Steering Group Meeting Minutes
Note: The following minutes are unapproved and will be formally agreed at the next meeting of the Steering Group.
Minutes for the meeting held at Goldsmiths College.
Present: Nick Bevan (Chair), Julie Brittain, Vicky Falconer, John Gilby, Sandy Leitch, Caroline Lloyd, Rosemary Lynch, Ann Murphy, Mary Nixon, Pete Ryan, John Tuck.
In attendance: David Pearson, for item on World Book Capital 2012.
2. Minutes of last meeting:
The minutes were agreed as an accurate record.
Actions from previous meeting:
Under 14.1 SL to liaise with Support Team on website review: Action ongoing.
Under 4.1 SL to update governance documents and disseminate to group for reference: Action ongoing.
Under 14.2 MN and JH to arrange a meeting to discuss forthcoming projects and having a member of the cpd25 Task Group 1 join the Quality Working Group: Action ongoing.
Under 14.3 complete
Under 14.4 complete
Under 14.5 complete
3. Feedback from 23rd September
3.1. Report on Strategic Planning Workshop:
Results of workshop exercises have been collated and circulated to SG.
Action 3.1.1: NB to draft additional commentary; VF will then disseminate to all attendees.
3.2. Feedback on the Networking event and Launch of Director’s Room:
Several members of the Group received excellent feedback from attendees; overall it was a very successful event. The Group congratulated the Support Team for their hard work and organisation. However, attendance was down – which perhaps needs to be looked at when planning for next year’s event. The Group agreed that it would be pertinent to reflect on both the timing the event in the year and the structure of afternoon/evening.
Action 3.2.1: VF to look at breakdown of previous years’ attendance, and to draft a report for group.
4. How to take the Directors’ Room forward:
RL reported that circa 30 of the M25 representatives had not, as yet, signed up to the Directors’ Room. There had also been a disappointing level of use since the launch by those already signed up. RL urged members to encourage participation in the DR room
RL suggested that the activities of the Director Services Working Group should for the time being be shifted away from the DR and back to director services – in particular, the planning of a series of events, shared learning exchanges etc. Activities will run in tandem with, and feed into, the DR. The DR therefore will be an infrastructure for the services that the Working Group provides, rather than an end in itself.
With regards to participation, it should be the aim to get 100% membership. On a practical level, are there other things that could be done to be encourage use: e.g. messages sent to Directors’ List distributed on Directors’ Room instead; a weekly automated news email with links to posts; discussion of strategic plan done on DR? The Group agreed that in the first instance an email would be sent to those who haven’t already joined.
Action 4.1: NB to draft text for email encouraging representatives to join Directors’ Room; JG to distribute.
The Group agreed that now the DR is established, the technical infrastructure could be used to establish a ‘room’ for other M25 staff. If this took off, then it could be narrowed down to different staff groups. It was suggested that a meeting for interested staff to find out what they want could be set up via cpd25.
Action 4.2: A director to be identified to lead this project
Action 4.3: JG to detail next steps of creating an M25 ‘Staff Room’
5. Review of strategic planning timescales:
The Group agreed that 3 years was a reasonable timescale. It was agreed that the Chair and the Secretary would jointly draft a strategic planning document, incorporating the comments made at the strategic planning workshop, and that this would form the basis of the discussion at the Planning Day in January 2010.
Action 5.1: NB and SL to draft strategic planning document
6. Approval of draft action plan:
The Group agreed on the draft action plan that NB presented.
Action 6.1: VF to add action plan to website and notify the Group when done.
7. World Book Capital 2012:
DP gave some background information on the scheme – previous competitions, the bidding process, funding etc – in order that the Group could gauge whether it would be something that the Consortium could support/take part in. Concerns raised by the Group included whether London might suffer from positive discrimination in the selection process, however it was felt that it would be a very effective means of generating publicity for M25. The Group agreed that they wished to state their interest in principle, and to remain informed by DP of upcoming discussions and/or developments. JT offered to be the M25 SG contact.
8. Digital Developments Working Group
8.1. Approval of DDWG terms of reference:
The Group approved the terms of reference that JT had drafted.
