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Boardroom, George IV Bridge, National Library of Scotland.
Present: James Boyle (Chair) (JB), Fiona Robertson (FR), Dianne Haley (DH), Simon Learoyd (SL), Carmel Teusner (CT), Amina Shah (ASh), William Shields Henderson (WSH) and Helen Durndell (HD).
In attendance: John Scally (National Librarian) (JS), Philip Simpson QC, (PS), John Coll (Head of Access) (JC), Anthony Gillespie (Head of Finance and Planning) (AG), Alex Miller (Head of External Relations and Governance) (AM), Robin Smith (Head of Collections and Research) (RS), Linda MacMillan (Capital Projects Programme Manager) (LMac), Susanne Munro (Minutes) (SM).
Minutes of meeting
The meeting opened with a viewing of the recently acquired Sweetheart Breviary facilitated by Kenneth Dunn and Ulrike Hogg from the Library's Archives and Manuscripts Division.
1. Chair's welcome:
The Chair welcomed members to the meeting and expressed thanks for the very enjoyable viewing of the Sweetheart Breviary.
2. Apologies for absence:
There were apologies noted from Sir Neil McIntosh (NM), Adrienne Scullion (ASc), Melissa Terras (MT), Iain Marley (IM) and Noreen Adams (NA).
3. Declaration of interests:
The Chair requested that any declarations be made at the appropriate point in the agenda. AS had asked that it be noted that Bennett Associates Architects have an interest in the Citizens Theatre (Item 5).
4. Minutes of meeting of 14 December
The minutes were approved with the following amendments:
Page 3 Section 13 in relation to the Governance Committee:
- The recruitment information for the Chair will not come to the Board for approval as this is a Scottish Government appointment: the point should reflect that the recruitment material has been finalised with Library input
- The discussion around the Board review should reflect the comment made that form has to follow function in relation to the number of Board meetings.
5. Minutes of meeting of 25 January 2016:
The minutes were approved.
6. Actions outstanding and matters arising from previous
The actions were reviewed and updated as appropriate, with the following comments:
- 14.12.15: Item 17 Research Working Group: An initial meeting has been held via Skype and another has been arranged
- 02.11.15: Item 10.1: Library Business Service discussion: JC informed the meeting that there have been a number of discussions around this with other libraries, such as the Mitchell Library and the British Library. Members asked for a further update at the June Board meeting
- 04.11.13: Item 5: Agency for Legal Deposit Libraries ownership: JS confirmed that the signing of the ownership documentation for the Agency for Legal Deposit Libraries has been deferred until the June meeting. The Library will be hosting the June meeting in Edinburgh.
7. National Librarian and Chief Executive's
JS spoke to his report, paper BM/16/06.
A discussion took place around the water ingress at Causewayside and JS confirmed that the Library has learned from this experience, and procedures which have been put in place have been effective; further, when the project is completed the Library will have a high quality sealed building.
Information was sought about those universities that lead in conservation research. The Board will be updated in this regard.
Pleasure and relief were expressed at the news of the increase in the Collections Purchase Fund. HD pointed out that the renewal of the contracts with the Scottish Higher Education Digital Library (SHEDL) was important.
The change in arrangements at the Maps Reading Room were confirmed by JS as a positive, resulting from the shift to online business. In answer to a question regarding staff redeployment it was confirmed that re-skilling of existing staff is included in the work activity plan.
8. Loan agreement (including homologation of circulated
The loans were all approved with a request that the Arbroath loan be reworded to read 'digitised and then supplied'.
9. Library Plan and budget for 2016-2017:
JB introduced this paper BM/16/08, and confirmed that the Board was being asked to approve the Library Plan and budget for 2016-2017.
On a point of accuracy DH asked that at page 37 it should reflect that Audit Committee did not see a draft budget: the draft was presented at the Board Away Day.
In response to a question regarding how performance is reported to the public, JS confirmed that quarterly reports and the Annual Review are placed on the Library website after the Board meetings. JS confirmed that the Library could expand this and his preference would be to include case studies. It was suggested that core KPIs would be important for public reassurance.
Comments made in relation to specific activities were:
- Activity 1.3: That the Scottish Confederation of University and Research Libraries (SCURL) be included as a stakeholder
- Activity 1.2: A request was made that the Board be updated on the selection of the core texts of five Scottish authors at the June Board meeting
- Activity 3.3: That a line be included about maximising the benefits of these fellowships and awards
- Activity 4.3: A question was asked about the target of 90 workshops and whether this was a stretch target. It was explained that with the same staffing level this is an increase of 12%. It was asked that a paper be prepared on this and it was confirmed that the Library Leadership Team (LLT) would deal with this.
It was suggested that the website would be a good place to promote the target of increasing volunteers by 50%.
