Note: The following minutes are unapproved and will be formally agreed at the next meeting of the Steering Group.
Minutes of the meeting held at University for the Creative Arts.
Present: Nick Bevan, Angus Brown, Vicky Falconer, John Gilby, Sandy Leitch, Rosemary Lynch, Caroline Lloyd, Mary Nixon, Pete Ryan, John Tuck.
1. Welcome and any apologies:
Thanks to Rosemary Lynch for hosting meeting at Farnham. Apologies from Julie Brittain, Julie Howell
2. Minutes of the last meetings, and review of actions:
The minutes from December 16th 2010 SG, and the January Planning Meeting of 13th January, were accepted as an accurate record. Actions from December either completed or superseded by next set of minutes; actions from January either completed or covered in today’s agenda.
3. Matters arising:
3.1 Support Team staffing update
John Tuck (JT) advised that it had been possible to extend Andrew Amato (AA)’s contract for a period of 6 weeks, in order to complete the InforM25 review and set in place arrangements for the move to a virtual server. AA will be working four days per week, and John Gilby (JG) has drafted a work plan for the remainder of AA’s time.
3.2 Space Charging
JT reported that the Steering Group (SG) had agreed at the last Planning Meeting the terms of the space charge to be levied by LSE, starting August 1st 2011. A number of points for clarification had been raised at the meeting, regarding which JT had emailed LSE. A response is still pending, however the SG agreed that the space charges as currently agreed could be presented to the AGM. Action 3.2.1: JT draft Chair’s report for AGM, to include info on space charging.
3.3 Walk in Access and SCONUL Task Force
Mary Nixon (MN) reported that she and Phillip Payne (PP) have a meeting on the 23rd March with representative from JISC. It is hoped that as a result of the meeting, permission will be granted for the Consortium/LSE to transfer the JISC funding (originally awarded for the WAM25 project) to SCONUL to conduct the SCONUL Access Task Force’s survey on Walk in Access. MN reported that in anticipation of the meeting, the Task Force has been discussing how the survey will be implemented, what will be included, and so on.
3.4 Staff Room
JT reported that over 150 staff members had signed up for the Staff Room, with a couple of active groups but with more activity needed. It had been agreed at the last SG meeting that a Task and Finish Group (T&FG) should be set up to progress the development, administration and promotion of the Staff Room service. JT reported that Matthew Lawson (ML), of Middlesex University, had agreed to lead the group and that ML would be meeting with JG in the w/c 21st March.
4. Treasurer’s Report:
CL reported that based on the summary of expected income and recurrent expenditure for 2011/12, the Consortium will have moved to a balanced budget at the end of the next financial year. Subscriptions income will be going up: the SG Officers have had confirmation of membership by Lambeth; and it is confirmed that the cpd25 Chair’s institution will no longer have their subscription waived. Money will also be saved in producing an online version of the Annual Report, and by the fact that there will be no travel award in 2011/12. On this basis, CL asked the SG to reassess the increase in subscription levels of 2%, that had been agreed at the previous meeting. It was suggested that before deciding, some consideration should be given to any additional non-recurrent costs for the 2011/12 year. Clarification was sought on the costs associated with InforM25 review, which SG agreed to budget at £6000. Clarification was also sought on the suggestion of building up a Consortium image bank, and what the likely costs would be. It was agreed that costs for this should be kept to a minimum and the services of professional photographers would not be required. JG suggested that Amazon vouchers could be awarded for staff to submit photographs of their library. An email can also be sent to all Directors to request publicity images held by their institutions. Action: 4.1.1 Support Team arrange voucher and image competition, and get in touch with Directors from all institutions.
In light of increase to subscription income, and discussion around non-recurrent costs, the SG agreed a rise in subscriptions of 1% this year – rather than 2%. Action 4.1.2: CL amend draft budget to reflect 1% subscriptions raise.
4.2 Reserves policy
CL ran through draft reserves policy and the figures that had been allocated to each risk. It was asked whether funds for projects should be managed through the reserves, or whether this should sit within the annual budget recurrent expenditure. A suggestion was made for the annual budget to have three categories: recurrent expenditure; reserves; and another one for ‘innovation’ fund. Some other small amendments were suggested. Action 4.2.1: CL add note to annual budget for innovation fund, and remove spending on projects from reserves. Make other noted changes. Send draft budget and reserves to VF. Action 4.2.2: VF distribute with AGM paperwork, including last year’s accounts.
5. Task and Finish Groups update
5.1 DDWG/InforM25 Review: update
BA reported that DDWG had been dissolved and that invitations to participate in T&FG had been distributed to the group. JG and AA have been working on InforM25 review, via the new Inform25 Review Task and Finish Group set up out of the original DDWG, though there has been some concern over decisions being left until July to get clearance from the SG. The next meeting of the Inform25 Review Task and Finish Group will be on the 6th April. Some elements of the activities of the old DDWG will now go forward into Staff Room Task and Finish Group.
