Tuesday 5 May 2009

Steering Group Meeting Minutes

Minutes for the meeting held at London School of Economics and Political Science.

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

In attendance: Andrew Amato for agenda item 10.2 and Maureen Wade for agenda item 10.5

1. Apologies for absence

William Marsterson

2. Minutes of last meeting and matters arising

2.1 Minutes of the Steering Group meeting held on 12th March 2009 were formally approved.

2.2 Matters arising:

2.2.1 AE confirmed that he had contacted the University of Gloucestershire to advise it that its application for membership of the Consortium had been .refused as it did not meet the criteria for membership.
2.2.2 GCDS had followed up on the outstanding subscriptions, although the Treasurer advised that payments were still outstanding for two of the institutions.
2.2.3 GCDS clarified with JH that new working group job titles and not job descriptions were to be sent to her for updating the Quality Working Group web pages.
Other actions were either completed or covered by agenda items.
2.2.4 Following up on a previous SG meeting discussion, JG advised that Andrew Amato had been able to extract information regarding the modification dates on content on the M25 web pages.

Action: AE to follow up on devising a system to ensure web pages are up-to-date and arrange to have further discussions with AA.

3. Strategic Planning      (Nick Bevan)

3.1 Actions arising from the March 12th 2009 Strategic Planning meeting.

NB advised that he had spoken with Toby Bainton of SCONUL regarding WAM25. To be dealt with later in the agenda.

Action: MN and JH yet to arrange a meeting to discuss forthcoming projects and having a member of the cpd25 Task Group 1 join the Quality Working Group.

Other actions were either completed or covered by agenda items.

3.2 Strategic Planning Cycle

If M25 members accepted the proposed change to move to a single members’ meeting in late April/ early May, it would mean rearranging planning meetings and budget preparations. NB proposed a new meeting cycle. Following a discussion about its implications for financial planning and reporting and the budgeting cycle, the new meeting cycle was agreed by the SG.

A strategic planning process and timescale for 2009/10, proposed by NB was also agreed by the SG.

Action: NB to alert members of the changes to be made to the strategic planning cycle, at the June AGM.

4. Company and Charitable Status update   (Nick Bevan)

NB announced that the Consortium was now a Company, however, an application  needed to be resubmitted to the Charities Commission before it could achieve charitable status.

The SG was advised that the M25 accounts (including cpd25) would need to be audited in the future and the officers were happy with the services rendered by the firm Kingston Smith who had been advising the Consortium on matters relating to VAT implications and charitable status. The appointment of Kingston Smith as the Consortium’s official auditors would need to be approved by the members at the June AGM. NB suggested that this should be reviewed after 3 years.

Action: GCDS to include as an agenda item for the June AGM.

5. Financial matters  (Caroline Lloyd)

5.1 Budget
CL presented accounts for the financial year 2008/09. A draft budget for the 2009/10 period was also presented to the SG, which featured  an overspend on estimated income from subscriptions as a result of web-support costs associated with the Directors’ Room and other projects. As previously agreed this anticipated excess was to be transferred from the reserves.

MN pointed out that the budget did not take into account the cpd25 Travel Award. An additional £500 was budgeted for the award.

CL stated that travel costs reimbursed by the Consortium should be for standard travel only – unless there were exceptional circumstances previously agreed by the M25 Treasurer.

Action: CL to draw up general expenses guidelines for people involved in M25 business; e.g. cpd25, Directors’ Room, staff, etc and bring it to the next SG meeting.

5.2 Subscriptions levels 2009/10
Three options for increases in subscription fees were proposed (0%, 1% and 3%). CL highlighted that salaries were expected to increase by at least 3%, as well as the fact that the overspend was eating into current reserves. The SG agreed to a 1% increase in subscription levels – citing this as reasonable especially considering the introduction of new services such as the Directors’ Room. A case for the increase will be highlighted when the 2009/10 subscriptions are presented to members for their approval at the June AGM.

Action: CL to make the necessary amendments to the budget and subscription spreadsheet for presentation at the June AGM.

6. M25 Annual General Meeting 2009    (Adam Edwards/Nick Bevan)

6.1 Finalisation of agenda and details for the 18th June meeting
AE presented a draft programme and agenda for the June AGM. He asked the SG to think about a snappy title to portray the theme “Learning Environments and Learning Spaces”. He advised that the titles of the presentations were working titles and that he was due to contact the speakers for finalised titles before sending the final programme to members. A few minor changes had been agreed on the agenda, based on discussions at the meeting.

6.2 Membership rules changes to governance documents
SG members agreed to the changes that were to be proposed to the members at the June AGM, with a few minor adjustments.

