Monday 8 December 2008

Steering Group Meeting Minutes

Note: The following minutes have been approved.

Minutes for the meeting held at Queen Anne Court, Greenwich University.

Present: Nick Bevan (Chair), Julie Brittain, Genein Cox–De Sousa, John Gilby, Julie Howell, Sandy Leitch, Caroline Lloyd, Rosemary Lynch, William Masterson, Anne Murphy, Mary Nixon, Frances Norton, Pete Ryan.


1. Apologies for absence 

Adam Edwards sent his apologies.


2. Minutes of last meeting and matters arising

The minutes of the meeting held on 15th September, 2008 were formally approved with one amendment:

Under agenda item 6 – Financial Matters, CL stated that Roy Williams would be asked to audit two accounts for last year, and not three as stated in the minutes. The InforM25 accounts will be audited though LSE Finance.

2.1 Matters arising
Action Points not covered by agenda items:

2.1.1 Action: NB to contact the Royal College of Music and the Institute of Cancer Research  regarding membership.


3. New Members 
                                      (Adam Edwards)

3.1 Expressions of Interest update – Science Museum Library
AE had visited the Science Museum Library and submitted a paper to the SG highlighting that it met all the criteria for full membership. The question of whether the Swindon staff would be eligible for inclusion in membership was discussed and the SG agreed that since they were all centrally managed, they would be included.

Action: CL to inform AE of the annual subscription fee based on 13 members of staff and AE to inform the Science Museum of its eligibility to join. If it agreed to take up membership this would be taken to the full membership at the January 2009 meeting.

The University of Gloucestershire – London campus, had also expressed an interest in joining the Consortium.

Action: AE to further investigate what sort of collection it had at its London campus.

4. Strategic Plan Update                            (Nick Bevan)

NB suggested that the Action Plan needed to correspond with the “Year ahead” objectives in the Annual Report and Working Group Chairs were asked to compare the two and make the necessary changes to the Action Plan by the end of December 2008.

Action: WG Chairs to update Action Plan and submit to NB by end of December 2008.

5. Key projects for 2007/08  

5.1 Director Services Task & Finish Group        (Rosemary Lynch)
RL reported that the specification for the Directors’ Room was agreed at the last meeting of the group. With interviews scheduled for January she was hopeful that it was on target for launch in June 2009. She advised that mentoring and coaching between Directors had not progressed as it was felt that it would be better to set up the Directors’ Room first and look at the profiles and examine the needs. She advised that two Exchange events were scheduled for the first quarter of the new year.

RL also advised that she had made a presentation on the M25 Director Services initiative at the CILIP UC&R event in London in November 2008.

5.2 AIM25                                                            (John Gilby)
JG gave a summary and demonstration of the AIM25 project which provided some interoperability between the InforM25 service (cross-searching library catalogues) and the AIM25 service (a database describing archive collections). The aim of the project was to promote archives recorded on AIM25 to users who may not necessarily look at archives.

5.3 WAM25                                                      (John Gilby)
JG gave an update on WAM25. He reported that the HEFCE evaluation process was finally completed and resulted in a reduced offer of £150,000. A WAM25 Steering Group meeting was due to be called in early February 2009 to discuss the implications of the reduced funding and the way forward.

JG stated that Maureen Wade had been the M25 SG link on the WAM25 SG. However as she was no longer on the M25 Steering Group, the project needed someone else. CL agreed to be the M25 SG representative on the WAM25 SG.

6. Financial matters                                       (Caroline Lloyd)

CL outlined a number of points which herself and the Chair of cpd25 and the M25 Administration & Project Manager had agreed to regarding finances and the Consortium as a single financial entity.

In reviewing the practices of M25 working groups and cpd25 task groups, one inconsistency was revealed in that cpd25 Task Group members customarily had an annual lunch in recognition of their contributions to the success of cpd25. The SG agreed that it would be appropriate to extend this practice to M25 working groups.