5.2 Marketing and Communication
PR reported that he had disbanded the Marketing and Communications Working Group and gathered interest of participants to join three potential T&FG groups: a group to produce an advocacy/new members’ pack, and M25 presentation; a group to produce the Annual Report; and a group to conduct a usability review of the M25 website. JG suggested two T&FGs to work on the website: one to review content and structure of ‘business’ website (once JG and VF have completed preliminary work on removing outdated content and so on), and another group to promote the InforM25 site, once the InforM25 review has been completed. Action 5.2.1: JT note promotion of InforM25 as a key project for 2011/12.
5.3 Directors’ Services
RL summarised the results from the survey of Directors’ development needs that had been undertaken, from which there had been thirty-six responses. Surveyed staff had identified political skills, negotiating, raising profile, cross-sectoral, leadership and future planning as some of the priorities for future development. They had cited SCONUL, RLUK, JISC, HEFCE, Leadership Foundation, external consultants, RIN, LIBER, Directors Room, as forums they would already go to for development assistance. etc. When asked about how M25 could address training needs gaps, suggestions included an M25 conference focused on scenario planning; replicating cpd25 SDO forum for senior staff, with relevant issues such as managing upwards/downwards and managing an area with no experience in; exploring link from Directors’ Room to LinkedIn; using DR to advertise work exchanges etc. Action 5.3.1: RL to make a summary report of survey, and set up a T&FG to take forward some of the recommendations.
5.4 Strategic Partnerships
Ann Murphy (AM) reported that she had held a meeting two weeks ago to disband the group. She felt that several areas that the Working Group had been looking at didn’t really require one or more T&FGs to be set up to deal with now, but that this may change in the future – for instance, the work that the group had been trying to get off the ground with public libraries. However, one of the groups that could be taken forward now is a T&FG with the British Library, on Reading Room usage levels; see item 6, below.
5.5 Charity Status and Fundraising
Angus Brown (AB) ran through the paper that he had drafted, which identified key financial benefits that charitable status can bring to an organisation, and the types of fundraising that charitable companies can undertake. It was agreed that many of these activities may not be appropriate for the Consortium, but that sponsorship for the Conference could be one method of generating income that would be beneficial and appropriate – provided that the sponsor(s) chosen is (are) relevant to Consortium activity. It was agreed that the possibility of Conference sponsorship needs to looked at well in advance, and that the SG should come back to this issue at the next SG meeting in July. The Support Team will keep hold of AB’s document. It was agreed that there was no further scope to set up a T&FG looking at any other fundraising options, as this was not a current priority. Action 5.5.1: JT/SL/VF add Conference, and sponsorship of, to the July agenda.
It was agreed that by time of AGM a list of T&FGs, together with remit and membership, should be posted on the Consortium website. Action 5.6.1: All groups send VF information to post on website, preferably by 4th April.
6. British Library Reading Rom usage:
Jerry Shillito (JS), British Library (BL), was in attendance for this item. JS gave a presentation on the background of the work that he had undertaken at the BL around Reading Room usage. He reported that since 2008, when the BL had tried to redress balance of the problems of high usage levels (for instance by increasing space capacity, and amending leaflets etc. to alert undergraduate users to some of the downsides of the British Library service e.g. not holding multiple copies of set texts etc.), that pressure had been alleviated by up to 10%. JS confirmed that the BL’s policy of open access to undergraduates should remain the same – and indeed some of the research that had been undertaken by JS had indicated that students were using the BL to access just as many books that were not readily available in their own institutions, as any other user of the BL. Jerry reported that he had joined M25 Strategic Partnerships Group last year, and that with the disbandment of this group, hoped that the BL could work collaboratively with the Consortium to respond to the needs of undergraduate users, and find more effective solutions with dealing with the difficulties of pressure on capacity. SG agreed that a T&FG could be taken forward, led by AM and JS. Possible tasks for the group could be liaising with subject librarians, developing a presentation about the BL for HE library staff to use with students, and instigating more cross referral between institutions. Indeed, it was agreed that M25 do not promote the fantastic collections within member institutions well enough – especially those of non-HE special collections – and that this would link very well with the BL initiative. Action 6.1: AM to take forward T&FG group to look at BL Reading Room usage. Ensure that there is non-HEFCE representation on the group.
7. Strategic Plan progress report:
It was agreed by the SG that item 2 on the Strategic Plan progress report (Review and develop the M25 repository of resources on the website) was not priority for members, and that such a repository would be difficult to keep-up-to-date. The SG agreed that the progress report can be amended to reflect this. It was also felt that the Fundraising T&FG (under item 3 of the Strategic Plan progress report) was also not a priority so can be removed from the progress report for now. As noted in 5.5, above, the SG will be looking at sponsorship in context of the Annual Conference, but there is no requirement for a T&FG on fundraising. It was also agreed that the work on the Directors’ development needs survey, as noted in 5.3 above, should be added to the progress report. Action 7.1: JT to revise Strategic Plan progress report and forward to VF to send out with AGM papers.