With regards to the Horniman Museum, MN made reference to the January 2008 members’ meeting where “members agreed to approve their membership in principle, subject to further investigation by officers and discussion at the SG if the organisation had proved eligible”. As a result the SG agreed that the Horniman Museum should be contacted to let it know that its membership has been approved and it would be invited to send a representative to the June AGM.

Action: AE to contact the Horniman Museum confirming its membership.

6.3 SG Members’ terms of office and elections
Action
: AE advised that he was due to send out the nomination papers by the following day.

7. M25 Support Team report    (John Gilby)

7.1 Support Team update
JG reported that Claire Hackshall, cpd25 Administrator was due to start on 3rd June, 2009 and Genein Cox-De Sousa handed in her resignation on 27th April. Recruitment for a new Administrator was under way, with interviews for the post anticipated by early to mid June 2009.

7.2 WAM25 Update
JG reported that written confirmation of HEFCE’s part-funding offer had been  received in mid March. However before making a firm decision, HEFCE sought assurance that the partners would find the £93K balance towards the cost of the pilot and that there was institutional commitment of the partners. Possible funders had been approached and initial responses were positive, but the Project Manager was still awaiting more definite commitment to these proposals.

8. cpd25 Report   (Mary Nixon)

MN reported that the group was expected to meet for its annual planning meeting for task group members on 15 May.

It was reported that cpd25 had run 26 events with 612 participants and 10 visits with 105 participants to date, with at least 7 more already planned for the rest of the academic year.

At the “Future of Librarians” event, the group considered a list of qualities and skills that would be useful to librarians of the future – to be used for planning next year’s events. The SG were invited to add to the list. The suggestions by the SG included:

  • Training / teaching
  • Presentation skills
  • Facilitating
  • Self awareness
  • Cross-cultural awareness
  • Understanding  the impact of developments in HE on the  Library .

It was noted that the group was grateful to Vicky Falconer for successfully carrying out the administration of cpd25.  She was due to leave on June 4th after the permanent cpd25 Administrator, Claire Hackshall had started in post.

9. M25 and UOL Digital Platform Project (Mary Nixon)

MN presented a proposal to the SG about a collaborative digital library platform being negotiated by the ULRLS and ten colleges of the University of London, for joint subscription to electronic resources. This would allow better access to e-resources by approaching suppliers directly as a group.

The SG were asked if the M25 Consortium would consider the project on a consortial basis or alternatively, whether there were other individual members of the M25 who would be interested in joining. It was agreed that a digested report of the feasibility study would be presented to members at the June 2009 AGM. A meeting would subsequently be held with interested parties.

Action: MN to prepare a summary report of the feasibility study report for presentation to the members at the June AGM.

10. Reports from Task and Working Groups

10.1   Collaboration & Partnership                Ann Murphy

10.1.1 Change of name and remit
AM advised that the working group was canvassing for new members, following the resignation of Ann Sainsbury. She requested that AE make a call to members, emphasising the particular interest in persons from non-HEFCE funded institutions.

AM advised the SG that the London NHS/HE Partnership Group was recently launched and the WG was expected to be represented on the Executive group to be established. AM also updated members of progress with Inspire.

Following discussions from the SG planning day the group agreed that the WG should consider  forging new links with other consortia and  pay particular attention to defining and representing the needs of  non-HEFCE funded institutions. It was agreed that the name of the group would change to Strategic Partnerships.

Action: AM to send a brief to AE for a call for new members of the C&P group.

10.2   Director Services                                 Rosemary Lynch

10.2.1 Presentation of Directors’ Room by Andrew Amato
AA gave a presentation of his progress with the Directors’ Room to the SG. The SG was very pleased with the quality and pace of progress to date. SG members agreed to a presentation to the M25 Directors at the June 18th AGM, with the opportunity for them to populate their profiles.

SG members agreed to populate their profiles and begin using the discussion boards in the interim. Members of the Director Services Task Group were expected to do likewise. It was agreed that this would all be done on the test site.

AA agreed to create user names and passwords for M25 Directors prior to the June AGM. The official launch was expected to be in September when the Directors’ Room would then go live with the upgraded version of Joomla (1.5). The Director Services Task and Finish group would  meet prior to the June AGM to discuss the presentation at the June AGM and how the profile updates would be administered at the meeting.

Action: AA to send SG members their user name and password with the link to the test website.
SG members to update their profiles and engage in online discussions.

10.3  Marketing & Communications                 Frances Norton

10.3.1 M25 Brand Guidelines
FN presented a M25 brand guidelines document to the SG for its approval. The SG agreed that it was a useful document. FN suggested that it could be promoted to the Consortium via a future newsletter, with members encouraged to adopt the brand and use it on their websites as an endorsement.

