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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/second-meeting-of-the-single-library-digital-presence-steering-group/minutes-of-the-second-meeting-of-the-single-library-digital-presence-steering-group
Meeting date: Thursday 28 April 2016: 15.00 to 17.00
Location: CILIP, 7 Ridgmount Street, London WC1E 7AE
- Kathy Settle – Chief Executive: Libraries Taskforce (Acting Chair)
- Brian Ashley - Director, Libraries, Arts Council England
- Sheila Bennett - Taskforce Secretariat
- Laura Caton – Senior Adviser: Local Government Association
- Ken Chad – Ken Chad Consultancy Ltd
- Lee Edwards - Representative, British Library
- Mick Fortune – Representative, Book Industry Communications (BIC)
- Andrew Hall – OCLC
- Ayub Khan - Representative, Society of Chief Librarians
- Nick Poole – Chief Executive: Chartered Institute of Librarians and Information Professionals
- Darren Smart – Libraries Taskforce Secondee, West Sussex
- James Speake - Representative, Tinder Foundation
- Simon Richardson - Representative, Department for Culture, Media and Sport
- Bill Thompson – Head of Partnership Development, Archive Development: BBC
- Paul Clements - Head of Architecture and Design, British Library
- Ciara Eastell - President, Society of Chief Librarians
- Martin Ferguson - Representative, SOCITM
- Neil MacInnes - Representative, Society of Chief Librarians
1. Minutes of last meeting
Minutes of the last meeting on 31 March 2016 had been circulated, and all comments incorporated. These were approved and will now be published on GOV.UK.
2. Terms of reference
The terms of reference item was a verbal update.
Martyn Evans had been approached about chairing the group, but was not able to do so. The group asked Kathy Settle to approach Roly Keating from the British Library to see if he felt able to take this role. It was agreed that if Roly felt this was not possible because of other commitments, the group would have a further discussion at their next meeting.
Additional members had been invited onto the steering group; James Speake (Tinder Foundation) was in attendance. Martin Ferguson (SOCITM) had sent his apologies for this meeting.
The issue of achieving wider engagement with suppliers was discussed. Mick Fortune offered to organise preliminary discussions using his BIC network (as all but one of the major suppliers were already members of BIC) with a view to identifying a single representative to attend future steering group meetings.
- secretariat to set up discussion on chairing with Roly Keating
- BIC to initiative discussions with their members with the aim of identifying a representative to attend future meetings of this group
3. Prototype Single Library Digital Presence (SLDP) and principles for an SLDP
At the previous meeting, it was agreed that developing a prototype would make it easier for possible users and investors to understand the potential an SLDP would offer and how it might ‘look and feel’.
Bill Thompson had discussed this with BBC colleagues and had received a positive response to helping develop ideas and create a working demo. This would aim to include BBC educational materials, already identified as having potential for use with public libraries if licensing issues could be resolved satisfactorily. This would build on the partnership which already exists between public libraries and the BBC.
Internal reorganisations in the BBC had held back progress to date, but Bill expected activity to begin shortly. He would contact other group members once this was underway to seek their involvement as necessary.
The group discussed focussing initial activity on exploring how an SLDP could increase the life chances of children and young people, as an area which tied into critical agendas in both central and local government, and would provide a useful exemplar to stimulate interest and involvement. It was reinforced that this topic would be used as an initial focus to illustrate the potential of an SLDP, rather than any suggestion that it would be the sole focus for any future product. The group considered a list of potential value propositions that could be included and tested through a prototype.
Issues which the group discussed included:
- how an SLDP could help attract and maintain the engagement of children and young people with public libraries
- covering not only traditional core library functions related to reading and books, but also extending beyond these to cover broader experience / discovery / cultural access activities to engage with young people who might not otherwise be attracted to use libraries
- ways to ensure that an SLDP seamlessly integrated with the physical libraries provision, creating a blended offering
- identifying income streams / funding options for the SLDP so it became self-sufficient (accepting that there may be a need for pump-priming before being fully established as self-financing)
- different approaches to identifying a future business model
It was noted that a prototype would aim to illustrate what an SLDP could feel like to excite discussion and reveal its potential, rather than implying that it would represent a final solution. The prototype would need to convince potential investors of the benefits and positive outcomes for users (public, library staff, partners, etc).
The group agreed that its role was to:
- set a compelling vision (including articulating potential benefits accruing to suppliers, investors, library services and end-users)
- establish core principles that any solution would need to work within (in particular, aligning to the broader ethics of librarianship; maintaining a reputation for safety, neutrality; adhering to common technology standards, etc)
- engage with potential providers to identify market views on the best way to develop, operate and fund an SLDP
On the latter point, the importance of identifying not only the technology and governance, but also a viable and sustainable business model was agreed by all. There was support to opening up discussions to stimulate and attract new ideas from the marketplace. Ways to achieve this were discussed; for example, whether approaches involving some elements of creative competitions, open hack days, open source projects on Github, etc might be effective.
The group was broadly happy with the value propositions and principles set out in the papers circulated to them as a basis for moving forward to articulate the vision. They were invited to pass any further thoughts on via the Secretariat for inclusion in future drafting.
- Bill Thompson to progress development of a rough prototype to demonstrate the validity and potential of an SLDP, involving other steering group members as the project moved forward
- the prototype will be demonstrated at the next steering group meeting
- a paper articulating a vision for the SLDP for the next 5/10 years, and the principles it should be built on, would be drawn together for discussion at the next steering group meeting
- steering group members to provide any further thoughts via the secretariat to assist in drafting these papers
The group noted that Darren Smart’s secondment to the Taskforce was coming to an end and extended its thanks for the valuable work he had undertaken to help progress them to this point. Darren was invited to remain as a member of the group if diary commitments allowed.
The next meeting will be scheduled for mid-June.
- secretariat to organise meeting for June
- secretariat to circulate the minutes of this meeting for agreement and then publish on the Taskforce’s website