire among Directors to be able to network formally or informally on high-level issues. However when events have been delivered for Directors it has been difficult to ensure attendance. This was echoed by cpd25 activity aimed at Directors.

KI suggested the Consortium could offer an event / master class aimed at Directors. It was agreed to schedule a Directors event in our anniversary year and invite a high profile speaker/contributor.

Action 2a: KI to create and lead a group to deliver a Directors event in 2013. A budget of £2500 will be assigned.

Action 2b: JG to look into adding a new Directors Development Directors’ Room subject heading.

Action 2c: KI to outline the Directors event at this year’s conference.

3. Task and Finish Groups

3.1 Staff Room
It was noted that although the Staff Room was created in 2010 and there are about 200 signed up members activity remains low. The existing chair of the task and finish group has been unable to proceed with the group.
CL suggested Elaine Salter (Westminster) might take over chairing this group.

Action 3a: JT to approach Elaine regarding taking over as chair for Staff Room T&F group and LD to be the Steering Group Champion. [Post meeting note: Done: and agreed with Elaine and Louise. Matthew Lawson also thanked for his efforts.]

All agreed the staff room required better marketing.

AL notified the group that cpd25 has just started ‘Tweeting’ and has forty one followers in just ten days. CL suggested Staff Room/Directors’ Room ‘Tweets’ LD offered her opinion that the weekly Directors’ Room emails were very useful so suggested the Staff Room pushed out weekly ‘Tweets’ or similar. JG advised that the Staff Room was designed to be user configurable; a user’s choice if they signed up to emails. CL suggested that we reverse these setting to opt out rather than opt in.

Action 3b: JG to investigate implementing weekly notifications on Staff Room.

3.2 InforM25 Review
JT advised that there will need to be a  Steering Group to oversee the development and running of SEARCH25 after the project period. Some initial work had been carried out prior to JISC funding for SEARCH25. The role of the Steering Group lead needs to be borne in mind in respect of new Steering  Group members.

3.3 Marketing and Communications
Covered previously.

3.4 Strategic Partnerships
JT advised that a number of relationships with a range of different bodies have developed, notably with WHELF and NoWAL. All agreed we should build on this and identify a member of the Steering Group to liaise with each body. It was noted that MW is steering group liaison with London NHS and that it would be beneficial if one Steering Group member liaised with other regional consortia. SCONUL, JISC. RLUK (Research Libraries UK) and CERL, (Consortium of European Research Libraries) were noted as agencies that the consortium should build partnerships.

Action 3c: JT to summarise Strategic Partnership requirements for discussion at the Next SG meeting.

3.5 Directors Services
Covered previously.

3.6 Annual Conference Planning
Covered previously.

Potential Future Task and Finish Groups and updates

3.7 WAM25 Project
The WAM25 project, submitted to HEFCE was replaced by the SCONUL led WATER project. A survey has been completed around walk in access. Due to interest demonstrated by the M25 Consortium, SCONUL were keen to appoint an M25 member as sub-group chair and Matthew Brooke (Royal Holloway)  has been appointed. Matthew is also a member of the main SCONUL Access Task Group, led by Philip Payne.

Action 3d: JT to ask MB to provide an update paper for March Steering Group.

3.8 Information Handling
The remit of this group has changed since the Research Information Network has ceased its original role and re-launched with a new remit. Jane Falconer did some important work in this area and it was agreed that the work was worth revisiting. There was potential for this group to be championed by a new SG member. Julie Brittain had indicated that Jane Falconer was happy to continue with this work.

Action 3e: CL to speak with JF and gain update for next SG.

3.9 Access
AB advised that refreshing the Access Scheme is a good way to promote the Consortium to members as discussed previously.

Action3f: As stated above, AB, liaising with AM, will take on responsibility for redefining and refreshing documentation.

3.10  Digital Aggregation
Potential to showcase M25 Digital Collections. It was agreed that JT and CL would visit UCL to gauge the potential for promoting this initiative to M25 members and consider if this would be an opportunity to promote the collections held within the Consortium or if an institution-by-institution, approach would be more appropriate.
The aim of the project is to promote collections through aggregating digital research objects.

Action3g: JT to contact UCL re aggregators.

3.11 20th Anniversary in 2013
It was agreed that the consortium should mark this event with an “Anniversary Party “amongst other events. Suzanne Enright has offered to arrange.

Action 3h: JT to follow up with Suzanne Enright.

4.  e-Books Consortia Purchasing, progress report.

The survey is complete and the reports on the e-Books Consortia initiative circulated. There was a series of questions raised that JT will address at his meeting with the task and finish group on 24th January 2012.

Action 4: JT to report back at March SG. JG to ensure E–books is agenda item.

5. SEARCH25

JG advised that developer, Graham Seaman, has been in post for just over a month. JG outlined the SEARCH25 project that has been funded under the JISC discovery programme.  It is a 9 month project that commenced on 1st November 2011 and completes on the 31st July 2012.

