The Board and Chair have a broad range of skills, knowledge, and experience. It is expected that these will include knowledge and enthusiasm for areas such as libraries and other cultural providers and their role in society, life-long learning knowledge and information management, and widening public access and participation to all of Scotland’s communities, including through digital delivery. The appointed Chair will also lead the development and the delivery of a new strategy, building on the 2021-2024 strategy The successful applicant will have experience of serving on a Board in an organisation going through organisational change, and operating within a very challenging financial climate. They will already have a public profile in Scotland, be a confident and engaging communicator and a passionate advocate on behalf of the libraries across Scotland. They will have the capacity to give the role the time commitment necessary to be successful.
The Chair of the Board has particular responsibility for:
Leadership, Strategy and Communication
- Providing strategic leadership, considering long term vision, and setting appropriate goals for SLIC
- Chairing Board meetings in a manner that facilitates constructive discussion, managing conflict and negotiating compromise when required.
- Championing the organisation’s overall mission and strategic direction in a changing and challenging environment
- Leading the Board while remaining resilient to the challenges ahead, particularly in the context of financial challenges.
- Ensuring that the Board, in reaching decisions, takes proper account of its statutory duties, and the policy and resource framework agreed with Scottish Ministers.
- Having oversight of the achievement of the outcomes in the Strategic Plan in conjunction with the SLIC Chief Executive.
- Ensuring effective corporate governance, and that the principles of public life and public accountability are followed.
- Maintaining progress in delivering on SLIC priorities.
Collaboration and Advocacy
- Representing SLIC publicly in an ambassadorial role.
- Communicating the vision and representing the views of SLIC to diverse audiences including SLIC members, government, the media, a range of sectors and other stakeholders
- Influencing and engaging key stakeholders in the political, cultural, private, and other relevant arenas.
- Being able to develop and maintain relationships with key donors, and potential and actual funders on a peer-to-peer basis.
- Supporting the growth and diversification of income streams.
Organisational Performance and Governance
- Ensuring that SLIC operates in accordance with the Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework
- Being responsible for ensuring that SLIC operates in accordance with its Scheme of Administration including chairing Board meetings and ensuring that all Board Committees function in line with expectations for effective governance processes.
- Ensuring that all new members of the Board are fully briefed on the terms of their appointment and on their duties, rights, and responsibilities, and that they receive appropriate induction training.
- Conducting and assessing appraisals of the performance of individual Board members on an annual basis.
- Acting as line manager of the Chief Executive including setting objectives and conducting appraisals of the performance of the Chief Executive.
At present the Chair is expected to spend on average 2 days (or approximately 30 hours) per month on Board business. This will be spread unevenly over the month. However there will be periods when pressure of business will require additional time. This time commitment is also likely to increase in 2024 in support of the development of SLIC’s new strategy.
The formal time commitment includes:
- The preparation for and attendance at three Board meetings a year (and one strategic Away Day session)
- Involvement in additional meetings, consultations and events, including discussions with Ministers and other stakeholders, and the representation of SLIC’s interests
- Engaging with and being visible to SLIC staff
- Acting as line manager for the Chief Executive
- Limited involvement in the work of the committees established to deal with particular aspects of the Board’s business (e.g., governance, audit and staffing & remuneration) and/or other related groups (e.g. high-level advisory groups)
- The Chair is also expected to attend some of the cultural and fundraising events and other activities organised by SLIC.
- AGM and Annual Showcase
The Board usually meets three times per year, plus an annual strategic ‘away day’. The Board meetings are usually held in central Glasgow, however since 2020 they sometimes take place by video conference. The Board meetings in the diary following the new Chair appointment are as follows:
Board Away Day – 23-24 January 2024
Board meeting – 20th March 2024
Board meeting – 19th June 2024
Board meeting – 18th September 2024
AGM and Showcase– 1st November 2024
Length of Term of Appointment
The appointment will take effect from November 2023 Members’ terms of appointment, including the Chair, are normally three years.
On the expiry of the appointment, the successful candidate is eligible for reappointment subject to evidence of effective performance; and satisfying the requirements of the person specification for the role at the time of reappointment. The combined length of an appointment cannot exceed six years.
Remuneration and Expenses
Appointment as a Chair or Board member is unpaid. Reasonable travel and subsistence, childcare and carer receipted expenses that appear to SLIC to be necessary for the proper discharge of duties as a member of the Board will be reimbursed.
Meet our Board
If you have any queries you are welcome to contact Catriona Mackie, David Currie or Angela McGoogan, at Aspen People, on 0141 212 7555.
If you would like to find out more about SLIC before you apply, we would encourage you to visit the website www.scottishlibraries.org. We hope that you will give serious consideration to applying.
Thank you again for your interest.