Benefits of membership
The resources and activities provided by the M25 Consortium help member libraries develop and sustain their services in a variety of ways. From the staff training and development provided by cpd25 to support in disaster planning and recovery the benefits of Consortium membership extend to both library staff and users.
The Consortium’s staff training and development programme provides a variety of training events that cover the diverse aspects of library and information service provision. Consortium members are charged a discounted rate of 50% from 1 August 2021 for attendance. cpd25 Task Groups are currently working on providing online training opportunities alongside face to face events.
cpd25 also organises free visits to many libraries throughout the year. This benefit is reserved for Consortium members only.
For the details of forthcoming events, please visit the cpd25 pages.
Every month we meet someone working in an M25 member institution and ask them to tell us a little bit about themselves. One of the three strategic themes of the M25 Strategic Plan 2019-2022 is connecting and collaborating through our network. Our aim is to provide a regional network whose members offer multiple perspectives which can inform decision making, and facilitate opportunities for networking and joint working on shared issues. The SpeedMeet exclusively showcases staff from M25 Consortium member institutions and is open to all to view on the website.
Staff Development Awards
Staff in Member libraries can apply for a competitive bursary to support their professional development. There are four categories awarded, on a yearly cycle.
New for 2021-22. The Consortium is developing a scheme for non-senior library professionals looking to engage in peer mentoring. This opportunity is available to staff in M25 member libraries and we encourage members to sign up as mentors or mentees.
The Consortium has fourteen resources for its members to assist with planning in this area.
The principal benefit of membership is the Mutual Support Agreement. All Members agree to this when they join the Consortium. In the event of a disaster at a Member library, other Consortium libraries will endeavour to provide study space for students from the affected library, providing physical access in line with the arrangements normally offered under the SCONUL Access and Access25 schemes. The Agreement can be invoked for one month and is designed to allow staff at affected libraries to prioritise disaster recovery by providing their students access to space and resources.
All Business Continuity resources are available in the Members’ Area (login is required): https://www.m25lib.ac.uk/members-area/business-continuity/
Directors’ briefings are also offered to members as an opportunity to receive training that is tailored to senior staff on a topic of particular relevance or urgency. The Consortium usually holds two or more briefings per year on relevant topics suggested by Steering Group or other members of the Consortium.
Annual Networking Event
The annual networking event is an evening reception, usually held in January, for directors and other staff of member libraries to come together in an informal environment and build their personal networks.
AGM and Annual Conference
The Conference is a one-day event usually attended by in excess of 120 delegates. The preceding AGM is an opportunity for members to review the work of the Consortium in the previous year and comment on the Steering Group’s plans and budget for the year ahead. Staff from M25 member institutions are invited to submit their interest in participating in the Consortium’s Annual Conference. This is an opportunity for members to share the work taking place in their institutions and provides an encouraging environment for staff to experience presenting at a conference.
Participation in Governance
Being an M25 Consortium member allows the representative to stand for positions on the Steering Group and the Trustee positions of Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and cpd25 Chair.
Participation in Working Groups, Task Groups and Task & Finish Groups
Being an M25 Consortium member allows the library’s staff to stand for positions on its Working Groups and Task Groups. Participation in these groups provides Consortium staff with the opportunity to network and develop their professional expertise in specific areas, as well as contributing to the work and achievements of the Consortium.
Access25 is a mutual access scheme for the benefit of postgraduate research students and staff in libraries belonging to the M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries*. Access25 allows access to the teaching and research collections at more than 50 libraries in London and south east England. *Please note if your library is part of a Higher Education institution, you should use the SCONUL Access scheme instead.
The Buddying Scheme may be of interest to those members not yet in Jisc’s Library Hub resource discovery tool, looking for informal support from a peer organisation during the transition. Using an institution’s Library Management System as the main criteria, we will match members with similar institutions who have already made the transition to Library Hub. The ‘buddy’ institution will offer informal advice, tips, and support where needed.
Curator and Exhibitions Network
The Curators and Exhibitions Network supports individuals working in M25 Member libraries with curatorial responsibilities or holding curator roles within the library service. The aim of the network is to share experiences, best practices and to act as a professional support network.