New Steering & Special Interest Groups Introduced at Birmingham Meeting

Gaz J Johnson

BCU Strip

The March 2019 Directors Board proved to be an exciting day of change, discussion and development.

Last week the Collaboration’s Directors Board met for one of their twice-yearly summits. This meeting, hosted at a sunny Birmingham City University, was an auspicious day, partly because it saw the transition to a new Chair and Steering Group. New Mercian Collaboration Chair, Diane Job (University of Birmingham) becomes the third head of the Collaboration, following outgoing Chair, Dave Parkes (DMU), and founding Chair Caroline Taylor (Leicester). Caroline served from 2014, and stood down in early 2017, following the first Steering Group elections. Dave was the first directly elected Chair and has worked for the past two years with Diane as his Vice-Chair.

The Steering Group comprising a subset of the Collaboration’s directors, works closely with the Development Officer to oversee and advance the organisation’s agenda. They also have a responsibility for monitoring and supporting the activity of the Collaboration’s special interest subgroups. One of the key tasks for the Steering Group over the next few months, is finalising and introducing the Collaboration’s strategic plan. This document has been under development and review for the past year and will hopefully be launched in the near future. The strategic plan is intended to provide not only a useful organisational resource for directing activities in a cogent direction, but also as an evaluative tool for reviewing ongoing activities.

Diane is joined on the Steering Group by new Vice-Chair Christine Porter (Newman University) and committee member Simon Bevan (Cranfield University, along with re-elected member Emma Walton (Loughborough University). Two vacancies on the Steering Group remain to be filled in the interim, with a new treasurer and further committee member expected to be appointed in the coming weeks.

Following a fascinating briefing by Jisc’s Director of Licensing, Liam Earney, on the Plan S open access proposal and its impact on scholars and librarians alike, the meeting also saw the launch of the 2018 Annual Report. The report details not only the Collaboration’s activities over the past calendar year, but also highlights the broad and exciting range of activities undertaken by the member libraries themselves.

Finally, two new grassroots special interest groups received outline approval at the Board. Expect to hear more about the Marketing and Communications, as well as the Metadata groups in the coming weeks.