Terms of Reference

What is the Mercian Collaboration?

The Mercian Collaboration is a professional network formed from SCONUL member libraries in the East and West Midlands of England. 

What are its aims?

The Mercian Collaboration provides a space to work together to explore training and development and to seek efficiencies on behalf of our institutions and the wider community. Members will draw on their own and each other’s good practice and ideas, as well as their awareness of relevant ideas and developments from outside the Collaboration.

How will it achieve these?

The Mercian Collaboration will work in a number of ways to further its aims, for example:

  • Developing and progressing a plan and programme for the Group
  • Holding meetings to conduct the business of the Group
  • Offering Member events
  • Working with other groups to provide training and development opportunities for awareness-raising, skills development and professional thinking to support the range of Members’ requirements
  • Engaging the skills and experience of Members’ staff in shared approaches to opportunities and challenges
  • Developing relationships with and learning from others who share similar interests.

A Steering Group and the Mercian Collaboration Development Officer manage the day to day operations.


Library services in the East and West Midlands who are members of SCONUL are eligible to be Members of the Collaboration.

Funding the Collaboration

The Collaboration will obtain funding to support its activities. This will be achieved through charges on Members and by other agreed means. Cost models will be proposed by the Steering Group for consideration by Members.


Directors of Member Libraries will form the governing body of the Collaboration.

The Directors will elect a Steering Group that will have oversight of the Collaboration’s activities and ensure progress of its plans. The Steering Group will hold separate meetings as necessary.

The core Steering Group will comprise a Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer; with the Executive Officer as an ex-officio member. The period of office of the members of the Steering Group will normally be 2 years. Officers will be eligible to stand again after these periods for a maximum of 2 years. The Vice Chair will become Chair for two years with no immediate eligibility for re-election to either office (Chair or Vice Chair). 

Additionally, 3 other Steering Group Members will be elected from among the other Directors, to support and advise the Steering Group’s Officers. Other Directors may be co-opted as required.

Executive Officer

The Executive Officer is employed by SCONUL on behalf of the Collaboration, and reports directly to the Chair.  The Officer’s role is to assist the Mercian Collaboration in achieving its agreed objectives including delivering shared projects, services and development opportunities across the region.  Additionally, they facilitate communication as well as encouraging the experience and expertise exchanges among members.


The Collaboration will normally meet at least twice a year. Directors are expected to attend the meetings; exceptionally, a nominee may substitute.

This revision 6.1, Board approval sought 4th October 2021