Further general points included:
- It was asked that the sum invested in training staff every year and leadership development be included
- Reducing staff absence should perhaps be a milestone rather than a target
- There should be more included about efficiencies, and the efficiency programme, e.g. Shared Services.
In response to a question regarding the increase in the Investment Income line in the Summary Income and Expenditure on page 59, AG confirmed that during 2015-2016 the Library did not need to pull any income down from the fund managers. This is not the case in 2016-2017 — income is being drawn down and for this reason it appears that there is a significant jump in income.
The Library Plan and budget 2016-2017 was approved.
10. Draft minutes from the Governance Committee of 2
FR spoke to paper BM/16/09 providing an update on the recruitment of the Chair.
FR confirmed at Item 7 in the minute that changes to memberships of Board committees have been completed.
11. Recommendations from the final report on Board
governance and controls:
AM spoke to paper BM/16/10 and asked that the Board review the three key remaining recommendations. The Board discussed these:
1. Three-year calendar meeting cycle:
Following a discussion it was agreed that the three-year calendar meeting cycle be implemented following the June Board meeting. A couple of points were raised:
- The reduction from five Board meetings to four was approved
- There was consensus that the Board meetings should continue to take place on a Monday.
2. Board Support and Compliance Officer:
This recommendation was approved.
3. Review current practice of routine closed Board
Following discussion this recommendation was not approved.
It was further agreed that Board and committee papers would be circulated digitally via Huddle and email. Physical copies will only be distributed by exception. SL requested paper copies.
The agreed meeting dates will be uploaded to the Huddle calendar following the meeting.
12. Review of committee terms of reference
AM spoke to paper BM/16/11. The Board was satisfied with the contents of the paper.
13. Kelvin Hall transition:
JC spoke to paper BM/16/12 which outlined the role of the National Library of Scotland in the governance model for the transitional phase of the National Library at Kelvin Hall.
SL welcomed the paper and suggested that regular updates be provided for the Board.
14. Draft minutes from the Staffing and Remuneration
Committee of 10 February 2016:
The Board was satisfied with the contents of the draft minute.
15. Draft minutes from the Audit Committee of 15
DH spoke to paper BM/16/14 and asked the Board to note:
- Business continuity planning is to be included in the Internal Audit plan
- The IT Shared Services pilot has been parked and will come back to the main Board in September.
16. Capital projects — dashboard reports:
LMac joined the meeting for this item and spoke to paper BM/16/15. Under the recently revised protocol for capital reporting the full report goes to the Audit Committee and this dashboard report is a high level document for the Board.
LMac reviewed the Dashboard Reports for both the Kelvin Hall and Causewayside projects.
The Board thanked LMac for these very useful reports.
LMac left the meeting.
17. 2015/16 Corporate Plan performance — Q3:
JS spoke to paper BM/16/16 and confirmed that the Corporate Plan is progressing well with 78% of targets on course to be met and a further 13% which should be met by the end of the year. Of the 95 targets only nine have had to be rescheduled, mostly as a result of external factors outwith the Library's control.
A question was asked about Indicator No. 7.1 (staff absence) which is red. Was this is an issue across the Library or was it a small number of staff? It was confirmed that the results were skewed by a small number of staff, but it was important to recognise that the eight days target is good compared to other comparators.
18. Quarterly Finance reports / Finance
AG spoke to paper BM/16/17 and outlined the contents of the report.
About shop income: AG confirmed that 2013-2014 had been a very good year and the shop had not performed as well since then. Professional advice was being sought, together with the development of an online shop.
19. Strategic Risk Register:
AG spoke to paper BM/16/18, drawing attention to S4 and S6 and asking the Board for opinions on the risk level as contained in the report.
Following discussion the Board accepted the AC's recommendation to adjust the risk rating for S4.
20. National Library Foundation update:
AG confirmed that as the National Library Foundation had not met there was no update.
21. Records management plan:
RS spoke to paper BM/16/19 and updated the Board regarding the Library's compliance requirements under the Public Records Scotland Act.
RS confirmed that data protection and hacking are both covered under the plan.
22. Programme of upcoming Library events:
AM spoke to the upcoming events in the Library, with JB highlighting the upcoming talk by Professor Emma Smith, Oxford University on Shakespeare's First Folio.
AM confirmed that on social media the Library now has 16,300 Facebook followers, up 500 from last month; 12,000 Twitter followers; and an improved Klout score. JB wished to commend the Library's Facebook page, which he described as terrific, rich in context, news and entertainment.
AM confirmed that the Annual Celebration will take place on 6 October this year. Also Graeme Hawley, the Library's General Collections Manager, will be putting on a show in the Festival.
The Board expressed its appreciation of the impressive range and variety of events.
23. Date of next meeting:
Monday 20 June 2016 in the Boardroom.