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Boardroom, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh.
Present: Kenneth Calman (Chair — KC), Fiona Robertson (Vice-Chair — FR), Noreen Adams (NA), Ruth Crawford (RC), Helen Durndell (HD), Dianne Haley (DH), Simon Learoyd (SL), Iain Marley (IM), Adrienne Scullion (AS), Amina Shah (ASh), Melissa Terras (MT), and Carmel Teusner (CT).
In attendance: John Scally (National Librarian — JS), Anthony Gillespie (Associate Director of Business Support — AG), John Coll (Associate Director of Access — JC), Jackie Cromarty (Interim Associate Director of External Relations and Governance — JCr), Susanne Munro (TUS Representative &mdash, SM), Robin Smith (Associate Director of Collections and Research — RS), and Pauline Costigane (Personal Assistant — minutes — PC).
Minutes of meeting
The meeting opened with a well-received presentation by Dora Petherbridge, Curator (US and Commonwealth Collections), (National Library of Scotland) on a forthcoming treasures display, book and map on Frederick Douglass. KC thanked Dora on behalf of the Board.
1. Chair's welcome:
KC welcomed members to the meeting and on behalf of the Board noted appreciation to Helen Jackson, Board Support & Compliance Officer, for her service to the Board and the Library.
2. Apologies for absence:
Apologies were received and noted from Board member Neil McIntosh (NMc) and Mungo Bovey, Faculty of Advocates (MB). Amina Shah (AS) sent apologies for late arrival.
3. Declaration of interests:
KC requested any declarations be made at the appropriate point in the agenda and and advised that he would declare an interest at Item 13 in the agenda.
4. Minutes of meeting and confidential minutes of 27 June 2018
The Board approved the minutes (BM/18/35 and BM18/36).
5. Actions outstanding and matters arising from previous meetings
The Board noted all actions were complete or ongoing (BM/18/37).
- JS reported that the map of activities in the Annual Review 2017-18 (circulated) would continue to be developed and brought to a subsequent Board meeting for input and discussion. The Board noted their approval of the map and it was suggested that it be included on the website to demonstrate outreach beyond central Edinburgh.
6. Draft minutes from Audit Committee, 17 August 2018
The Board noted the minutes.
7. Draft minutes from S&R Committee, 19 July 2018
The Board noted the minutes (BM/18/39).
8. S&R Committee terms of reference
The Board approved the terms of reference (BM/18/40).
9. NLS Foundation Update — minutes from 7 August 2018
The Board noted the Foundation’s minutes (BM/18/41).
10. National Librarian and Chief Executive's report
JS introduced paper BM/18/42.
- JS reported that the format of the report was being developed with the aim of drawing together the qualitative reporting of this report with the empirical outcomes detailed in the Library Plan - Q1 and noted that input from the Board as this was developed, would be welcomed.
- JS confirmed that the migration to the new Library Services Platform was on track. For logistical reasons Alma and Primo will be launched one week apart. Rigorous testing of the new systems was ongoing and a roll back to the existing platform, as a failsafe, will be available.
- The Board welcomed the creation of the Hidden Collections Programme Board and the potential for creating greater public engagement and awareness of the Library’s collections.
11. Library Plan Q1 Update
JS introduced paper BM/18/43.
- JS reported that the Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project is one of the first projects at Kelvin Hall to secure major grant funding.
- JS advised that the completion rate for 2018/19 Forward Job Plans was now at 97 per cent. The completion rate for 2017/18 appraisals (86 per cent) was partially explained by the absence of a manager at Kelvin Hall and a supervisor within the Cleaning Unit.
- JS reported that feedback on the Forward Job Plan/Annual Staff Review had been that the paperwork had been bulky and overlong and that this had now been refined and improved.
- AG reported that a drop in visitor numbers has been seen across the cultural sector and is thought to be a result of the good weather. However, the Beano pop-up event in Kelvin Hall which happened in July will help the numbers.
- JS reported that the vacant fundraising positions have been filled and a review of fundraising procedures is well underway.
12. Audit Committee report
SL gave a verbal report on the Audit Committee of 17 August 2018:
- Ian Symonds, Head of Estates, is undertaking a review of all fire systems and he will provide a verbal update at the November committee meeting followed by a final report in January. To date, only operational concerns have been determined and there are no major concerns relating to risk.
- After a procurement exercise the existing investment managers were re-appointed.
- SL has circulated the draft Treasury Management and Investment Policy to Board members and is seeking comments. Agreeing the level of investment risk the Board is willing to take is critical and will be reviewed at the next Audit Committee meeting.