Action 8.1.1: JG to add DDWG terms of reference to web pages.
8.2. Report from DDWG:
JT reported to the Group that there was still a vacancy on the group (see under Item 11). JT then gave a précis of the proceedings and outcomes of the recent meeting, his first as Chair of DDWG. The Group agreed that DDWG should focus on the review of InforM25 and on consortia digitisation at article/chapter level for sharing.
9. BL Reading Room usage:
CL reported that the BL were experiencing problems with large influxes of students to the reading rooms for study space during the run up to exams. The Group might consider the ways in which the Consortium could assist. It was suggested that perhaps the Consortium could sponsor/participate in events (or similar) raising awareness of other collections, DDWG’s work on raising the profile of InforM25 could also feed into this. It was also suggested that there may be scope for linking in with public libraries, e.g. through Inspire programme. The Group agreed that inviting a rep from the BL to the next SG meeting might provide an opportunity to discuss options.
Action 9.1: CL to invite an appropriate member of the BL staff to the next SG meeting.
10. Marketing Group
There was considerable discussion on whether the activities of the Marketing Group were the most efficient means of marketing the Consortium and whether to continue with the MCWG and appoint a new Chair or to disband the group and utilise professional marketing expertise. The Group agreed that there were benefits in utilising professional expertise but that due to current staffing commitments the Consortium could not afford to hire an additional part time member of staff. The option of utilising external expertise on a contract basis was discussed with the suggestion that this could be used for a one-off marketing ‘health-check’…
The issue of the cost of the Annual Report was raised; the Group agreed that from next year the Report would only be available electronically, thus saving on design, photographic and print costs.
It was agreed that, before making any long-term decisions on the future of marketing activities, it would be appropriate to consult members of the MCWG. PR agreed , to chair one or more meetings of the Group to discuss the issues raised in NB’s paper and report back to the next SG meeting
Action 10.1.1: VF to liaise with PR in setting up a MCWG meeting ASAP
Action 10.2.2. PR to report back to the next SG on the views of the MCWG
10.2. Xmas card:
The Group suggested the use of an e-card, possibly using the DR to distribute it.
Action 10.2.1: Support Team to look at e-cards and ways to distribute.
11. Steering and Working Group vacancies:
There is one vacancy on the Steering Group; SL reminded the Group that nominations must be made 3 weeks before the AGM. The vacancy should be advertised in early March. There is also a vacancy on the DDWG for a library director; this should be advertised via SL, on the M25 website and on email lists.
Action 11.1: VF to co-ordinate with SL regarding SG and DDWG vacancies.
12. Theme of the AGM:
The group agreed that this event will take the form of an ‘Annual Conference’, and marketed as such; the AGM will form part of the day. The DR will be used to discuss the theme of the conference. The group queried whether in trying to attract a larger audience a nominal fee should be charged for attendance; it was suggested that one place for a representative would be free, but with a small charge for additional members of staff.
Action 12.1: VF to investigate venues for Annual Conference.
Action 12.2: SG to make a decision on whether or not to charge for additional attendees, at the next SG.
13. Treasurer’s Report:
13.1. Current financial status, bank accounts:
Subscriptions have not been sent yet, due to changing of bank accounts. However, this is expected to complete soon, and subscriptions will be sent by VF thereafter. Some invoices remain outstanding from the 2008/9 cpd25 programme.
Action 13.1.1: VF and MN to co-ordinate in chasing payments.
The group agreed to look into higher interest rate investments for reserve funds. Action 13.1.2: CL to investigate higher interest investment options.
13.2. Financial Scrutiny, approval and submission of accounts:
CL briefed the group on the schedule for the financial scrutiny and submission of accounts.
13.3. Expenses guidelines:
The Group gave their views on the draft expenses guidelines that CL presented. Action 13.3.1: Support Team to send CL final revised version of document, plus accordingly amended claim forms.
Following consultation with the auditors, the SG agreed that the M25 Consortium accounting reference date be changed from 30th April 2010 to 31st July 2010.
14. Support Team Report:
JG gave the Group a summary of the Support Team’s activities since the last meeting. The Group approved the idea that the M25 Support Team should provide support to all of the Working Groups from now on.
