Wednesday 9 July 2008

Steering Group Meeting Minutes

Note: The following minutes have been approved.

Minutes for the meeting held at the Women’s Library, London Metropolitan University.

Present: Nick Bevan (Chair), Genein Cox-De Sousa, Adam Edwards, John Gilby, Robert Hall, Julie Howell, Sandy Leitch, William Marsterson, Ann Murphy, Mary Nixon, Frances Norton, Pete Ryan, Maureen Wade.

1. Apologies for absence and welcome to new members
Julie Brittain, Caroline Lloyd and Rosemary Lynch sent their apologies. John Gilby was welcomed as an invited member to the SG.

2. Minutes of last meeting and matters arising

2.1 The minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 14th May, 2008 were formally approved

2.2 Matters arising:

2.2.1 MN reported that three appointments scheduled with the Horniman Museum had been cancelled by them. She was hoping that the installation of a new Librarian would help to progress matters on their possible membership of M25. 

2.2.2 NB reported on progress with Charitable Status. He had been contacted by the Charities Commission who stated that the Consortium needed to be a registered company before applying for charitable status.

Action: NB to call the Charities Commission about reviewing the Consortium’s governance documents.

2.3 Matters arising from the June AGM:

2.3.1 Pricing for CPD25 events
NB stated that a draft of two proposals taking into account the two  alternatives of increased subscriptions vs. cpd25 events operating at a small profit, and their implications, will be written in time for the January 2009 members’ meeting.

2.3.2 Increasing attendance at Member’s Meetings
The SG continued to support the idea of opening up the morning sessions of the members’ meetings to additional staff of M25 institutions. However NB suggested that may not take effect from the next meeting to be held in January 2009, considering the available capacity at Goldsmiths.

3. Changes to Steering Group following elections  (Nick Bevan)

3.1 The newly appointed officers and member to the Steering Group were formally introduced:

Adam Edwards as M25 Secretary
Caroline Lloyd as M25 Treasurer
Frances Norton, commencing her second term in Office and continues to be Chair of the Marketing & Communications WG

3.2 Vacancy in the Steering Group following elections
According to the constitution, the SG was not obliged to fill the current vacancy which arose as a consequence of AE replacing MW as Secretary, particularly considering that all current responsibilities in the SG had been allocated.

It was agreed that the status quo will be maintained at present and until increasing responsibilities dictated otherwise.

4. Other changes to Steering Group responsibilities   (Adam Edwards)

Allocation of responsibilities in the Steering Group
The following SG members were allocated responsibilities:

Access and Borrowing Scheme: Julie Brittain
Disaster Management: Sandy Leitch
Chair, Collaboration & Partnership Working Group: Ann Murphy

5. Revision of Strategic and Action Plans   (Nick Bevan)

Actions from the Planning Day

5.1.1 Staffing issues were to be dealt with later in the agenda.

5.1.2 Director Services: The issue of mentoring had been raised. PR stated that a more informal type of mentoring in the form of buddying will be implemented via the Director’s Room. Through this medium, Directors would also have the opportunity to avail themselves as mentors or to be mentored.

5.1.3 Collaboration & Partnership: With respect to progress on a feasibility report on influencing consortial purchasing, MW reported that Glyn Price (LSE) had agreed to the time frame for delivery (end of 2008) as set out in the Action Plan.

5.1.4 Quality: JH reported that there had been progress with the “big project” – a detailed study of space utilisation and related costs in libraries.
Action: JH to give a more detailed report at the December SG meeting.

She also reported that the group had assessed the feasibility of the audit of formal quality processes and decided to halt progress on this due to a cross-over with SCONUL activities.

5.1.5 Resource Discovery: JG reported that the group was expected to meet in July to discuss the new M25 service (“big idea”) that would cross-search a wider range of services.
Action: JG to report on progress at the September SG meeting.

5.1.6 Marketing & Communications: It was suggested that the group should develop a guidance document on the use of the M25 brand and that should include notes to Chairs of Working Groups. The group was asked to look at the brand and see where and when individual logos should be used. A report should be brought to the December meeting.

With respect to distilling key messages regarding activities of working groups on the M25 website, FN suggested that in the first instance reports sent in by working group chairs, for the annual report will be used to update the web pages.
Action: FN to draft a guidance document on use of the M25 brand and usage of individual logos for the December meeting.

