Approved Minute NS for Public Libraries in Scotland 29.8.14


National Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland

Strategic Group Meeting



August 2014

Robertson Trust

Present: Martyn Evans (Chair) Duncan Campbell, Jeanette Castle, Gillian Daly, Amina Shah, Martina

McChrystal, Jenny Peachey, Trish Botten, Jenny Niven, Sophie Moxon, Anne Dagg, Ian McKay,

Marion Sinclair, Rosemary Ward

Apologies: Caroline Johnston, Cleo Jones, Louise Macdonald, Helen Milner, Peter Peacock, Robert

Ruthven and Claire Stevens.

1 Welcome and apologies

The chair noted apologies from Caroline Johnston, Cleo Jones, Louise Macdonald, Helen

Milner, Peter Peacock, Robert Ruthven, Claire Stevens.

Alana Ward has stepped down from the group but will remain on the HoPLS advisory group.

2 Minutes of the last meeting on 7 July

The minute was agreed and will be available on the SLIC website

3 Matters arising

The role of the NLS further to the new 2012 National Library Act was discussed. It was agreed that the National Library had a collaborative and supportive role to play in work with public libraries in various areas and that the group would have a presentation or paper from the

National Library on this once the new Chief Executive, Dr John Scally, takes up his position.

Update from COSLA meeting

The role of the National Library


The group had a verbal update from the meeting with COSLA which took place on the

27 th

August. The response from elected members was positive. Issues raised at the meeting included, the timescales, the inclusion of support for Gaelic language, engagement with stakeholders and budget challenges.

EKOS Survey

VOCAL (Voices for Culture and Leisure) commissioned some research into the position of leisure and culture within local authorities and this will be shared with

 the group when this is launched. The new chair of VOCAL is Richard Grieveson.

Current State/ Future Questions

Some discussion followed on how much the strategy should reflect the current state and how much should it set it out a vision for the future. It was agreed that evidence and details on the current picture should be presented as an appendix

4 Engaging stakeholders: Call for evidence

The call for evidence will be in two parts. One tender to an external provider and one call from the staff and stakeholders within library services. The first will be an official tender process with a selection process and the second will be though the Heads of Public Libraries.

The timescale, value and volume of returns were raised as concerns and it was noted that politically, the time was right for developing the strategy within the timescale. There is much to learn from international examples of strategies. It was agreed that we recognise both the role of those working within the service and those who the service is for.

The structure of the questions in the call for evidence is such that people are encouraged to look forward and focus not what libraries are good at but what they are good for. It was agreed that engagement with literature and literacy should be more clearly articulated as well as the role of libraries in supporting the wider economy. The call for evidence could more accurately be described as a call for opinion and will be approached in this way. This will allow the final report to be populated with real voices.

5 Engaging the public: Deliberative research

An invitation to tender will be released in the first week of September by SLIC.


6 Additional activities for gathering evidence

Martyn Evans will attend a series of library visits in January and February to be arranged through

SLIC. A range of rural and city visits will take place across the country and these should include Chief

Executives and council leaders.

A range of experts will be asked to come to the strategic group meetings before the end of the year to encourage further discussion amongst the group on:

Performance Measures and collaboration (National Entitlement Card Team,

Improvement Service, Scotland Performs)

Digital Participation (SCVO, Ofcom, Tinder)

Experiences from other countries (Ann Matheson – Scandinavian countries, Ciara

Eastell –Society of Chief Librarians, England, colleagues from New Zealand,

Denmark and Victoria State, Australia)

7 Evidence update

Amina gave an overview of the range of statistics collected by libraries for the CIPFA returns each year. An appendix will be added to the report with an overview of statistical trends over the last five years from these measures.

Issues around measuring the value of social return on investment were discussed.

8 Emerging themes

The group discussed the importance of exploring

Aims and objectives of library services within the National Performance Framework

Literature and culture

Publishing industry

Libraries’ role in supporting various ethnic groups and socially excluded groups.

Describing what is happening now and making recommendations based on future trends.

Key actions

Arrange expert speakers Amina Shah

Arrange series of library visits

Call for deliberative evidence released

Amina Shah

Amina Shah / Jenny Peachey

Call for vision and opinions released Amina Shah / Jenny Peachey

Paper / presentation on role of National

Library of Scotland

Duncan Campbell


Review of statistical trends over last 5 years from CIPFA stats and overview for the group

Update from Creative Scotland literature review

Current position of publishing industry

Gillian Daly / Amina Shah

Jenny Niven

Marion Sinclair

Share McDonald Library work with homeless people

Share library research data from

Loughborough and investigate existence of other data

Feedback from VOCAL

Martina McChrystal

Amina Shah/ Jeanette Castle

Jeanette Castle