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Anderson Strathern, 1 Rutland Court, Edinburgh.
Present: Kenneth Calman (Chair — KC), Neil McIntosh (NMc), Fiona Robertson (FR), Noreen Adams (NA), Ruth Crawford QC (RC), Helen Durndell (HD), Dianne Haley (DH), Simon Learoyd (SL), Iain Marley (IM), Adrienne Scullion (AS), and Melissa Terras (MT).
In attendance: John Scally (National Librarian — JS), Anthony Gillespie (Associate Director of Business Support — AG), Alex Miller (Head of External Relations and Governance — AM), Linda MacMillan (Capital Projects Programme Manager — for item 10 — LMac), David Turner (Faculty of Advocates — DT), and Helen Jackson (Board Support and Compliance Officer — minutes — HJ).
Minutes of meeting
The meeting opened with a presentation by Paula Williams (PW) about the 'Enduring Eye' exhibition and Shackleton's expedition. The Chair thanked PW for the presentation.
1. Chair's welcome:
The Chair welcomed members to the meeting. He congratulated MT on her appointment as Professor of Digital Cultural Heritage at Edinburgh University. He thanked Anderson Strathern for the venue.
2. Apologies for absence:
Apologies were received and noted from Amina Shah (ASh), Carmel Teusner (CT) and Carol Campbell (TUS representative — CC). Ruth Crawford (RC) sent apologies for late arrival.
3. Declaration of interests:
The Chair requested any declarations be made at the appropriate point in the agenda.
4. Minutes of meeting of 27 March 2017:
The Board approved the minutes (papers BM/17/19 and BM/17/20).
5. Actions outstanding and matters arising from previous meetings:
One action was noted as outstanding: the National Bibliography of Scotland Working Group's recommendations would be discussed by LLT on 27 June and would then be circulated to the Board.
MT noted links to One Third Digital Programme Board documents had not been included in the Librarian's report. JS would circulate.
FR requested an update on the Board's equality statement. AM would circulate the current draft for the Board to approve.
DH asked when John Coll would be bringing a paper to the Board about the Library's offering on business information. HJ confirmed it was in the agenda planner for September's Board meeting.
KC requested an update on the possibility of bringing a young person onto the Board. JS confirmed this was still under discussion.
SL asked if the cladding for CB had been reviewed in terms of fire risk. AG confirmed the Library was reviewing new and existing cladding at CB, plus cladding at GB. He would report to Board / Audit Committee when the review was complete.
6. National Librarian and Chief Executive's report:
JS introduced the report and highlighted the touring exhibition, the media impact of the chimney map, the excellent acquisitions, and the strategic section at the end of the report. He noted he was particularly pleased with the 'Unlocking Our Sound Heritage' project.
- NMc asked if the Minister saw the report. JS confirmed the sponsor group saw it (and all the Board papers) and it was discussed in detail when JS and AG met them. JS also noted extracts of the report were posted on the staff intranet
- IM commended the touring exhibition and asked if more could be done. JS noted the exhibition was a pilot. Impact and take-up would be evaluated and brought to the Board in a future Librarian's report. JS felt two exhibitions at once would be too much in the current financial situation
- IM praised the Library's social media reach. MT requested a regular report on social media progress. JS and MT to discuss and agree what would be appropriate
- AS highlighted the success of a recent 'micro exhibition' at Kelvin Hall: one cabinet, tying in with an event.
7. Library Plan — Q4 update:
JS spoke to paper BM/17/23, noting:
- The targets had been stretch targets. 88% had been met
- Actions on the targets not met were included in the paper. One, ArchivesSpace, would have a soft launch during w/c 26 June 2017
- The number of digital images created should read 1.1 million.
The Board discussed the paper:
- IM asked about calculating the percentage reduction in Hidden Collections. AG confirmed the number of items in the Hidden Collections was known
- IM noted the percentage of collections available digitally was much higher than the target. JS confirmed this had been expected due to electronic legal deposit. He felt the 2017/18 target was at the right level, and would review it at mid-year
- FR commended the report for showing good progress, for making it clear why the targets matter, and for good governance in explaining why targets were missed
- FR noted Governance Committee would consider how to make this type of information transparent to the public
- DH asked if the low staff absence rate reflected a real trend. JS stated it was a combination of having dealt well with individual cases plus improved awareness overall
- KC noted, in relation to potential conflicts of interest at KH, he had stepped down from chairing the Hunterian.
