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Boardroom, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh.
Present: Kenneth Calman (Chair — KC), Fiona Robertson (Vice-Chair — FR), Ruth Crawford (RC), Helen Durndell (DC), Simon Learoyd (SL), Iain Marley (IM), Neil McIntosh (NMc), 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), Jackie Cromarty (Interim Head of External Relations and Governance — JCr), John Coll (Head of Access — for item 16 — JC), Kate Dowdalls (Faculty of Advocates — KD), Susanne Munro (TUS representative — SM) and Helen Jackson (Board Support and Compliance Officer — minutes — HJ).
Minutes of meeting
The meeting opened with a well-received presentation by Graham Hogg (National Library of Scotland) and Anne Lyden (National Galleries of Scotland) about the MacKinnon Collection. KC thanked them on behalf of the Board.
1. Chair's welcome:
KC welcomed members to the meeting, in particular Jackie Cromarty (JCr), attending her first meeting as Interim Head of External Relations and Governance; Kate Dowdalls (KD), attending on behalf of the Faculty of Advocates; and Susanne Munro, attending as an observer on behalf of the Trade Union Side (TUS).
2. Apologies for absence:
Apologies were received and noted from Board members Dianne Haley (DH), Noreen Adams (NA) and Head of Collections and Research Robin Smith (RS).
3. Declaration of interests:
KC requested any declarations be made at the appropriate point in the agenda.
4. Minutes of meeting of 28 March 2018 and confidential minutes of Board special meeting of 23 May 2018
The Board approved the minutes (BM/18/21 and BM/18/23).
5. Actions outstanding and matters arising from previous meetings
The Board noted all actions were complete or ongoing (BM/18/22).
6. Treasures space — approval of increased budget
The Board homologated its previous approval, given by email (BM/18/24).
7. Draft minutes, Audit Committee, 14 May 2018
The Board noted the minutes (BM/18/25).
8. Draft minutes, S&R Committee, 14 March 2018
The Board noted the minutes (BM/18/26).
9. NLS Foundation update — minutes from 13 February 2017
The Board noted the Foundation's minutes (BM/18/27).
10. National Librarian & Chief Executive's Report
JS introduced paper BM/18/28. He noted this report was shown to the Scottish Government sponsor group, with a copy passed to the Minister, and used as part of the Library's annual review process. It was also published on the Library's website.
- KC, on behalf of DH, asked about the Library's plan and timetable for reviewing its strategy in relation to 'The Changing Library' programme
- The Mid-point Review, reported at February's Board Away Day, had noted the Library were on the right track. Audit Committee had been reviewing the Digital Roadmap regularly. JS and the LLT were working on internal communications about 'The Changing Library' programme.
- JS noted AG would meet separately with DH to discuss.
- IM suggested it would be useful to get an overview of the Committees' input into 'The Changing Library' programme, to avoid each Committee working in isolation.
- JS confirmed the recruitment of interns had been welcomed by permanent staff.
- JS gave an update on the 'Don Juan' ms. It had been received by the Library; the research community were aware of its new location; and a 2019 treasures exhibition was planned.
- JS noted Health at Work Week had been the best such event he'd experienced during his working career.
- FR asked for a paper on the latest Staff Survey results from HR Manager Janet Stewart (JSt). HJ to add to agenda planner.
11. Appointment of Board office bearers
KC spoke to paper BM/18/29.
The Board approved the recommendation that the four office bearers were appointed on its behalf by a subcommittee appointed by the Chair.
The Board further approved KC's suggestion that the subcommittee comprised himself, FR and NMc.
- KC asked Board members to notify him if they were interested in any of the available roles.
- CT suggested it would be useful to review whether, in future, the appointment of office bearers should fall within the remit of one of the existing Board Committees.
12. Library Plan — Q4 Update
JS introduced paper BM/18/30 and answered questions:
- SL noted he was in favour of stretch targets. He observed the Library had achieved the vast majority of its targets, and had made progress on the nine not met.
