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Board Room, National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge Building.
Present: James Boyle (Chair) (JB), Neil McIntosh (NM), Dianne Haley (DH), Richard Parsons (RP), Fiona Robertson (FR), Jonathan Lake (JL), Simon Learoyd (SL), Charles Lovatt (CL).
In attendance: John Scally (Chief Executive) (JS), Darryl Mead (Deputy National Librarian) (DM), Richard Jones (Secretary to the Library) (RJ), Anthony Gillespie (Head of Finance) (AG), Duncan MacKay (representative from Scottish Government) (DMc), Jan Usher (TUS representative) (JU), Mungo Bovey (representative from Faculty of Advocates) (MB), Layla Smith (Minutes).
Apologies: Noreen Adams (NA), Adrienne Scullion (AS), Melissa Terras (MT), Duncan Campbell (Deputy Chief Executive) (DC).
Minutes of meeting
Welcome and opening comments
JB welcomed those in attendance and provided a brief outline of the shape of the meeting. JB extended the Board's welcome to Duncan McKay (DMc), representative from Scottish Government.
There were apologies noted from Noreen Adams (NA), Adrienne Scullion (AS), Melissa Terras (MT) and Duncan Campbell (Deputy Chief Executive) (DC).
2. Declaration of interests:
No declarations of interest were made.
3. Minutes of meeting of 23 September
The minutes were approved as an accurate record of the meeting.
4. Actions outstanding and matters arising from meeting
of 23 September 2014:
The outstanding actions were updated.
5. Loan agreements for approval:
The loan agreements proposed were approved.
The Board requested that greater detail be provided with the loan agreements to provide them with context, both of the items and the exhibition or activity they were to form part of.
6. New Scheme of Delegation:
The new Scheme of Delegation (SoD) was introduced by the Chair of the Governance Committee, FR. There was considerable discussion of the content of the SoD and the accompanying draft 'Framework document between the Scottish Government and the National Library'. It was noted that the framework document was still to be finalised and agreed by Ministers. However, it was stated that any amendments from the current draft were expected to be minimal.
Members of the Board expressed some concern about the SoD and the lack of specific financial limits in the powers delegated to the Chief Executive. There was then discussion in relation to the planned Scheme of Administration (SoA) which would contain detailed delegated responsibilities, which RJ and JS were currently working on. An initial draft is anticipated to be with the Governance Committee at their December meeting.
The Scheme of Delegation was approved with the caveat that additional wording would be added to the role of the Chief Executive to capture the financial delegation. The final form of the SoD and Scheme of Administration are to be formally accepted by the Board after the Cabinet Secretary approves the over-arching SG Framework.
7. Financial reporting — Quarter 2,
The Head of Finance (AG) introduced this paper, providing the Board with further detail where required.
There was some discussion of when the Library would receive confirmation of funding for 2016-2017 and beyond. It was noted that this would not be until Scottish Government received confirmation of the UK spending review after the General Election in May 2015. It was noted that Scottish Government had a capital investment board for the heritage and cultural sector where presentations could be made about capital plans. JS is scheduled to present the Library's capital investment priorities to this board early in 2015.
There was some concern noted at the current underspend. AG let the Board know that this was because of delay in some projects commencing and that the underspend would be eliminated over the next two quarters. There were questions on income generation and trading activities and it was noted that the Library's approach to these would be included in the strategy to be presented in a forthcoming paper at the February 2015 Board meeting.
8. Health, Safety and Security Report:
There was a question raised in relation to the Business Continuity Planning report and RJ advised that this was already under way, with completion expected by the end of the month. The Board agreed that they were content with the format of this report.
9. National Librarian and Chief Executive
JS provided the Board with an update on recent activity including his meetings with staff and the introduction of bookable diary time which was available to all staff. Both of these had received a very positive response with the diary time being consistently booked up. He also noted that he was currently busy connecting with external stakeholders and other relevant organisations.
JS said that by the end of 2014 he would have gathered sufficient relevant information to begin a full review of the Library's structure, to be taken forward alongside the development of the new Library Strategy.
It was noted that the recent launch of the Aberdeen Breviary had been very well received.
The Annual Celebration had been held on Saturday 25 October as a means of giving the Library's thanks to all those who had supported it over the past year.
JS passed around a copy of a book recently co-authored by one of the Library's curatorial staff for the Board to view; both JS and JB had attended the launch event for this and JS asked any of the Board wishing to have a copy of the publication to contact his office. JB said that where significant events were taking place involving Library Patrons, members of the Board must also be in attendance. The Board is the NLS, he emphasised.
10. Presentation — The development of Kelvin Hall by
David Gaimster, CEO of the Hunterian Museum:
Professor David Gaimster, CEO of the Hunterian Museum gave a presentation on the development of the Kelvin Hall project and how this project was beneficial to both the Hunterian and the other project partners. He outlined the potential for future expansion this venue provided for those involved and for the city of Glasgow as a whole.
11. Date of next meeting:
15 December 2014.