An issue was raised regarding leaving gifts for long-serving M25 active members (e.g. Chairs, Steering Group, working / task group members) and whether their contributions should be recognised through gifts funded by the Consortium. The SG’s consensus was that leaving gifts should be funded by personal contributions by group members only.

CL advised that Roy Williams was due to audit the M25 accounts (including the cpd25 account) on the 12th December. The final accounts were to be presented to members at the January 2009 Members’ meeting.

Action: Working Group Chairs were asked to report any expected items of expenditure during 2008/09.

7. cpd25 Report                                               (Mary Nixon)

MN reported that Vicky Falconer was the temporary cpd25 Administrator until a replacement was recruited and that three cpd25 Task Group Chairs were leaving and had been replaced by task group members. She reported that attendance on the Chartership programme was less than the previous year so the group were in the process of re-branding events. They were also developing more events for  SDOs and Systems Librarians. She advised that there will be a conference on the future of librarians in June 2009.

8. Business Meetings                                        (Adam Edwards)

8.1 Finalisation on the programme and speakers for the 23rd January meeting
A few minor changes were made to the draft programme and agenda for the January 2009 Members meeting. Christine Middleton – Head of Academic Services, University  of Nottingham was due to replace Chris Pressler as a speaker on the programme.

8.2 Discuss and agree theme for June AGM
Two ideas had been proposed including:
– Learning environments and learning spaces, and
– Collaboration

The SG agreed that the theme of Collaboration required more time and thought, whereas learning environments was more topical, and could be expanded to include what was happening outside of HE as well as exemplars within the M25.  It was further agreed to seek the advice of the membership generally on the June agenda at the January members meeting.

Action: SG members to contact AE with suggestions of possible speakers.

9. M25 Support Team Report                             (John Gilby)

9.1 M25 Support Team Summary of Responsibilities
JG presented a revised Support Team Summary of Responsibilities document which had been deferred for full discussion from the September meeting, incorporating suggested changes. The following changes were suggested:

• The caveat noted in the Introduction should be removed and replaced with brief information regarding team members and their roles.
• Items 3.3, 3.4, 3.5 should show specific job titles (who should be contacted for what).

It was suggested that the document be reviewed periodically and lodged somewhere in the Directors’ Room for all members to see.

Action: JG to amend the document.

9.2 M25 Support Team Report
JG presented a report detailing the activities of the M25 Support Team to the end of November 2008. The SG noted the following:

  • The cpd25 office was now with the other M25 staff at LSE and all material cleared from Westminster.
  • All 3 M25 domains and name servers are now owned and controlled by the LSE.
  • Vicky Falconer (cpd25 temporary administrator) is developing the cpd25 handbook on the roles and responsibilities of the post.
  • SCONUL Access Scheme now on Visit-a-Library and older SRX-UKLP schemes removed.
  • Oxford Brookes now on Search-catalogues and preliminary discussions held with Royal Veterinary College and Royal Society of Chemistry.

9.3 Google analytics demonstration and web statistics issues
JG gave a live presentation to the SG on M25 website usage statistics generated by Google Analytics. FN suggested that some of the statistics could be useful content for the next annual report.

9.4 Allocating responsibility for updating general web pages  (Adam Edwards)
It was agreed that AE would do this via email

Action: AE to allocate responsibility for updating M25 web pages via email.

10. Reports from Working Groups

10.1 Collaboration & Partnership Working Group       (Ann Murphy)
AM submitted a paper detailing the activities of the working group over the past few months. It was noted that Joanna Newman (British Library) had given a presentation to  the group on the British Library’s engagement with Higher Education. She indicated that assistance from Consortium members in the promotion of Post Graduate days and in the composition of focus groups and participation in the 21st Century Curation Programme would be helpful. She also expressed an interest in working with cpd25 to develop secondments and shadowing opportunities.

It was also noted that Tim Cullen (C&P WG member) and David Smith (Chair of the Committee of Departmental Librarians) met in November to explore opportunities for collaboration with government department libraries and access to government collections by students from M25 institutions.

