Notes from meeting re: future of BFI national library

Notes from meeting @ bfi Stephen Street 10 October 2011.

Present: Richard Paterson (Head of Research and Scholarship), Gabriele Popp (Head of Information), Emma Smart (Library Manager).

Ed Buscombe, Richard Collins (notes), Pam Cook.

Apologies: Annette Kuhn, Amanda Nevill, Heather Stewart.

Pam asked the bfi for an update – what had happened since our last meeting? How would the bfi undertake its consultation? What was planned for the South Bank and Berkhamsted?

The bfi said:

*       Consultation was about to begin and would be done using the bfi website during October with a processing of findings during November and publication of results late in 2011/early in 2012.

*       A focus group would take place on October 24th at 6.30pm. (GP clarification: A number of focus groups are being held throughout October, with a specific one for academics on October 24th.)

*       FAQs on the website would be updated and a newsletter issued to bfi members.

*       No further library staff reductions were envisaged.

*       Service had been maintained with the exception of the loss of one late evening closing.

*       The bfi acknowledged that accessioning and cataloguing may have fallen behind but it was committed to maintaining a comprehensive acquisition policy and the acquisition budget had not been cut.

Bfi plans are to:

*       Move the library to the South Bank by 2013. Establish some kind of segregated access – perhaps by membership, perhaps by user needs (eg a space for researchers separate from that for walk-in users) to be informed by consultation.

*       Accelerate digitisation of the printed collections.

*       Foster integrated access to the collections (including printed) on digital platforms.

*       Establish a study centre at Berkhamsted for “in depth” research.

*       Update equipment to access library holdings (eg microfiche readers, digital scanners).

*       Enable users to book materials online with a day after order delivery target.

*       Develop library staff’s digital skills including creation of an e-resources post. (GP clarification: we created a dedicated Serials & e-Resources Librarian post as part of the 2011-15 restructure which was filled with an existing library staff member. We continue to improve all library staff’s digital skills.)

The bfi wished to broaden the profile of library users but recognised that research was a key activity and that researchers were “core users” of the library.

Plans for layout and space utilisation in the South Bank library were not fixed and would be informed by the findings from the consultation.

Pam thanked the bfi, stated that the record of the meeting would be posted on the bfiwatch blog and agreed to send the draft note of meeting to Gabriele for comment prior to posting.

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