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Boardroom, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh.
Present: Kenneth Calman (Chair — KC), Simon Learoyd (Vice Chair — SL), Elizabeth Carmichael (EC), Ruth Crawford QC (RC), Alan Horn (AH), Iain Marley (IM), Lesley McPherson (LMcP), Amina Shah (ASh), Melissa Terras (MT), Robert Wallen (RW)
In attendance: John Scally (National Librarian — JS), Anthony Gillespie (Director of Business Support — AG), Jackie Cromarty (Associate Director of External Relations — JCr), Susanne Munro (TUS Representative - SM) and Kathy Hutton (Board Support and Compliance Officer — KH - minutes).
Minutes of meeting
The meeting opened with a presentation by Alison Stevenson and Jess Cooling on the preservation process for fragile moving image formats such as videotape. The ongoing project to preserve and restore videos from the Scottish Ballet's archive was highlighted. The project is due to finish in 2020 and restored clips will be available to view within Library buildings. Consideration is underway on how best to communicate availability of these upon completion.
The Board noted the comprehensive preservation process involved and potential future opportunities to work with other national organisations to preserve their digital archive. The Chair thanked Alison Stevenson and Jess Cooling for the informative presentation and both left the meeting.
1. Chair's welcome
The Chair welcomed all to the meeting.
2. Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Noreen Adams, Helen Durndell, Dianne Haley, Adrienne Scullion and Mungo Bovey QC.
3. Declarations of interests
The Chair requested any declarations be made at the appropriate time in the agenda.
4. Minutes of the meeting of 25 September 2019
The Board approved the minutes (BM/19/49) and the confidential minutes (BM/19/50).
5. Actions outstanding and matters arising from previous meetings
SL and ASh provided a brief update following a recent meeting of the Board Committee Chairs where the balance of work across all Committees was discussed. One suggestion from the meeting was to include time for horizon scanning at the next Board meeting. The Board agreed this could be useful and the Chair asked this be added to the next Board meeting agenda.
The Board noted actions were complete or ongoing (BM/19/51).
6. Draft Minutes, S&R Committee, 30 October 2019
The Board noted the minutes (BM/19/52).
7. NLS Foundation Minutes
SL provided a brief overview of the NLS Foundation. The Board agreed a reminder of the Foundation's remit would be useful at a future Board Meeting, or the Away Day if time permits.
The Board noted the minutes (BM/19/53).
8. Committee Member
The Board approved the revised Board Committee membership as detailed in paper BM/19/54.
9. National Librarian's Report
JS introduced paper BM/19/55 highlighting that the report is available on the Library website and is a valuable resource with content from the report shared at a variety of meetings.The report is also available as an annual set on request.
- The Library were winners of the Partners in Smart FM with Craigalan Controls at the recent Properties and Facilities Management Awards as well as being overall winners. The Board congratulated the Library and the staff involved in achieving this prestigious award within the facilities management sector.
- During a recent visit to New York, the Librarian carried out a number of engagements including hosting a dinner for prospects and supporters with the Chair of the American Patrons. The Board noted the Library will consider a proportionate plan to enhance its international connections, particularly as the Centenary approaches. The Librarian confirmed the Library will consider increased international contact as well as any collaborative opportunities.
- The Library continues to develop greater understanding of its digital users with work ongoing to help shape the services and content sought by users.
- The Library continues to publish datasets on the Data Foundry since its launch in September 2019. The Board agreed it was a very positive Library offering and extended their thanks to staff for the excellent progress achieved to date.
- The Doors Open Day at Kelvin Hall had embraced the shipbuilding heritage of Scotland and delivered a number of bespoke events with the National Records of Scotland and Fairfield Heritage. The Open Day at George IV Bridge included, for the first time, a series of scheduled guided tours of the conservation workshop which were well attended.
The Chair thanked JS for another interesting report and the Board also extended thanks to the Library staff for their contribution to producing such a varied report.
10. Library Plan Update 2019/20 – Q3
JS introduced paper BM/19/56 highlighting that 48 of the 52 targets are on schedule to be met.
- The Board noted the achievements to date including the recruitment of two new interns in the Digital team (Google Arts and Culture and Usability).
- The Library has also recruited a new member of staff to support the Scottish Confederation of University & Research Libraries in their work.
- AG advised three targets have been assessed as 'Amber' as they are slightly behind schedule but should still be achieved during the planning year. AG confirmed that since production of the papers, a business case has been submitted to the Scottish Government (SG) for specific fire protection improvements across the Library estate.