8 Draft minutes from the Audit Committee of 15 May 2017:
SL summarised paper BM/17/24, highlighting:
- The committee had discussed Internal Audit in detail. It had no concerns about risk management overall. However, timescales for following up recommendations were a concern. An update would be brought to August's meeting
- Stuart Lewis, Head of Digital, would update August's committee on cybersecurity and IT BCPs. NA requested this was also brought to the Board. HJ to add to agenda planner
- The committee was comfortable with the financial position, as outlined in paper BM/17/25
- The Strategic Risk Register had been updated following Board and LLT input. There would be a full discussion at a Board meeting later in the year
- AM would be reviewing the committee's effectiveness.
[Ruth Crawford (RC) joined the meeting.]
9. Quarterly finance reports Q4/finance updates:
AG spoke to paper BM/17/25, noting:
- The year had been atypical, including two significant capital projects, an Early Exit scheme, and a large donation / purchase
- A deficit of £64k was forecast, resulting from:
- The dates of CB spend and receipt of grant. Cashflow had been successfully managed
- Changes to reporting of conditional grants
- The Library had ended the year in a satisfactory position
- The External Audit would be completed during w/c 26 June 2017.
RC queried the re-investment of trust fund income by an Investment Manager. AG noted this was a one-off caused by the Investment Manager not responding immediately to a Library policy change. Checks were in place.
[Linda MacMillan (LMac) joined the meeting.]
10. Causewayside dashboard report:
LMac presented paper BM/17/26:
- The project was on course to complete by the year end
- The project was on budget
- The water ingress during the prolonged rainfall had occurred
because water had moved in an unexpected way across a floor (one
floor had been tanked ten years earlier as a trial)
- 50 volumes of newspapers had got wet; all had been dried and were back on the shelves
- Some boxed newspapers had also got wet. The newspapers themselves stayed dry, proving the value of the ongoing boxing programme.
The Board discussed the paper:
- IM asked for clarification of the contractor's 'Three and Out' policy. LMac confirmed there would normally be three warnings, but there was zero tolerance for drugs/alcohol
- SL asked if it was possible to be confident there wouldn't be another water ingress incident. LMac stated it could not be guaranteed during the works. However, the most recent water ingress had been through the Map Library greenhouse, where the glass had now been replaced
- DT asked whether the 20-year guano build-up should have been discovered. LMac agreed it should and confirmed protection cowls would prevent it in future.
[Linda MacMillan (LMac) left the meeting.]
11. Health and safety report:
AM introduced paper BM/17/27 and answered questions:
- The KH nitrate film store was discussed. AM confirmed it was not a life risk issue. The volume of film that could be stored was less than the Library had wanted
- AG provided an update on the asbestos. Legal advisors Anderson Strathern had confirmed it was a disclosable event and would produce a letter to Balfour Beatty
- AG noted the KH fire evacuation strategy was with Glasgow Life, as landlord. JS confirmed the Library had procedures in place in event of a fire
- AG agreed to report to Audit Committee in August about asbestos management and fire safety arrangements. HJ to add to agenda planner
- NMc requested an update to S&R Committee on asbestos.
12. Information paper about the National Library of
Scotland Foundation, and
13. National Library of Scotland Foundation
AM spoke to paper BM/17/28 and HD spoke to paper BM/17/29. The two were discussed together.
- KC noted he had met with Foundation Chair Richard Burns and planned to attend a Foundation meeting
- HD noted W Shields Henderson had stepped down from the Foundation. He could be replaced by a Library Board member
- A general discussion confirmed the Foundation was happy with its role, to look after funds for the benefit of the Library, and did not see this as including fundraising
- MT highlighted the Foundation being allowed to support other bodies. AM confirmed this was part of demonstrating its independence. JS noted any such projects would be in partnership with the Library
- RC requested the Foundation's articles be circulated
- JS noted the Library had proposed, and was in the early stages of planning, a joint event for Foundation Trustees and Library Board members, to take place in October / November.
14. Board matters:
Meeting of Committee Chairs:
- KC proposed holding three meetings a year, over lunch, between the Chair, Vice-chairs and Committee Chairs. There would be a note of discussions, not a formal minute. There would be an associated cost for travel, accommodation and lunch
- DH requested feedback from this meeting to committees, to avoid it being a separate decision-making group. KC agreed
- The Board approved KC's proposal.
- The Board discussed appraisals, referring to paper BM/17/30 and individuals' prior experiences
- KC outlined the procedure at the British Library. Board members had provided written feedback about the Board as a whole, and had then attended short interviews with the Chair about their role
- The Board approved this approach, as an annual appraisal.
Date of meetings:
- The Board approved changing the meeting day from Mondays to Wednesdays
- JS asked Board members who could not make the dates proposed in paper BM/17/31 to contact HJ
- SL requested committee dates for 2019. HJ to agree with each committee.
15. Date of next meeting:
Monday 25 September 2017 at Boardroom, George IV Bridge.
The meeting closed at 16.10.