- It was agreed that it would be beneficial if members of the Board, along with the various committees, could consider emerging risks and issues and feed observations back.
- FR requested that the role of the Board in relation to Disaster Planning/Business Continuity should be given consideration. AG agreed and this will be incorporated into Business Continuity Plans and the results shared with the relevant individuals.
13. Annual Report and Accounts 2017/18
AG précised paper BM/18/44 and answered questions.
- SL reported that the Audit Committee had discussed the question of 'going concern'. As the Library is largely funded by the Scottish Government the question relates to their ongoing funding. As this is guaranteed for the coming year they were satisfied to sign off on 'going concern'.
- AG reported that preparations for a no-deal Brexit have been made with some suppliers. It was agreed that the Brexit Monitoring Group will undertake and document an impact assessment and provide a summary at the next Board meeting.
The Annual Report and Accounts for 2017/18 were approved by the Board.
Robin Smith (RS) joined the meeting.
14. Memorandum of Understanding with Glasgow University
The Chair made a declaration of interest and the item was handed over to FR to chair. JS gave an overview of the purpose of the partnership and noted that Glasgow University had demonstrated great enthusiasm for the continuance of engagement with the Library. RS reported:
- She had been surprised at the strength of the existing partnership.
- Collaborative projects will be subject to the normal assessment process and must meet both parties' strategic needs.
- Clashes with other project requests are unlikely to occur.
The Board approved the Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Glasgow.
- JS thanked staff involved, particularly RS for her lead on the initiative.
Robin Smith (RS) left the meeting.
15. Quarterly finance reports — Q1
AG summarised paper BM/18/46, no questions were raised.
16. Governance Committee report
FR reported on the meeting that had taken place on 14 September, 2018:
- The committee approved the Review of the Staffing & Remuneration Committee’s Terms of Reference with minor amendments made to the section on staff remuneration.
- It looked at the handover/priorities of the Governance Committee by looking at the order of business for the next twelve months.
- Planning for the next Board Away Day will need to start soon — including the possibility of a second Board self-assessment exercise.
- Website and transparency — seeking to improve promotion of Library activity.
- Scheme of delegation and administration — it was noted that this was due to be reviewed in 2019.
The Board thanked FR for her tenure as Chair of the Governance Committee.
17. Board member recruitment
- The Chair reported on the schedule for recruitment and encouraged the Board to participate in forthcoming recruitment events.
- SL noted the success of a similar recruitment event for another organisation and will research their promotional channels for comparison.
- MT suggested liaising with Equate Scotland to help aid diversity.
- Promotion through social media was also highlighted.
- An update will be given at the next Board meeting.
Revised agenda order
John Scally, Anthony Gillespie, Jackie Cromarty, Susanne Munro and Pauline Costigane left the meeting.
21. Confidential item discussed.
John Scally, Anthony Gillespie, Jackie Cromarty, Susanne Munro and Pauline Costigane re-joined the meeting.
Return to agenda order
John Coll (JC) joined the meeting
18. Health and Safety Report
JS summarised paper BM/18/47 and answered questions:
- Out of hours deposits at the KH nitrate film store was discussed. IM queried why the matter had been passed to Fire and Rescue to escalate with Glasgow Life and not to senior management. JS noted that this would be considered. Update note: it was decided not to escalate through senior management as the Library was content through the route via Fire & Rescue.
19. Visitor Survey 2018
JC gave an overview of paper BM18/48 and it was noted that the full report will be made available to the Board in due course.
(The full report has since been circulated to the Board).
- AS noted the importance of showing Library representation across Scotland — JC will share detail from the 2014 survey when geographic location was captured.
- JC advised that all points raised within the survey will be taken forward both short term and long term.
- Enhancement of the survey and promotion of its findings was discussed; utilising it as a part of wider customer service accreditation, which could also include the geographical spread of users and the use of video to highlight users from across Scotland. A mix of quantitative data with case studies is key.
- SL noted that he felt that the survey did not capture student readers — JC advised that exit interviews at the Reading Room and other data capture methods were being considered that would address this.
- It was agreed that further exploration of the survey and audience work in general would be brought to a future Board meeting or the Away Day and more time allowed for a fuller discussion.
- It was also agreed that efforts and progress in addressing user dissatisfaction with digital content should be promoted.
John Coll (JC) left the meeting
20. Date of next meeting
Wednesday 28 November 2018, Boardroom, George IV Bridge.
The meeting closed at 16.05