5.2 Extending current Action Plan beyond 2008/9
NB felt that a lot of projects were in progress and that the SG should therefore carry forward the current plan and update action points. He suggested that at the next planning day in March 2009, the SG should develop targets for 2009/10. This was agreed and members would be informed of this at the January 2009 business meeting.

5.3 Planning and budgeting cycle
NB suggested that this agenda item would be revisited when the Treasurer was next present. The plan is that next year the CPD25 budgeting cycle will be linked with the M25. This was to be further discussed at the next SG meeting.

6. Key projects for 2007/08     (Nick Bevan)
6.1 Director Services Task & Finish Group

6.1.1 Directors’ Room: The group had received a specification for the Directors’ Room, by the Systems Team. However, no further work had progressed as feedback from the group was still outstanding.
The group felt that the Directors’ Room may be a key forum to getting Directors together and would help support future Exchange sessions. It was suggested that participation in it would become part of the Rights and Responsibilities of members. Default for membership should be the M25 Representative, but this might go up to a more senior person if the member library wishes it.

6.1.2 Exchange: AM updated the SG on the two events which had been planned for the following week.

(i) Leadership and Management – This event was to continue as scheduled with the 5 interested Directors and 2 organisers.
(ii) Challenge of delivering shared learning services – Due to very low interest (just 1) it was decided it would be cancelled as an official event however, an informal visit will be arranged with the interested Director.

Noted that a longer lead time was needed for such events given pressure on people’s diaries. It was reported that the intention was to provide a report after each of the Exchange events, which will be available online for all members to read.
Agreed there should be a report on the project to members at the January 2009 meeting.

6.2 AIM25
JG reported that testing of the AIM25 Z-server was complete and now capable of performing ‘names’ subject searching. Incorporation of AIM25 searching InforM25’s “Search catalogues” software has progressed with test searching being possible on the restricted InforM25 development site. The continuance of this project is dependent on programmer availability.

6.3 WAM25
MW reported that the Final Outcome Report of the Feasibility Study was submitted on the 27th June, which included a request for more funding to cover 8 participating libraries.

Apart from the University College for the Creative Arts who had previously agreed to join the pilot study, Imperial College London also joined. The WAM25 SG had been in discussions with another M25 institution to complete the full complement required for the pilot.

MW advised the SG that the final outcome report had been posted on the M25 website in the Projects and Partnerships section.

Note: Subsequent to the meeting, JG confirmed that the Final Outcome Report was not what was actually posted on the website. What had been made publicly available on the website was the actual Feasibility Study, Minutes of meetings and Progress Reports.  SG members wanting to view the Final Outcome Report should email JG directly to request it.

7. Networking Event, September 2008   (Adam Edwards)
Members were advised that the date and venue set for the September 2008 networking event was 15th September at the Solar Room of the Imperial College, 170 Queen’s Gate venue.

8. Business Meeting January 2009   (Adam Edwards)
8.1 There was a discussion about the programme and possible speakers for the January 2009 business meeting.

Three possible themes had been discussed:
1) WAM25 and the HAERVI project
This idea could only be progressed if the funding had been received. Agreed this would therefore make a better theme for Summer 2009 when decisions would be known.
2) Libraries surviving the Credit Crunch
– Dealing with pay-cuts and pressures on material budgets
– HR strategies in dealing with cuts
– Libraries and IT services input in to League Table ratings
– Exploring smart ways of improving student performance
3) Internationalisation
This idea had been previously discussed as a potential topic. It was felt that there was a lot of scope for the M25 to explore and the SG decided to move it forward. Speakers suggested included the speaker at last year’s SCONUL conference from Nottingham University, Karen Senior (Bolton) who authored the SCONUL Report and MW suggested the LSE International Relations speaker.
Action: SG members to email AE with further ideas, including potential speakers for this topic.

9. Financial matters     (Nick Bevan)
NB presented the general update on 2007/08 finances paper, in CL’s absence. It was reported that the predicted outturn is a deficit of -£8771.94 which was equivalent to the costs for AIM25 and additional staffing costs incurred for specific web developments. These would be met from reserves. In addition, all subscriptions for 2007/08 had been received and invoices for 2008/09 were expected to be sent in August/ September. Members should expect to receive just one invoice this year, to cover the three strands of the Consortium.