- The Board requested more information about fundraising, particularly in defining what the Library wants to achieve through fundraising and what the Board's role should be. HJ to add to list of possible topics for 2019 Board Away Day.
- The Board discussed the value of qualitative measures of outcomes, which could enhance the quantitative measures currently used. IM outlined a sample-based or case-study approach, possibly with fewer indicators.
- AG noted the Library would be reviewing its indicators following recent changes to the Scottish Government performance framework.
- ASh spoke about her work in this area at the Scottish Book Trust (SBT). She would forward a paper she wrote for the SBT Board to JS.
- FR also had examples of combining KPIs and case studies which she would share with JS.
- SL suggested the Library challenge the Scottish Government to provide support in developing more meaningful measures. AG to raise with sponsor group.
- This might be an area for discussion at the Away Day. HJ to add to list of possible topics.
13. Audit Committee report
SL gave a verbal report on the Audit Committee of 14 May 2018:
- The Q4 finance report and Strategic Risk Register had been discussed in detail.
- Procurement had been reviewed. No concerns were identified.
- Development Manager Lucy Clement had given a useful presentation.
Simon noted that in 2017 the Board had relied on the Audit Committee's recommendation, following detailed review, in approving the Annual Report and Accounts. The Board approved repeating this course of action.
14. Quarterly finance reports — Q4
AG summarised paper BM/18/31 and answered questions:
- The external auditors had approved the draft figures provided in the paper. The auditors would be giving the Library a clean audit report.
- The deferral of expenditure from 2017/18 would mean the Library was likely to run a deficit in 2018/19. This would be covered by reserves.
- NMc noted the pay negotiations had been settled, and had been positive throughout. He thanked AG, JSt, and all the team for their work. KC added his congratulations on a successful negotiation.
15. Strategic Risk Register
AG spoke to, and the Board discussed, paper BM/18/32:
- All assessed risks remained steady, with S6 reducing after the completion of the Causewayside refurbishment.
- The Library was within its risk appetite for all risks.
- The Board discussed the need to consider risks and an acceptable risk profile before any future change project; this would feed into ideas for managing the George IV Bridge Reimagined programme.
- CT suggested it may be advantageous to accept more risk in some areas, e.g. partnership working or engagement with the creative sector.
- JS confirmed the LLT used scenario planning to test how the Library would respond to significant risk events.
- NMc asked Audit Committee to reflect on the recent fire at Glasgow School of Art and the Library's fire risks. SL agreed.
- JS confirmed the new Head of Estates, Ian Symonds, had commissioned a number of surveys and reports by external experts to test the Library's robustness. These included:
- Fire strategy and management review
- CB sprinkler condition and operational survey.
- CB and GB fire detection and emergency lighting survey.
- CB smoke extract strategy review and design report.
John Coll (JC) joined the meeting.
16. Service review and opening hours update
JC summarised paper BM/18/33 and provided an update:
- The new opening hours would start on the first Monday of July, 2 July 2018. Everything was in place for this change.
- There had been no media feedback on the changes: no letters in newspapers and no contacts from journalists.
- The Board noted its thanks to JC and the staff teams involved in achieving a positive outcome.
- JS noted his thanks to the TUS for engaging with management to get the best outcome for all staff.
John Coll (JC) left the meeting.
17. Health and Safety report
AG spoke to paper BM/18/34, noting:
- Two members of the public had tripped on the entrance stairs in GB. The Library had implemented, or was in the process of implementing, the recommendations of an RNIB report commissioned in August 2017.
- The next change under consideration was the possible addition of a central handrail.
- JS noted staff had got better at reporting incidents, so all accidents, however minor, on the stairs were now reported.
18. Date of next meeting
Wednesday 26 September June 2018, Boardroom, George IV Bridge.
John Scally (JS), Anthony Gillespie (AG), Jackie Cromarty (JCr), Susanne Munro (SM) and Kate Dowdalls (KD) left the meeting.
19. Confidential meeting minuted separately
The meeting closed at 15.55