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PLAG Terms of Reference

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1. Purpose

The Public Libraries Advisory Group (PLAG) is a conduit between public libraries and local government and the Library Board of Queensland on issues affecting public libraries and State Library of Queensland’s services to public libraries. The role of the Group is to advise the Library Board regarding the development of the State Library’s services and programs to Queensland public libraries. It does not undertake the functions of the Board.

The objectives of the Public Libraries Advisory Group are:

  • to provide advice to the Library Board of Queensland on policy and strategy matters concerning public libraries
  • to represent the views of public librarians, local government and relevant stakeholders to the Library Board through formal community engagement processes.

The Library Board will define priority projects for PLAG as needed. Projects will be of significant strategic importance to Queensland public libraries and local governments.

2. Membership

The membership of the Public Libraries Advisory Group consists of the following:

  • At least one member of the Library Board, one of whom shall be the Chairperson
  • President of the Queensland Public Libraries Association, or their nominee
  • One elected local government member
  • One local government Chief Executive Officer
  • General Manager - Advocacy, Local Government Association of Queensland, or their nominee
  • The State Librarian or their nominee
  • The Director, Regional Access and Public Libraries
  • Manager Library Services, Brisbane City Council
  • One other public library manager.

Other stakeholders may be recruited as advisors at the Board’s discretion to provide expertise in addressing specific issues and for a length of time nominated by the Board. Representation of a single local government by more than one member should be avoided. Public library and local government representation will be balanced between large and small, metropolitan and regional, and north, south, central, south east and western Queensland.

Each member will take responsibility for communications with the constituency they represent, both gathering of the constituency’s views and reporting back on the results of PLAG deliberations.

The Group shall consist of a maximum of 10 members, excluding advisors.

Members shall ordinarily be appointed for a three-year period and are eligible for reappointment by the Library Board. Members will be invited to nominate proxies for the length of their term to take their place during absences. Membership ceases at the expiry of the three-year appointment, unless otherwise approved by the Library Board. Where possible, membership of PLAG will be renewed on a schedule so that at least half of the Group will have at least one year’s experience on the Group

2.1 Recruitment of PLAG members

The Library Board’s recruitment of PLAG members will be a transparent process based on the following components.

The Library Board of Queensland will decide whether a second Library Board member, other than the Chairperson, will sit on PLAG.

The local government representatives and public library managers will be recruited by invitation of the Library Board with a view to maintaining the balance of the Group for location and local government and library size. Advice will be sought from the Local Government Association of Queensland on local government representation.

The rest of the PLAG membership will be composed of those occupying the various positions designated in the membership composition in Section 2 above, or their nominees.

2.2 Observers

Appropriate institutions and individuals will be invited to nominate a representative as an observer of the Public Libraries Advisory Group. The State Librarian will invite these nominees to participate on the Group. Observers will be welcome to speak with and make presentations to the Group but will not be members of the Group.

3. Quorum

A quorum for the Public Libraries Advisory Group is a majority of members.

4. Frequency of meetings

The Group will meet in response to requests from the Library Board for advice. A minimum of two meetings per annum (financial year cycle) will be held. A report will be submitted to the next scheduled meeting of the Library Board for information.

5. Procedures

5.1 Agendas

An agenda is to be prepared for meetings with relevant issue papers attached and circulated to members, preferably at least ten working days prior to meetings. Matters are considered and decided in accordance with the agenda. Matters to be dealt with urgently may be documented in flying minutes circulated to PLAG members as required.

5.2 Minutes

Minutes of the meeting should be forwarded to members within ten working days after the meeting. The minutes must clearly identify responsibilities and timelines for action items. Minutes of the preceding meeting must be confirmed at each meeting, which includes a review of the action items outstanding. A master copy of the minutes of the meeting must be maintained by the officer responsible for the secretariat function and must contain supporting reports and submissions, etc.

5.3 Other attendees at Group meetings

The Chairperson of the Group may invite any State Library employee or other person/s to attend any meeting of the Group as required, to assist with the achievement of the Group’s role and responsibilities, but as observers only.

5.4 Reporting to Board meetings

The Public Libraries Advisory Group must report to the next Board meeting on the key issues emerging from its meeting, and specifically make recommendations to the Board on any matters requiring the decision by the Board. Reports to Board meetings should be brief and be distributed in advance to the Board along with other agenda papers.

5.5 Sign-off of Minutes

The minutes of all Public Libraries Advisory Group meetings shall be signed by the Chairperson once confirmed, and stored (along with agenda papers) on a records file.

5.6 Expenses

No fees are payable to members sitting on the Public Libraries Advisory Group. Group members are entitled to receive reimbursement for all reasonable expenses associated with meeting attendance, including traveling, accommodation, parking or other expenses. All expenses must be supported by documentary evidence of the expenditure.

5.7 Secretariat

Secretarial support to the Group will be provided by a State Library of Queensland officer, including:

  • preparation of meeting agendas including receipt of items from members and obtaining approval of the Chairperson
  • distribution of the agenda and Group papers to members
  • arrangement of attendance of professional advisers or other visitors to meetings as required
  • recording and distribution of meeting minutes to members
  • preparation of meeting reports for the Library Board.

5.8 Induction of New Members

As a form of induction, it is the responsibility of the Director, Regional Access and Public Libraries to provide new members, prior to their first meeting, with a copy of:

  • the Terms of Reference (if not supplied with the appointment letter)
  • the minutes of the last three meetings of the Group
  • PLAG Communications strategy.

The Director will personally brief the new members on issues under consideration and the administrative context in which PLAG operates.

Last updated
11th July 2017