10.2 Marketing & Communications Working Group    (Frances Norton)
FN reported on the working group’s activities. She stated that herself and MN had met to agree a reduction in the types of separately branded items and to reduce stockpiles of printed material no longer required.

M25 bags were requested by cpd25 for use by participants at cpd25 events. Three suitable manufacturers had been identified and a final decision was to be made at the group’s meeting in January. A proposal also came from the group about making a Wikipedia entry for the Consortium, providing up-to-date information about the Consortium and its services.

10.2.1 Image archive business case and plan
The SG noted that the creation of a free, user-generated image archive of members’ buildings was being worked on by a group member.

10.2.2 Brand and logos guidance document
The SG noted that brand templates were now available on the website and that guidelines for use were to be agreed at the working group’s January meeting.

10.2.3 M25 Innovation award
The group had revisited the idea of an M25 award, suggesting an innovation award to be nominated by the M25 Directors themselves. If the SG agreed to proceed with the idea, members  were asked to:

  • support the proposal for a reward for innovation (broadly interpreted) by member libraries which could be an individual, team or multi-institution project
  • resource the administrative task of promoting, selecting, judging and celebrating the awards
  • clear the legalities of making a financial payment to a winning individual, or team, or institution
  • agree the amount to be awarded
  • decide whether the award would be on an ongoing basis or a one-off
  • agree that the nomination would be by M25 Directors to the Awards panel

During the course of discussion, however, several concerns about the proposal were raised. It was agreed that, at this stage, it would not be referred to the members meeting but may be discussed further at the SG Planning Day in March.

10.3 Quality Working Group                        (Julie Howell)
JH presented a proposal to the SG for a refocusing of the working group’s activities. The group proposed the following three areas of work and sought  the approval of the SG for these  and guidance on possible further areas of work and priority actions.

  • Delivering quality, customer focussed first line services
  • National Student Survey
  • Quality Maturity Model

The SG endorsed the areas of work proposed and agreed to take the proposal to the members at the January meeting for their approval and input on which was a priority for them.

Action: AE to include proposal on agenda for the January business meeting

10.4 Resource Discovery Working Group    (William Masterson)
WM presented a report of the activities of the working group. It was noted that a review of InforM25 by a consultant was scheduled for June 2009. JG and Gavin Beattie from the RDWG were expected to work on the text of an invitation to tender to a short list of consultants.

11. Matters for future meetings

• January 2009 – Business meeting
– Internationalisation theme

• March 2009
– Planning day

•  May 2009

•  June 2009 – AGM
– Proposal on increasing CPD25 event prices vs. above-inflation increase in subscriptions

• July 2009
– Discuss and agree theme for January 2010 Business Meeting

12 Any other business

There was no other business

Dates and Venues of future meetings  

Meeting                            Date                   Venue
SG Strategic Planning Day  12th March, 2009   28 Portland Place
SG Meeting                       14th May, 2009      London School of Hygiene & Tropical Med
Annual General Meeting     18th June, 2009     Imperial College London
SG Meeting                        8th July, 2009       Roehampton University

Summary of Action Points

  1. NB to contact the Royal College of Music and the Institute of Cancer Research regarding membership.
  2. CL to inform AE of the annual subscription fee based on 13 members of staff.
  3. AE to inform the Science Museum of its  eligibility to join and include the membership on the agenda for the January 2009 business meeting.
  4. AE to further investigate the nature of the collection held by the University of Gloucestershire at its London campus.
  5. WG Chairs to update Action Plan and submit to NB by end of December 2008.
  6. Working Group Chairs to report any expected items of expenditure during 2008/09.
  7. SG members to contact AE with suggestions of possible speakers for the June 2009 AGM on the theme Learning Environments and Learning Spaces.
  8. JG to amend the M25 Support Team Summary of Responsibilities document.
  9. AE to allocate responsibility for updating M25 web pages via email.
  10. AE to include QWG proposal on the agenda for the January 2009 business meeting.

Genein Cox-De Sousa
M25 Administrator