The project represents the next development of the Consortium resource discovery services, aiming to give the user a much better experience at searching at item level than is currently possible with InforM25. It combines searching local catalogues with searching Copac, whilst matching the records to give much higher quality bibliographic records, in addition to increased information about local holdings.

A Project Officer will be recruited to work with other members of the project team on user evaluations, focus groups etc. There are two sub-contractors associated with the project; Sheffield University Information School who will be assisting with focus groups, user profiling and service evaluation. JT noted a key objective of the JISC Resource Discovery Programme is to make data more readily available, for aggregations and that is the area SERO will be looking at.

JG advised the budget from JISC was £106,000.00. Inform25 was reviewed last spring and one of the recommendations was to develop the service, which consequently resulted in SEARCH25 funding. In addition the review recommended that InforM25 to would benefit from additional strategic direction and have a Steering Group. This will become the case when SEARCH25 moves from being a project to a service.

6. Working with SCONUL Steering Group on Shared Services
Library Management Systems

JT advised that the SCONUL Shared Services Steering Group has organised a two-day event in Warwick. JT will report on meeting. CL spoke about the COILS Project, lead by Birkbeck with JISC funding to develop a collaborative shared service approach to a Library Management System, but this has not progressed.

7. Risk Register

The Steering Group reviewed the Risk Register.
Action 7: SL to update the Risk Register accordingly. Revised Risk Register to be signed off at March SG.

Any Other Business
Steering Group Membership

It was noted that a number of Steering Group members would stand down at the next AGM as their terms of office were completed. New Steering Group members will be sought and elections held at the next AGM if required. Notification and invitations to stand as a member must be made available at least 6 weeks before the AGM i.e. by March 1st at the latest.. Members were asked to consider encouraging M25 Directors to Stand. CL suggested encouraging non Higher-Education members e.g. Rupert Williams. Note was also taken of key areas where expertise would be necessary, e.g. SEARCH25 Steering Group; Marketing; E-books/scholarly communications; Digital content.

Action/SG vacancies: Members were asked to consider encouraging M25 Directors to Stand (March 1st deadline for notifications and invitations to stand to be made available).

Summary of Actions

  • Action/Financial update: CL & Support Team to follow up outstanding subscriptions.
  • Action/Planning agenda: JG to ensure Networking event agenda also includes pre-meet on strategy, inviting Directors.
  • Action/Marketing and Communications 1a:  AM to establish a group to promote SEARCH25 and work with the project group to allow promotion to be complete by September 2012. AM confirmed that with the support of AB, she would also look at a refresh of the access agreement documents and scheme to deliver alongside the Search25 marketing.
  • Action/Marketing and Communications 1b: For March Steering Group, PR and AB to outline draft text which can be used a) to articulate benefits to new members; and, b) elements which can also be used to demonstrate value for money for existing members. This would include focal point of a SEARCH25 launch and reference to the 25th anniversary in 2013. On the basis of this, SG will agree sum of money to outsource editing/design/production. AR/AB also to draw up short list of marketing initiatives realistically achievable by September 2012.
  • Action/Marketing and Communications 1c: Access. AB confirmed that with the support of AM, he would look at a refresh of the access agreement documents and scheme to deliver alongside the SEARCH25 marketing.
  • Action/Directors’ Development 2a: KI to create and lead the group to deliver an event in 2013. A budget of £2500 will be assigned.
  • Action/Directors’ Development 2b: JG to look into adding a new Directors Development – Directors’ Room subject heading.
  • Action/Directors’ Development 2c: KI to outline the Directors event at this year’s conference.
  • Action/Task and Finish Groups 3a: JT to approach Elaine Salter as chair for Staff Room T&F group and LD to be Steering Group Champion.
  • Action/Task and Finish Groups 3b: JG to investigate implementing weekly notifications on Staff Room.
  • Action/Task and Finish Groups 3c:  JT to summarise Strategic partnership requirements for discussion at the Next Steering Group meeting.
  • Action/Task and Finish Groups 3d: Water: JT to ask MB to provide an update paper for March Steering Group.
    Action/Task and Finish Groups 3e: Information Handling: CL to speak with JF and gain update for next Steering Group.
  • Action/Task and Finish Groups 3f: Access: As stated above, AB, liaising with AM, will take on responsibility for redefining and refreshing documentation.
  • Action/Task and Finish Groups 3g: Digital aggregation: JT to contact UCL re aggregators.
  • Action/Task and Finish Groups 3h: 20th Anniversary in 2013: JT to follow up 20th anniversary event with Suzanne Enright.
  • Action/E-books 4: JT to report back at March SG. JG to ensure E–books is agenda item.
  • Action/Risk Register 7: SL to update the Risk Register.
  • Action/ SG vacancies: Members were asked to consider encouraging M25 Directors to Stand (March 1st deadline for notifications and invitations to stand to be made available).