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Board Room, National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge Building.
Present: James Boyle (Chair) (JB), Neil McIntosh (NM), Dianne Haley (DH), Simon Learoyd (SL), Noreen Adams (NA), Melissa Terras (MT), Jonathan Lake (JL), Carmel Teusner (CT), Amina Shah (ASh), Helen Durndell (HD) and Iain Marley (IM).
In attendance: John Scally (National Librarian) (JS), Anthony Gillespie (Head of Finance and Planning) (AG), Jan Usher (TUS Representative) (JU), Mungo Bovey (Representative from Faculty of Advocates) (MB), Alex Miller (Head of External Relations and Governance) (AM), and Vikki Muirhead (Minutes) (VM).
Minutes of meeting
Welcome and opening comments
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and tabled thanks to all who attended the earlier Knowledge Session. The Chair also expressed the Board's enthusiasm for the Strategy launch, commenting particularly on the enthusiastic staff response.
There were apologies noted from Fiona Robertson (FR), and W Shields Henderson (WSH).
2. Declaration of interests:
No declarations of interest were made.
3. Minutes of meeting, 8 June 2015:
The minutes were approved as an accurate record of the meeting.
4. Actions outstanding and matters arising from meeting,
8 June 2015:
The actions were updated with the following points noted:
- Visit to Sighthill facility for Board members: Members were asked to register interest with a staff member to be allocated by AM
- Access cards for Board members: after a glitch Board members were issued with cards and enhanced badges.
5. National Librarian and Chief Executive
The Chair thanked JS and those responsible for the report with particular emphasis on the cover and other images selected (paper BM/15/33). The following points were noted:
- The Board wished to write to the staff involved in the ILS Project, expressing thanks and noting the excellent response to the call for volunteers. One in six staff volunteered
- It was requested that slides of the keynote speech given by JS be circulated to Board members. The Board wished to give thanks to the staff involved in the Northumbria Conference
- It was suggested that social media should be pursued with more vigour and sophistication during public events and launches
- The Board requested copies of papers presented by John Coll and Gill Hamilton as referenced in the report.
6. Loan agreements:
Contact details of the Board members are to be checked because some members are not receiving emails. All loan requests were approved by the Board.
7. Draft minutes of the Audit Committee, 10 August
SL, as Chair of Audit Committee, spoke to paper BM/15/35 providing an update on the recent meeting of the Committee.
8. Annual Report and Financial Statements for
AG presented paper BM/15/36 as submitted by PWC.
After a full discussion around the representation letter, the Board approved and the Chair and CEO signed the Annual Report and Financial Statements.
9. Q1 Financial reporting:
AG presented paper BM/15/37 which had been considered and discussed by Audit Committee on 10 August 2015.
The Board thanked AG for the report.
10. Spending review update:
JS spoke to this item, beginning by asking the Board for a sense of what were untouchable areas of the Library. It was agreed that Board members would feedback to JS. IM advised to start with the Strategy as it encompasses all the core functions, fundamentals need to be looked at and a 'bottom up' budget exercise may be beneficial at some point.
A scenario planning exercise is being conducted. There were some savings opportunities already available which can be utilised. Staff are involved in the ongoing discussion regarding possible spending review outcomes.
JS commented that the Library is changing and as a result, there are things which can be done differently and better. For example, Maps have brought in £80,000 income via the online service, but physical footfall into the Maps Library is falling on a quarterly basis.
SL queried if all other National Libraries are in the same position. JS responded that the BL was given 40% and 25% scenario planning guidelines by DCMS.
The Board thanked JS for his report.
11. Strategic Risk Register update:
AG presented paper BM/15/38 to provide the Board with an update on the Strategic Risk Register.
It was noted that the report had been enhanced and is now much clearer.
After a full discussion, it was agreed that item S4: 'Loss/Reductions on financial resources' would have an increased net risk level from 9 to 12 and the risk status of 'Steady' reviewed. It was also noted that SG are aware of this risk, and the risk is being monitored closely.
The Board accepted this report pending an update to item S4.
12. Corporate dashboard:
JS presented paper BM/15/39 noting that this dashboard is currently a work in progress. The following points were made:
- A key is to be added to the document to make the scoring system clearer
- A suggestion was made to contact the BL regarding assistance with the National Bibliography KPI
- CT advised that less detailed information may be sufficient for the Board. AG and CT will discuss
- Questions were raised about targets and updates. Noted that some KPIs have limited information. These will be updated at the end of the FY.
The Board accepted this report.
13. Major capital projects update:
AG/JS spoke to paper BM/15/40 in Murat Guven's (MG) absence.
The Board were pleased overall with the updated report, and the following points were made:
- The Board requested information on how KH will look on day one
- The Board would like further details around the IT plans for KH. Is the work future proofed?
- VAT: AG informed the meeting that the application has been submitted to DCMS but asked that it be noted that written confirmation will not be received until the end of the FY
- Change controls: Details to be laid out as narratives in the report
- IM noted projects are under good management but risk reporting for CB and KH could be fuller and clearer
- KH: When funding becomes clearer a report to the Board for approval will be required to progress the Kelvin Hall workstreams perhaps using extraordinary procedures if a Board meeting is not pending.
The Board thanked AG for the report.
14. Draft minutes of Staffing and Remuneration
Committee, 17 August 2015:
NM, as Chair of Staffing and Remuneration Committee, spoke to paper BM/15/41 providing an update on the recent meeting of the Committee. The following points were made:
- A contact point for Board queries is required. A short term consultant post has commenced. In the interim period, whilst the consultant reviews this area, the Head of External Relations and Governance supported by the Librarian's Office will pick up Board meeting arrangements
- NM asked again to commend the enthusiasm and commitment of Library staff with regard to volunteering opportunities.
15. Minutes of the NLS Foundation meeting, 27 April
HD spoke to paper BM/15/42 providing an update on the most recent meeting of the Foundation. HD noted it was an interesting meeting with a presentation on the new Library Strategy by the National Librarian, which was well received.
The Board thanked HD and the Foundation for sight of the minutes.
16. Date of next meeting:
2 November 2015.