Action 14.1: Support Team to liaise with relevant chairs of WGs as appropriate
14.2. Future tasks for Web Services Project Officer:
JG sought guidance from the SG on the priorities for the remaining contract of the Web Services Project Officer. The Group agreed that the creation of the M25 ‘Staff Room’ should be a high priority, and that other tasks will be worked on according to urgency.
15. cpd25 report:
MN reported that the Chair of TG5 had resigned.
Action 15.1: MN to arrange replacement.
CH and VF have co-ordinated to reach an agreement on the sharing of cpd25 workload (the M25 Administrator role includes 1 day per week cpd25 tasks). The Task Groups have worked out the basis of their programmes. For 2009-10 it is estimated currently that 45 events and 24 visits will run – though MN expects that the actual number of visits may end up being slightly lower.
16. Reports from other Task and Working Groups
16.1. Strategic Partnerships Working Group:
AM reported that there were three new members in the group. The group is planning an exchange of experience event for academic library consortia. The Steering Group agreed to fund venue and catering for the event. JG offered to contact the relevant groups by phone.
Action 16.1.1: AM to send JG contact details, and JG will phone to gauge interest.
16.2. Director Services Task and Finish Group:
RL sought clarification on who should be eligible to join the DR. The SG agreed that membership should be restricted to the M25 institutional representative, plus the library/service director if they were not the institutional representative.
JH had sent apologies, and therefore could not report on this group.
16.4. M25 Access Scheme:
JB presented a report on the Access and Borrowing Scheme, including statistics on usage – i.e. the number of cards issued by each library. The Group agreed that, despite the rise in numbers of cards distributed this year (170), there is still a lack of awareness of the scheme, with a relatively low usage. JB highlighted that administration of the scheme will be transferred to the Support Team.
17. Matters for future meetings:
18. Dates of next meetings:
The two suggested dates of 18th March and 15th July were accepted by the Group, along with the suggested venue of Canterbury for the March meeting. The Group agreed that a date and venue must be finalised as soon as possible for the January Planning Day and Steering Group meeting.
Action 18.1: VF to email SG with a larger selection of dates for the January meeting.
SL had received an inquiry about membership from Lambeth Palace. The Group agreed that SL and JG would visit the library to discuss the possibility of membership further. Potential membership for the Royal Society was also raised. Action 19.1: SL to arrange visit to Lambeth Palace and make initial contact with Royal Society.
Summary of Actions:
- 3.1.1: NB to draft commentary on Strategic Action plan; VF to distribute to all 23rd September attendees.
- 3.2.1: VF to look at breakdown of attendance in previous years’ attendance, and to draft report for group.
- 4.1: NB to draft text for email encouraging representatives to join Directors’ Room; JG to distribute.
- 4.2: SG to identify a director to lead this project
- 4.3: JG to detail next steps of creating an M25 ‘Staff Room’
- 5.1: NB and SL to draft strategic planning document
- 6.1: VF to add action plan to website and notify the Group when done
- 8.1.1: JG to add DDWG terms of reference to web pages.
- 9.1: CL to invite an appropriate member of the BL staff to the next SG meeting
- 10.1.1: VF to liaise with PR in setting up a MCWG meeting ASAP
- 10.2.1: Support Team to look at e-cards and ways to distribute
- 11.1: VF to co-ordinate with SL regarding SG and DDWG vacancies
- 12.1: VF to investigate venues for Annual Conference
- 12.2: SG to make a decision on whether or not to charge for additional attendees, at the next SG.
- 13.1.1: VF and MN to co-ordinate in chasing payments
- 13.1.2: CL to investigate higher interest investment options
- 13.3.1: Support Team to send CL final revised version of document, plus accordingly amended claim forms.
- 14.1: Support Team to liaise with relevant chairs of WGs as appropriate
- 15.1: MN to arrange replacement Chair for cpd25 TG5
- 16.1.1: AM to send JG contact details of those to contact re exchange of experience event; JG to phone to gauge interest
- 18.1: VF to email SG with a larger selection of dates for the January SG meeting
- 19.1: SL to arrange visit to Lambeth Palace and make initial contact with Royal Society