GCD enquired on behalf of the Marketing & Comms WG, about the submission of the Financial Report for the 2007/08 Annual report in CL’s absence. NB agreed that he would write the report.
Action: NB to write the Treasurer’s Report for the 2007/08 Annual Report

10. CPD25 report       (Mary Nixon)

10.1 Use of CPD25 events calendar by third parties: MN reported that CPD25 had been approached by external course providers to publicise events / courses on the CPD25 events calendar. The concern was for the availability of sufficient data and the issue of keeping it updated. It was felt that this was not feasible and the alternative was to provide a page of links to other course providers from the CPD25 website.

10.2 CPD25 Staff Award: MN reported that Sarah Arkle of the University of Bedfordshire had been awarded the CPD25 Travel Award to attend the IFLA Conference in Quebec.
This award in previous years was offered biennially to coincide with the actual IFLA Conference, however MN proposed, if funding is available, that it be offered annually to award attendance to the associated satellite event which takes place in the alternate year.  This was agreed.

11. Website updating     (Adam Edwards)

11.1 Proposals for allocating responsibilities for website updating
AE suggested, that each working group elect a member (the secretary is suggested) to ensure WG web pages are regularly checked and updated. For other web pages he suggested that each SG member be allocated pages to check and update. Possible web analytics reports could assist with this. An update on this is to be raised at the September meeting.

Action:  WG Chairs to allocate a member of their group to undertake the responsibility of ensuring WG web pages are up to date. Agreed that minutes should go up when approved by the chair, rather than waiting for formal approval at the next meeting.
JG to send regular reminders to WG Chairs to ensure pages are checked.
JG to check which pages have not been recently updated and report to AE.  This can then be looked at for discussion in September on how to allocate pages for checking.

12. Joint Administration Team report     (Maureen Wade / John Gilby)

12.1 Update on progress
JG reported that he had drafted the job descriptions of the LSE employed staff to reflect the following changes:
The M25 Systems Team will be renamed the M25 Support Team and will now include both the technical as well administrative staff, including cpd25.
– JG’s job title will now be M25 Administration and Project Manager
– GCD’s job title will now be M25 Administrator
– Suzy Ball will remain as CPD25 Administrator
– New half time post (to be recruited) will be M25 Web Services Project Officer

JG asked the SG to advise on the level of reporting now expected of him as Manager of the team. He presently works to a service delivery plan based on the Systems Team work but would like to expand it to include the remit of the Support Team. Members of the SG suggested that he should report briefly for the whole team on high level activities which contributed to work on projects and support to working groups. Detailed technical issues should go to RDWG. The issue will be taken up at the next SG meeting.

12.2 Systems Team Report
JG reported that Dave Puplett had the web usage statistics up and working for the three websites, including the 4 services of InforM25. He stated that the functionality of Google Analytics is quite wide and diverse. Members were encouraged to ask JG if they required any web statistics from the M25 website as the information is now available.

MN requested statistics for CPD25. AE expressed interest in statistics on out of region, out of M25 usage. FN stated that it will be useful to include relevant statistics in the annual report in the future.

Action: JG to forward the requested statistics to MN and AE via email and to report to the SG at the September meeting with some examples and if necessary give a demonstration of the capabilities of Google Analytics.

13. Reports from Working Groups

13.1 Collaboration & Partnership  Adam Edwards
AE reported on INSPIRE London, following a meeting with Fiona O’Brien and Andy Ryan (past and present staff of LLDA) and offered possible suggestions on a way forward following a change in staffing at LLDA. The SG felt that the M25 was willing to support the Inspire London project provided that the other stake holders took on the responsibility of it. AM (as new Chair of C&P WG) and JG were targeted as members of the SG who needed to be involved in contacting the necessary people to take it forward.
Action:  AM to contact people identified in AE’s report.

13.2 Marketing & Communication   Frances Norton

13.2.1 Image Archive: FN introduced the SG to the idea of an image archive built from images provided by members rather than continuing to pay for expensive professional images. There was a general discussion about its feasibility, usage and the administration of it.
Action: FN to return to the September SG meeting with a business case and plan.

13.2.2 M25 Award for Innovation: FN tabled a proposal submitted by the group, for an M25 award which recognised an individual of an M25 institution who did exceptional work in the area of innovation and to be nominated by the head of the member library.  The group sought the SG’s advice on whether they felt the award would provide significant value to the award winner and their institution and prestige to the Consortium and if the group should progress to the next phase.

