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Mackenzie building, Faculty of Advocates.
Present: Neil McIntosh (Vice-Chair) (NM), Fiona Robertson (FR), Dianne Haley (DH), Melissa Terras (MT), Carmel Teusner (CT), Amina Shah (ASh), Helen Durndell (HD), Iain Marley (IM), and W. Shields Henderson (WSH).
In attendance: John Scally (National Librarian) (JS), Anthony Gillespie (Head of Finance and Planning) (AG), Jane Rose (TUS Representative) (JR), Ailsa Carmichael QC (Representative from the Faculty of Advocates) (AC), Alex Miller (Head of External Relations and Governance) (AM), Murat Guven (Head of Digital) (MG), Robin Smith (Head of Collections and Research (RS), Linda MacMillan (Capital Projects Programme Manager) (LMac), Mike Galloway (Health and Safety Manager) (MGa), Chris Fleet (Map Curator) (CF), Miriam O'Connor (Board Consultant) (MOC) and Susanne Munro (Minutes) (SM).
Minutes of meeting
Welcome and opening comments
NMc welcomed those in attendance and confirmed that there would be one additional item — a good news story at the end of the meeting.
There were apologies noted from James Boyle (JB), Noreen Adams (NA), Jonathan Lake (JL), Simon Learoyd (SL) and Adrienne Scullion (ASc).
2. Declaration of interests:
NMc asked that any declarations of interest be made at the relevant item on the agenda during the course of the meeting.
3. Minutes of meeting, 21 September 2015:
The minutes were approved as an accurate record of the meeting.
4. Actions outstanding and matters arising from meeting,
21 September 2015:
The outstanding actions were updated.
AM spoke to an outstanding action from the 21 September Board meeting relating to the Library's use of social media. AM confirmed that MT had met with AM and members of the Library's Marketing and Web team prior to the Board Meeting. JS added that social media is very important for the Library as it gives wide exposure in many areas, is immediate and cost effective. JS observed that this is an area which is more informal than other channels and the Library's risk appetite should be adjusted to allow staff to discuss what they are doing openly and honestly.
A brief discussion was held around action 11 in relation to the Spending review and particularly areas that the Board consider 'untouchable'.
The action regarding a visit to the Library facility at Sighthill concluded that perhaps visits to other areas of the Library might be of more benefit to Board members. A suggestion was made that Board members be encouraged to individually make arrangements to visit different parts of the Library according to their area of expertise or interest. JS will provide some suggestions.
5. National Librarian's Report:
JS advised the Board that in this National Librarian's Report the emphasis was on conferences and talks. JS reviewed a number of events from the Report, in particular the 'Poetic politics' conference which was attended by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, marking her third visit to the Library in recent weeks.
In response to an update on the annual celebration, a discussion took place around development and in particular legacies with the Bodleian Circle highlighted as a possible model to investigate.
JS wished to mention Jack Plumb, the Library's Estates Manager, who featured in the Report and whose work in environmental control has led to a cut of c.38% in the Library's utility costs in recent years. Jack Plumb is seen as a leader in this field and is invited to speak at international conferences.
6. Loan agreements:
All loan requests were approved by the Board.
7. Major capital projects update:
LMac joined the meeting for this item. MG informed the Board that since the last Board meeting there have been one or two operational issues which will be covered in a paper to the next Audit Committee meeting on 16 November 2015.
MG briefly spoke to the issues and LMac outlined for the Board the possible scenarios in relation to scaffolding for Phase I and Phase II at Causewayside. In response to a question regarding decisions in relation to these issues it was confirmed that responsibility for this lies with the Library's Capital Programme Board.
LMac then spoke to an artist's impression of the public area at Kelvin Hall. LMac outlined what the National Library of Scotland offer at Kelvin Hall will comprise, confirming that there will also be access to the Hunterian lecture space and two breakout spaces.
8. Health and safety report:
NMc welcomed Mike Galloway, Health and Safety Manager (MGa) to the meeting, and invited him to comment on the health and safety report. MGa summarised the report.
In response to a question regarding how up to date risk assessments are MGa confirmed that the vast majority are up to date and staff speak to MGa if any issues arise.
MGa confirmed in response to a further question that near misses are recorded on the Library's health and safety software programme, RIVO Safeguard, adding that these are rare occurrences.
Fire safety was also examined, in particular, the issue regarding smoke extraction at CB, which it is hoped will be remedied with a smoke extraction unit. The Board were assured that, in the instance of a fire occurring at CB, evacuation would have been achieved before any issue arose. A discussion took place around the nature of the risk and the Board was given assurances that a solution was being actively sought. JS confirmed that once a timescale is confirmed it will be added to the Board minutes under matters arising.
In response to a question regarding health and safety audits, MGa confirmed that the British Safety Council last audited the Library in the period 2012-13 when the Library achieved 93.6%. AG noted that this point had been raised by the Audit Committee and the report was on their next agenda.
NMc thanked MGa for his contribution and wished to stress that the Staffing and Remuneration Committee have a continuing dialogue with MGa and all are in agreement that the healthy working environment approach is important and supported by them.
9. Any other business:
NMc sought an update on progress in the work Board members were carrying out in relation to research. MT confirmed that work had recently been completed on a report compiled by MT, AS and Graham Caie and this is now ready to come to the December Board meeting for discussion. DH confirmed that she will have a conversation with AS and RS around the business service, which is a separate stream to research.
9.2 Good news item:
Chris Fleet joined the meeting for this item and was welcomed by NMc.
JS introduced this item and explained that it had been chosen from the submissions for the National Librarian's Report as it had involved different areas of the Library working together on a project which brought staff to the island of Shetland. CF then spoke to the meeting about the James Robertson, a native of Shetland, and his maps of Jamaica and the different areas of the Library who had been involved in this endeavour, especially Education and Outreach, Maps and Collections Care. The impact of their work on the Shetland community was explained by CF.
10. Date of next meeting:
14 December 2015.