8. New member: Lambeth Palace Library:
Sandy Leitch (SL) reported that Lambeth Palace Library’s membership was fully confirmed. Lambeth will pay a pro rata subscription for the 2010/11 year, from 1st March 2011. Action 8.1: JT check Lambeth rep. Action 8.2: CL to send VF figure for pro rata subs and VF send invoice. Action 8.3: JT welcome Lambeth at AGM
9. Governance documents update:
SL reported that VF and JG have been through the Governance Documents, and that SL, VF and JG will have meeting on the 21st March to agree and finalise the changes that need to be made to the documents. Once this is completed, VF will add the new documents to the website as soon as possible. Changes will be noted at the AGM as changes, and a summary document will be distributed to members with the AGM papers. Action 9.1: JG/VF/SL to finalise governance documents, make changes, and post on the website. Action 9.2: VF to submit summary of changes document to members, with AGM papers.
10. cpd25 Chair:
Mary Nixon (MN) confirmed that she will be standing down from cpd25 Chair at this AGM. She reported that there are two candidates interested in the post, and that the post will be confirmed by 12th April. The appointment of the new cpd25 Chair will be ratified at the AGM. Action 10.1: JT/VF add appointment of cpd25 Chair to AGM agenda.
11. Annual Conference:
SL ran through the Conference programme. She reported that one speaker was still to confirm, and the Conference planning group had held off from advertising the Conference until confirmation had been received. However, the SG agreed that given the short timescale the advertisement would have be distributed on 21st March, with the final speaker to be confirmed. The SG approved the programme JT agreed to Chair the afternoon breakout and Q&A session. SL reported that the practical arrangements were in hand. Action 11.1: VF check job titles of speakers, and send out invitation with covering email. It was agreed that the Conference planning should start earlier in the year in 2011/12. Action 11.2: VF/SL add 2012 Conference to July 2011 Agenda.
Corrections and amendments to the AGM draft agenda were agreed. Action 11.3: JT/VF make final AGM agenda corrections; VF distribute AGM agenda to members.
12. M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries: Shared services and related activities:
JT summarised the Shared Services and Related Activities report that he had drafted and which documents progress on activities such as London Higher/WAM25, SALT, RIN and Information Handling. Suggestions for a couple of amendments/corrections were made. The SG felt strongly that the content of the report was very positive and that members would be interested to hear about the numerous projects/activities that M25 has recently had some kind of involvement or connection with – even in the case of those that the Consortium has not been successful in taking forward. It was agreed therefore to add the report as part of AGM agenda, and to distribute as a paper along with other paperwork. Action 12.1: JT make corrections to Shared Services and Related Activities paper, submit by email to SG for further comment and put note on DR. JT make any changes in time for papers to be distributed.
13. Any other business
There was not sufficient time to cover this item.
Summary of Actions
Action 3.2.1: JT draft Chair’s report for AGM, to include info on space charging.
Action: 4.1.1: Support Team arrange voucher and image competition, and get in touch with Directors from all institutions.
Action 4.1.2: CL amend draft budget to reflect 1% subscriptions raise.
Action 4.2.1: CL add note to annual budget for innovation fund, and remove spending on projects from reserves. Make other noted changes. Send draft budget and reserves to VF.
Action 4.2.2: VF distribute with AGM paperwork, including last year’s accounts.
Action 5.2.1: JT note promotion of InforM25 as a key project for 2011/12.
Action 5.3.1: RL to make a summary report of survey, and set up a T&FG to take forward some of the recommendations.
Action 5.5.1: JT/SL/VF add Conference, and sponsorship of, to the July agenda.
Action 5.6.1: All groups send VF information to post on website, preferably by 4th April.
Action 6.1: AM to take forward T&FG group to look at BL Reading Room usage. Ensure that there is non-HEFCE representation on the group.
Action 7.1: JT to revise Strategic Plan progress report and forward to VF to send out with AGM papers.
Action 8.1: JT check Lambeth rep.
Action 8.2: CL to send VF figure for pro rata subs and VF send invoice.
Action 8.3: JT welcome Lambeth at AGM
Action 9.1: JG/VF/SL to finalise governance documents, make changes, and post on the website.
Action 9.2: VF to submit summary of changes document to members, with AGM papers.
Action 10.1: JT/VF add appointment of cpd25 Chair to AGM agenda.
Action 11.1: VF check job titles of speakers, and send out invitation with covering email.
Action 11.2: VF/SL add 2012 Conference to July 2011 Agenda.
Action 11.3: JT/VF make final AGM agenda corrections; VF distribute AGM agenda to members.
Action 12.1: JT make corrections to Shared Services and Related Activities paper, submit by email to SG for further comment and put note on DR. JT make any changes in time for papers to be distributed.