Seminar Room 1, Kelvin Hall, Glasgow.
Present: Kenneth Calman (Chair — KC), Neil McIntosh (NMc), Noreen Adams (NA), Ruth Crawford QC (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), Alex Miller (Head of External Relations and Governance — AM), Linda MacMillan (Capital Projects Programme Manager — for item 12 — LMac), Janet Stewart (HR Manager — for item 16 — JSt), Alexandra de Pretto (TUS Representative — AdP), and Helen Jackson (Board Support and Compliance Officer — minutes — HJ).
Minutes of meeting
The meeting opened with a presentation by Ann Cameron (AC) about metadata at the Moving Image Archive. The Chair thanked AC for the presentation.
1. Chair's welcome:
The Chair welcomed members to the meeting. He commended the quality of the papers and noted the Board's Away Day, in February, had been useful. He also highlighted the Library's Medical Humanities Workshop, held on 15 February 2017.
[Post-meeting note: the Chair thanked W Shields Henderson (WHS) whose term as a Board member ended on 31 March 2017.]
2. Apologies for absence:
Apologies were received and noted from Fiona Robertson (FR) and W Shields Henderson (WSH).
3. Declaration of interests:
The Chair requested any declarations be made at the appropriate point in the agenda.
4. Minutes of meeting of 28 November 2016:
The minutes were approved with the following amendments:
- Item 1, NMc, SL and MT's initial appointments had been for three year periods. Their second appointments were for a four-year term
- Item 8, DH's comment had been a question about what size the development team should be
- The description of Mungo Bovey (MB) and other attendees from the Faculty of Advocates as 'observers' to be omitted.
5. Actions outstanding and matters arising from previous meetings:
The actions were all noted as completed
MT requested further information about digitisation management/ structure. JS noted a One Third Digital programme board had been set up. He proposed including a short section in future Librarian's Reports with links to documents. MT agreed with this approach
DH asked when a strategic HR report would be coming to the Board. HJ confirmed this was on the agenda for the next S&R Committee meeting and would be brought to the following Board meeting
6. National Librarian and Chief Executive's report:
JS introduced the report.
- JS highlighted the EDGE award for Kelvin Hall, the recent events hosted by the Library, and the successful public display of 'Ae Fond Kiss' and Mary Queen of Scots' last letter. He noted he had been thrilled to learn of the purchase of Alan Warner's papers
- CT commended the creative industries Community of Interest, noting the economic impact of this sector
- KC commented on the 'Thomas Annan's Glasgow' learning resource, noting Annan's photos were personal favourites
- NMc applauded the appointment of Dr Hugh Dan MacLennan as Sports Writer in Residence. JS stated funding from the Librarian's Innovation Fund had allowed the initiative to be actioned quickly
- NA commented on the benefits of the collaboration and communication platform Slack
- AS asked if there had been a step change in the range of activities. JS confirmed there had been a change over the previous 3-4 years to make the Library more visible. KC noted the Board's wish to support and develop this change.
7. Library Plan 2017/18 and budget:
JS spoke to paper BM/17/04 and highlighted:
- The Plan's structure was familiar from the previous two years
- The context of the Plan was the Library's funding and its digital production strategy, strategic priorities and enablers
- The discussion at the Board's Away Day had been helpful and had allowed refinements to be made
- The Causewayside Renewed project and upscaling of digital production were significant elements of the 2017/18 Plan
- The library management platform needed upgrading
- Momentum at Kelvin Hall was important. The site had moved to a 'business as usual' status and would develop and change as needed. Scottish Government funding had covered capital costs only, not running costs
- Balancing the budget had involved making £470k savings due to flat funding and increased costs.
The Board discussed the paper:
- SL noted that breaking even was the correct approach for the budget. He emphasised this allowed time to make strategic decisions and changes for 2018/19 and beyond
- SL queried the reduction in 'other funding'. AG confirmed this was related to the reduced cost of pay protection
- KC commended the presentation of section 4 and its ties to the Scottish Government's National Performance framework
- NMc commented on recent positive developments in promoting research and outreach
- KC and JS stated they were visiting the Mitchell Library to discuss possible partnerships
- CT suggested some targets, e.g. activity 4.2 and 5.2 (p.54-55), could be more specific. CT to email JS with further details
- CT asked whether the Audience Development Plan would be brought to the Board. AG noted it was currently under discussion by the Library Leadership Team (LLT). HJ to add to agenda for the June Board meeting
- CT suggested a point could be added about culture change, perhaps instead of the 'enablers' target about equalities reporting (p.57). AG noted the Changing Library programme fed through the targets relating to the staff survey
- RC asked if the numbers and specific items in targets for activities 1.1, 1.2 and 2.2 (pp.51-52) meant the updated Digital Preservation & Implementation Plan had already been decided. AG confirmed it did not. JS noted the point and would consider how to make this clearer in the future Plans
- MT requested the Board see the recommendations of the internal working group on the national bibliography of Scotland. JS confirmed they would be posted on Huddle. HJ to upload once available
- MT noted the benefits of making data about the national bibliography publicly available, even where content had not been digitised. JS agreed and referred to internal discussions and the new 'data foundry' section of the Library's website, which included a Scottish Bibliographies Online dataset
- DH queried the Library's offering on business information. CT noted John Coll (Head of Access) had held discussions with Scottish Enterprise to identify a gap in provision, and would be bringing a paper to the Board
- JS noted the continued £1M Scottish Government funding for the Collections Purchase Fund had allowed the Library to continue subscribing, or re-subscribe at advantageous terms, to a number of business information services.