SG members asked about the availability of the InforM25 visual display slides presented at the May SG meeting. GCDS advised that this had been publicised and made available for download in the Spring 2009 M25 e-bulletin but also promised to make it available on the M25 logos page of the M25 website. The brand guidelines document will also be made available for download from that web page.

Action: GCDS to upload InforM25 visual display slides and Brand guideline document on the M25 website.

10.3.2  M25 Annual Report 2008/09 update
GCDS as a member of the subgroup set up to coordinate the publication of the 2008/09 M25 Annual Report informed the SG of the proposed theme of “Personal Journeys: Connecting Professionally”. The aim is to focus the attention of the report on the people who make up the M25 Consortium – i.e. staff of member institutions and how they support, interact with and benefit from the Consortium.

The report was expected to showcase the accomplishments of the working and task groups in a more thematic format as opposed to using actual group names. The SG liked the idea for the theme of the report. WG Chairs were informed that they would be contacted in due course and would be expected to appoint a member of their working/task group who could do a personal profile of how their work with the  Consortium had assisted  them in their professional development.

10.4   Quality                                                  Julie Howell

JH reported that the group had welcomed two new members; Jan Conway (University of the Arts) and Christine Muller (University of London Research Library Services).

Chartermark/Customer Service Excellence workshop: It was reported that the group had decided not to proceed with this due to lack of interest in such an event.

Student Surveys: JH reported that she was due to contact the SCONUL group  responsible for considering  the questions on Library Services in the learning resources section of the National Student Survey, to see if the PG Research Experience Survey and the International Student survey could be brought into their remit.

Core Project: The group agreed to survey Consortium membership via their Staff Development Officers to build up a databank of information and documentation relevant to the recruitment and training of front line service staff.

10.5   Resource Discovery William Masterson

10.5.1 Change of name and remit
Maureen Wade attended the meeting in the absence of WM who was due to retire in the near future.  There was a discussion about the change of name and remit for the group. MW stated that the Chair of the group didn’t need to be a technical expect, and that a wider  awareness of the strategic implications of new technologies was more important.

The SG agreed to change the name of the group provisionally to the Digital Developments Working Group (subject to final confirmation with the new Chair). It was agreed that it would be timely to review the remit of the Group which would be developed by the new Chair.

11. Matters for future meetings

11.1 June 2009 – AGM
• Election if required, including new Secretary
• Change to rules on new members being agreed by the SG and the meeting notified
• Change of rules on frequency of meetings to one per year from two
• Director’s Room update (but not launch).
• UoL Digital Platform
• Name changes to working groups

11.2 SG Meeting  July 2009
• Discuss and agree theme for January 2010 Business Meeting
• Calendar meetings for the 2009/10 academic year
• Strategic Planning

12. Any other business

The meeting marked the last SG meeting for both AE and GCDS. Nick thanked them both for their contributions to the Consortium.

Summary of Action Points

  1. AE to follow up on devising a system to ensure web pages are up-to-date and arrange to have further discussions with AA.
  2. MN and JH to meet to discuss forthcoming projects and having a member of the cpd25 Task Group 1 join the Quality Working Group.
  3. NB to alert members of the changes to be made to the strategic planning cycle, at the June AGM
  4. GCDS to include an update on Charitable Status on the agenda for the June AGM.
  5. CL to draw up general expenses guidelines for people involved in M25 business.
  6. CL to make amendments to the budget and subscription spreadsheet for presentation at the June AGM.
  7. AE to contact the Horniman Museum confirming its membership.
  8. AE to send out the nomination papers by 6th May, 2009.
  9. MN to prepare  a summary report of the feasibility study report of the Digital Platform Project for presentation to the members at the June AGM.
  10. AM to send a brief to AE for a call for new members of the C&P working group.
  11. AA to send SG members their user name and password with the link to the test website.
  12. SG members to update their profiles and engage in online discussions.
  13. GCDS to upload InforM25 visual display slides and Brand guideline document on the M25 website.

13. Dates (and venues) of next meetings

Upcoming Meeting Dates and Venues

June 2009
Thursday 18 June,  2009     M25 Members AGM         (LSHTM)

July 2009 
Wednesday 8 July, 2009     Steering Group Meeting   (Greenwich University)

 SG Meetings – September 2009 – July 2010       (Dates and Venues tbc)
September 2009                SG Meeting followed by Networking Event
December 2009                 SG Meeting followed by Annual SG Dinner
January/February 2010      Annual Planning Day and SG Meeting
March 2010                       SG Meeting
April/May  2010                 Annual members meeting

SCONUL dates as check with above:
10th – 12th June 2009         Conference 2009
17th November 2009           One day event

Genein Cox-De Sousa
M25 Administrator