The consensus was that it was a good way to promote the Consortium. NB suggested that it is a proposal that should be taken to the members at the January 2009 meeting to gauge support and buy in.
Action: FN to write a detailed paper for the December SG meeting and for discussion at the January 2009 meeting.

13.2.3 Annual Review: Chairs of Working Groups and Officers were reminded that the deadline for submission of reports for the 2007/08 Annual Review was 23rd of July.
FN stated that on this occasion the WG was not able to keep within the budget allocated as per the previous meeting, as the publication run was already in progress at that time and work had already been commissioned with the current designer. However she reported that the plan in the future was to move away from a high street designer to a university design team, with the hope that it would be considerably cheaper.

FN also suggested that another prudent cost option would be to have an electronic review and forego the cost of printing. However it was felt that a printed review was preferable.

13.3 Quality     Julie Howell
JH reported that the group had now set themselves a timetable for the execution of the “big idea” project, as reported above.

13.4 Resource Discovery   William Masterson
With regards to the group’s membership, WM reported that one member had resigned and one person had expressed interest in joining the group.
The group was due to meet later in July.

14. Matters for next Steering Group meeting
• Planning and budgeting cycle and linking the M25 and CPD25 budgets.
• Website updates
• Reporting structure and content of M25 Support Team by JG
• Demonstration (by JG) of capabilities of Google Analytics.

15. Any other business

15.1 JH updated the SG on the recent fire at the Commercial Road site of London Metropolitan University, stating that they will be without a building until January 2008. She advised that she will be writing a report based on her experiences.  SG members were reminded that there is a mutual support agreement to help in such circumstances that could be invoked if necessary.

15.2 JG raised the idea of having a full M25 Calendar, using a new calendar component which will be implemented on the CPD25 website for CPD25 events. It was suggested that it should include not only SG meeting and Members’ meeting dates but also Working Group and Task Group meeting dates and other key external meetings – e.g. SCONUL, CILIP and JISC – so organisers can avoid these dates.

GCD suggested that WG Chairs should as a consequence, plan their calendar of meetings for the complete academic year, in advance.
Action: WG Chairs to plan meetings for the whole year in advance, with WG Secretaries to tell GCD the agreed dates for adding to the new calendar.

16. Dates (and venues) of next meetings
16.1       Members agreed to the following dates and venues for forthcoming meetings.

Meeting                             Date                           Venue
SG Meeting                         15th September, 08       Imperial College Library
Networking Event                15th September, 08       Imperial College – Solar Room
SG Meeting                          8th December, 08        Greenwich University
Members’ Business Meeting  23rd January, 09          Goldsmiths, University of London
SG Strategic Planning Day   12th March, 09              Royal College of Nursing
SG Meeting                         14th May, 09                London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Annual General Meeting       18th June, 09                Imperial College London
SG Meeting                          8th July, 09                 Roehampton University

Note: SCONUL dates as check with above:
• December 2008 one day event:   16th December 2008
• Conference 2009:     10th – 12th June 2009

Action Points:

1) NB to call the Charities Commission about reviewing the Consortium’s governance documents.
2) JH to give a more detailed report on the Quality WG’s “Big Project” at the December SG meeting.
3) JG to report on progress with the Resource Discovery WG’s “big idea” at the September SG meeting.
4) FN to draft a guidance document on use of the M25 brand and usage of individual logos for the December meeting.
5) SG to email AE with further ideas for the January 2009 members’ meeting, including potential speakers.
6) NB to write the Treasurer’s Report for the 2007/08 Annual Report
7) WG Chairs to allocate a member of their group to undertake the responsibility of ensuring WG web pages are up to date.
8) JG to send reminders about webpage updates to WG Chairs on a consistent  basis.
9) JG to check which web pages have not been recently updated and report to AE.
10) JG to forward the requested statistics to MN and AE via email and to report to the SG at the September meeting with examples and if necessary give a demonstration of the capabilities of Google Analytics.
11) AM to contact people identified in AE’s report to progress INSPIRE London.
12) FN to return to the September SG meeting with business case and plan for the proposed image archive.
13) FN to write a detailed paper on the M25 Award for the December SG meeting and for discussion at the January 2009 meeting.
14) WG Chairs to plan meetings for the whole year in advance, with WG Secretaries to tell GCD the agreed dates for adding to the new calender