The Board approved the Library Plan 2017/18 and budget.
8. Library Plan — Q3 update
JS introduced paper BM/17/05:
- Performance was broadly on target, with exceptions detailed. None of the exceptions was critical to the strategy's success.
- The picture was significantly better than at Q3 2015/16
- There had been a renewed push on Hidden Collections.
AG noted that items where progress had been delayed in 2016/17 had been built into the 2017/18 Plan.
9. Development Plan
AM introduced paper BM/17/06 and the Board discussed it:
- AM stated the Board's approval of the Development Plan was a prerequisite for some funding applications
- JS noted the Plan was version 1 of a working document. Future versions will be brought to the Board
- SL commended the Plan. He requested an update on fundraising challenges and resources. AM noted:
- A retiral plus the departure of the Head of Development left one remaining Development Officer. Additional administrative support had been put in place and AM was working closely with the Development Officer
- There was a push to attract more patrons, with an upcoming event in Glasgow
- Fundraising was mostly via trusts and foundations, and major donors
- SL asked if the Library would recruit to fill the empty posts. JS confirmed the area was under review, with an external consultant due to report at the end of March. He expected the review to give options on what posts might be required
- AM noted the consultant had highlighted the transition from a 'Library which fundraises' to a 'fundraising Library'
- ASh asked whether ideas for fundraising projects came from within the Library or from external sources. AM confirmed most ideas were from within the Library. However, the annual Omnibus survey asked which parts of the Collections readers would like to see digitised
- AM noted the most recent Omnibus survey showed a large increase in awareness of the Library, from 48% to 62%. The survey is in February each year and this year benefited from the coverage which followed the public display of 'Ae Fond Kiss' and Mary Queen of Scots' last letter
- IM asked how Kelvin Hall influenced the Development Plan. JS referred to growing awareness and support in Glasgow. A general discussion agreed on the importance of ensuring awareness-raising in Glasgow emphasised the Library's work beyond the Moving Image Archive
- NMc commended the idea of the 'Librarian's Circle'
- AS asked if the review would consider whether fundraising should be outsourced. AM confirmed the consultant had looked at this. AM also noted findings of a previous review which suggested donors preferred not to be approached by people outside the organisation.
The Board approved version 1 of the Development Plan.
10. Draft minutes from the Audit Committee of 13 February 2017
SL summarised paper BM/17/07, highlighting:
- The Committee had agreed a 'moderate' risk appetite for investments. This would result in some risk of short term capital loss, which the Committee recognised and accepted
- Audit Scotland, the Library's new external auditors, had attended recent meetings. SL welcomed this
- SL attended a Scottish Government event for Audit Committee Chairs in March. One of the issues raised was reviewing the effectiveness of the Committee; SL planned to approach Board Members for comments on this area
- The internal audit reports were generally good, with improvement needed on Hidden Collections.
IM noted the importance of the first bullet point on item 8, updated fraud policies.
11. Quarterly finance reports Q3/finance updates
AG spoke to paper BM/17/08, noting:
- The report covered the period to the end of quarter 3
- Good progress had been made with capital projects
- 2016/17 efficiency savings were on target
- Final costs for the Voluntary Early Exit scheme were in the process of being established.
[Linda McMillan (LMac) joined the meeting.]
12. Causewayside dashboard report
LMac provided an update on paper BM/17/09:
- Roof works had now started
- The weekly crane lifts had gone well
- Cladding and glazing works were drawing to a close
- All stone had left the quarry and was being dressed
- The project was ahead of programme, with 76.01% achieved progress against 73.81% planned progress
- The priced optional PC sums had been agreed, with two omitted and one added to the project.
[Linda McMillan (LMac) left the meeting.]
13. Board matters
- He had been considering the Board appraisal system and intended to discuss this further with the Vice Chairs. If Board members had comments he suggested they contacted him
- JS would look at an alternative day for Board meetings, to avoid Mondays, and bring a proposal to the next Board meeting. KC noted that any change to meeting dates would be advertised well in advance.
14. Draft minutes from the Staffing & Remuneration Committee of 15 February 2017
NMc spoke to paper BM/17/10.
- The pre-meeting with staff representatives had been useful. There had been a change of personnel and a good relationship had been maintained
- The staff survey was in its second year. The response rate was high. The Action Plan had been discussed in details
- Changing the pay year date was under discussion
- The non-salary benefits document circulated to staff showed the Library's commitment to being a good employer.