The Chair thanked JS and AG for their input. The Board noted the report which included useful additional longitudinal information.
11. BBC Scotland: Memorandum of Understanding
JCr provided an overview of paper BM/19/57 highlighting the two organisations would operate as strategic partners, pursuing appropriate opportunities as they arise, to promote the partnership and shared aspirations.
The Board noted the partnership offered the Library the opportunity to extend its digital reach and raise its profile.
The Board approved the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding. The Board noted the Library and BBC Scotland would agree launch details as well as governance, outcomes and appropriate measurements of success.
12. Away Day agenda
JCr provided details of suggested topics for inclusion in the Away Day agenda scheduled for 19 February. Following a full discussion, the Board agreed a focus on strategy for the day. A session to consider Board skills and how these linked to the proposed new strategy would also be useful, taking account of related output from the recent Board self appraisal survey.
JCr confirmed a draft agenda would be considered by the Governance Committee in Feburary.
The Board agreed other suggested items could be scheduled for future Board meetings including diversity, NLS Foundation update, OSCR updates and Board self appraisal full results.
13. Board Diversity
The Chair opened the meeting up to discussion with the following points highlighted:
- Consider co-opting additional Committee members;
- The importance of seeking the advice of organisations involved in work to increase the number of younger people on Boards, for example Equate Scotland and Young Scot;
- Consider how to attract a more diverse application pool as Board vacancies arise.
The Chair thanked all for their input and the Board noted the Governance Committee would consider next steps at their meeting in February.
The Chair confirmed that with his term of office coming to an end, his last Board meeting would be 24 June 2020.
14. Audit Committee Report
SL provided a verbal update from the recent Audit Committee meeting highlighting:
The appointed consultants for the GB Reimagined feasibility study will put forward a range of options later in 2020 for the Board to consider. The Audit Committee (AC) had agreed it was important to set the evaluation criteria for these options at an early stage of the feasibility study. The AC would review evaluation criteria and report back to the Board as appropriate. The Board concurred with the AC's approach.
The Library's two investment management companies provided their bi-annual update to the last AC. The investment managers follow the Library's Treasury Policy which will be reviewed towards the latter part of 2020. The investment strategy included safeguarding the Library's invested assets, income generation and not investing in any holding that might bring the Library into disrepute.
15. Quarter 2 Finance Report 2019/20
AG summarised paper BM/19/58.
- There are positive variances in relation to the Library's core income and expenditure which bode well for the rest of the financial year.
- The Library continues to work to tight financial margins and these receive close and consistent monitoring.
- The most significant item to note is an anticipated delay in budget discussions with Scottish Government which are now expected to commence January 2020.
The Board noted the report.
Stuart Lewis (SLe) joined the meeting.
16. Digital update
SLe provided an overview of paper BM/19/59 and the appendices: 'Review and Gap Analysis 2019' and Digital Roadmap.
- Updated 'wifi' has now been installed in all buildings except Causewayside where it will be completed by the end of 2019.
- The telephony project is at procurement evaluation stage with the project planned to roll out in 2020.
- Work continues towards achieving Cyber Security Plus accreditation.
The Chair thanked SLe for an extremely useful report. The Board noted the report and asked SLe to convey their thanks to the Digital team for the significant work undertaken to date and in the discipline of monitoring progress through use of the Digital Roadmap.
SLe left the meeting.
Strategic Risk Register Update
AG provided a brief overview of paper BM/19/60 highlighting the revised layout which now includes target risk scores. This reviewed layout will be adopted for all risk registers during 2020.
- Work continues on bringing the 'Significant Loss or Damage to the Collections' risk back into the agreed risk appetite, with a business case submitted to the Scottish Government as advised earlier in the meeting.
The Board noted the report.
18. Health & Safety report
JCr provided an overview of paper BM/19/61.
- Two minor incidents had been reported since the September Board with mitigating actions being put in place as appropriate.
- 'Building owners' had been introduced for each of the Library's buildings. Their remit includes maintaining the good running of the buildings and reviewing health & safety on a regular basis.
- The recent British Safety Council's audit of the Library's health and safety management system had resulted in the Library achieving an 'excellent' rating with a score of 95.46%.
- A Business Continuity Drill had been carried out at Causewayside. The exercise seems to have gone well. The results are being collated and will be reviewed for lessons to be learned. The Board thanked the Library staff involved for their contribution and look forward to receiving an update.
The Board noted the report.
19. Date of next meeting: Wednesday 25 March 2020
The Board moved to the confidential agenda item which is minuted separately.