[Helen Jackson (HJ) left the meeting.]
15. Draft equalities report
[Minuted by AG]
- The Board welcomed the equalities report.
- CT queried whether all the graphs were required. She noted the graphs should be clearly linked to the report's narrative.
[Helen Jackson (HJ) re-joined and Janet Stewart (JSt) joined the meeting.]
Draft Equalites report (continued)
- JS summarised discussions with Young Scot about the possibility of getting a young person on the Board
- ASh summarised her involvement with CEMVO Scotland's diversity panel
- NA noted the benefits of anonymous shortlisting. JSt confirmed she had discussed this with the Library's online recruitment provider
- KC commended the draft equalities mainstreaming report.
[Janet Stewart (JSt) left the meeting.]
16. Health and Safety report
AM presented paper BM/17/12 and answered questions:
- AM provided an update on Rivo Safeguard. The Library was currently in discussions with Glasgow School of Art about a shared services arrangement, with the possible partnership with Glasgow Council looking less likely
- Asbestos had been identified in 27 ceiling locations in George IV Bridge. The asbestos register had been updated. There was no hazard to staff unless the asbestos was disturbed. All contractors and estates staff had received training. Safety stickers would be put up and a Q&A would be provided to staff
- IM asked if the asbestos was in occupied areas. AG confirmed it was mostly in stack floors, with none in offices.
[Post meeting note: the Asbestos Sampling Report was made available on Huddle.]
- IM asked if the contractor which had carried out the risk assessment and identified the asbestos was on the UK register. AG to check
- IM queried a point relating to the Kelvin Hall Nitrate Store: was it correct that the Scottish Fire & Rescue Services had recommended accepting donations? AG confirmed it was as this was the least risky approach
- IM asked for the insurance implications of the asbestos and the nitrate store to be considered — were either disclosable events? AG to check
- CT noted Board meetings should start with 'housekeeping', identifying what to do in event of a fire.
[Noreen Adams (NA) left the meeting.]
17. Draft minutes from the Governance Committee of 07 February 2017
ASh summarised paper BM/17/13, noting the Terms of Reference, Fellowships, and the Foundation appeared later in this agenda.
18. Review of committees' terms of reference
HJ spoke to paper BM/17/14.
The Board approved the committees' updated Terms of Reference.
19. Library Fellowships
JS introduced, and the Board discussed, paper BM/17/15:
- JS noted Governance Committee's useful input. As a result, the paper focused on research and creative fellows, linked to Strategic Priority 3, Promoting Research
- JS stated the aim was a manageable programme which would grow and develop over several years
- KC stated his support for the paper
- SL, commenting on other libraries providing 12-month fellowships, asked what sort of endowment would be required to generate sufficient revenue. MT noted not all fellowships were funded — some provided only a desk
- RC asked if a maximum number of fellows had been set. JS confirmed the intention was one person per fellowship, giving a total of three to six over the first year
- JS noted the first year was intended to supply an evidence base for outcomes provided by fellowships. This would feed into the Development Plan
- AS noted the selection process should be proportionate. She suggested resources might be better focused on evaluation than, for example, holding formal interviews
- A general discussion was held about the need and cost of Disclosure Scotland checks. JS suggested the cost could be paid for as part of a fellowship to lower barriers, as was current practice for Library staff
- ASh and CT spoke about business as a fellowship area. JS noted this for future expansion of the fellowships programme
- JS noted the need to be opportunistic with the programme, particularly in relation to donors
- KC highlighted the public health PhDs at Kelvin Hall.
20. National Library of Scotland Foundation update
HD introduced paper BM/17/16.
- HD noted the November meeting of the Foundation had focused on presentations from investment managers and the issue of replacing the Chair and Secretary
- HD stated that since the meeting a new Chair, Richard Burns, had been identified and appointed, as had a new secretary, Tim Gardner
- JS noted he and KC had a forthcoming meeting with Richard Burns.
[Alex Miller (AM) left the meeting.]
Foundation update (continued)
- DH referred to item 6.2 in the Foundation's minutes. She asked if the Foundation would be part of the Library's fundraising review. KC noted AM had agreed the Foundation should not be involved in fundraising
- A discussion was held about the potential benefits and issues of passing funding directly to the Foundation. KC noted the topic would be re-addressed after he and JS had met with Richard Burns.
21. Major loan agreements
The loan agreement in paper BM/17/17 was approved.
IM and CT suggested publicising the loan: it provided an opportunity for the public to see one of the Library's treasures. JS noted the Library was considering booking out the exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland for a donor event.
[Alexandra de Pretto (AdP) left and Alex Miller (AM) re-joined the meeting.]
22. Confidential agenda item: acquisition and grant approval
This item was minuted separately.
23. Date of next meeting
Monday 26 June 2017 at Anderson Strathern, 1 Rutland Court.
The meeting closed at 17:05.