BRICMICS Terms of Reference and Governance

1. Preamble

The British and Irish Committee on Map Information and Cataloguing Systems (BRICMICS) is a group of institutions and professional societies, together with major producers of cartographic products, involved with the preservation and dissemination of cartographic heritage within the British Isles. It exists to exchange views and information and to monitor issues and shape developments affecting map libraries and archives.

This document is the result of a review of the future of the committee begun after the December 2015 meeting. It follows a similar review carried out in 2001. It is recommended that another review should be undertaken no later than 2030.

2. Terms of reference

2.1 Information exchange – The committee should provide an opportunity for members to exchange information about activities within their institution or organisations and for other members to query and discuss those activities. This strong forum for information sharing will allow for closer cooperation between members and enable coordination of work, e.g. in digitisation projects.

2.2 Consultation – The committee should provide an opportunity for map producers and map collections to consult together on matters of mutual interest and to act as a forum for major stakeholders in the sector.

2.3 Expertise – The committee should aim to be seen as the expert body for matters relating to cartographic collections and map curatorship in the British Isles. It should provide a formal professional focus for curators and producers and a source of expertise and helpful advice for other professionals working with maps, such as custodians of regional and local map collections, as well as representing the sector to the wider world. The committee should also strive to be a forum through which members can learn and develop further skills.

2.4 Lobbying – The committee should provide an opportunity for curators and producers of maps within the British Isles to lobby government and other bodies on matters that have a direct impact on the sector, to advocate for map collections and related issues, and to inform and influence decision makers. The committee should also seek ways to publicise its work amongst the wider library and archives community.

2.5 Areas of interest –

  • Matters relating to the acquisition, cataloguing, access, storage and conservation of cartographic materials.
  • Digital mapping: born digital and digitised paper mapping as well as digital preservation and data integrity.
  • Legal issues affecting the sector, e.g. copyright legislation, legal deposit regulations, etc.
  • Closure of map collections and dispersal/destruction of paper mapping.
  • Training opportunities for people working with map collections.
  • The promotion of collections through exhibitions, lectures, publications, internet access, etc.

3. Governance

3.1 Membership

3.1.1 Criteria for membership – Membership is institutional by invitation, and includes representatives from major map collections, producers and professional bodies. The current membership is listed here (Appendix one in the original documentation). Suggestions for new member institutions should be made to the Chair, who will bring them before the committee for discussion. The committee will decide whether the prospective member should be invited to join and if so, whether as a full or corresponding member, said decision being made by a simple majority vote.

3.1.2 Full members – attend meetings and provide reports on the activities of their institutions or organisation. Institutions will normally send a member of staff with a working knowledge of the field of activity in which the committee is active. Should the usual representative be unavailable to attend a meeting then the secretary should be informed if an alternative representative is being sent in their place. Full members may stand for election as officers of the committee.

3.1.3 Corresponding members – do not attend meetings normally, but do send and receive institutional reports. They may be invited to attend a specific meeting by the Chair if their attendance is felt necessary or useful at that meeting. They do not take part in elections for officers.

3.1.4 Ending membership – should an institution/organisation wish to end its membership of the committee, a representative of that institution/organisation should inform the Chair of their intention and their withdrawal will be announced to the membership by the Chair.

3.1.5 Should a member institution/organisation cease to take part in the work of the committee, e.g. by not attending meetings or delivering reports for two years then the Chair should bring the matter to the committee for discussion.

If it is felt that this situation will not change then the Chair should be tasked with enquiring of the institution/organisation whether they wish to continue to be members of the committee, in the case of a full-member, it may be suggested that they become corresponding members instead.

3.1 Officers

3.2.1 Criteria for officers – Officers must be full members of the committee. In addition, the Chair should have the capacity to represent the committee at a national (and preferably international) level, and have enough expertise and experience in the field to speak with authority and confidence on issues affecting map production and curatorship.

3.2.2 Election of officers –

  • When a position becomes vacant, for whatever reason, the Chair will issue a call for nominations to the position, allowing at least one month for nominations to be made.
  • Nominations must be proposed and seconded; nominees must be full members of the committee.
  • If more than one nomination for a post is received then an election must be called and the Chair must appoint an Electoral Officer to oversee the election, said appointment must be made within one week, if possible.
  • The Electoral Officer is responsible for informing the entire membership of the candidates, their proposers and seconders. This formal notification will be taken as the opening of voting. In this message the Electoral Officer will also inform members of the voting procedures and set a date and time for the end of voting of one month after the date of this communication.
  • The election will be carried out using one of the following methods:
    • Anonymised online poll
    • By email
    • By postal ballot

The method to be selected by the Electoral Officer as they see fit.

  • Each institution/organisation will have one vote.
  • The Electoral Officer will not make known the voting preference of any member to any other member or any third party.
  • Once the closing date of the election is reached the Electoral Officer will announce the candidate elected to office within one week.
  • Newly elected officers will normally take up their responsibilities as the first order of business at the next meeting, unless the current officers are unable to continue in post until that time, in which case they will take up their responsibilities immediately.

3.2.3 Term of officers – Officers will normally serve for a term of five years, however, should an officer wish to continue to serve at the end of this period and if no other candidates present themselves, and the committee agrees, they may continue in office for a further term of five years, without the need for an election. Should the Chair wish to relinquish office before completing their five year term they must initiate the process set out in 3.2.2. Should the Chair be unable to continue in post for any reason the Deputy Chair will become acting Chair and initiate the process set out in 3.2.2.

Should the Secretary or Deputy Chair wish to relinquish, or be unable to continue in office, they should inform the Chair, who will initiate the process set out in 3.2.2.

3.2.4 Duties of officers –

  • The Chair is responsible for chairing the meetings and issuing any statements made by the committee. The Chair will also sign any correspondence issued on behalf of the committee, including formal invitations to join the committee. The Chair will set the agenda for the meetings in consultation with the membership.
  • The Deputy Chair will chair any meeting where the Chair is unable to attend and will undertake other duties of the Chair as necessary.
  • The Secretary is responsible for keeping the minutes of meetings and for ensuring that said minutes are made available to the membership within one month of the meeting. The Secretary will organise the meetings, in consultation with a representative of the host institution. The Secretary will ensure that all reports received are sent out to the membership at least one week prior to the meeting along with the agenda for the meeting and any other relevant paperwork. The Secretary is responsible for the drafting of any correspondence or statements to be made by the committee, in consultation with the Chair and any other relevant members.
  • The Electoral Officer will be a full member of the committee who is not standing for election to any post, and who has not proposed or seconded any member for election. The Chair will appoint the Electoral Officer to oversee the election of new officers.

3.3. Meetings

3.3.1 Frequency – Meetings will be held, face-to-face, twice a year; a spring meeting, usually in May and an autumn meeting, usually in November.

3.3.2 Location – The Spring meeting will be peripatetic, usually held in a different part of the country every year. The autumn meeting will also be peripatetic if a suitable venue can be found, if not, then this meeting will be held at the British Library.

3.3.3 Content – The agenda will be set by the Chair prior to the meeting. Each institution/organisation will provide a written report to the committee, via the Secretary, at least one week prior to the meeting, to allow all reports to be disseminated to the membership, this will allow time for members to read all the reports and formulate any questions, thus allowing more time in the meetings for discussion. (A standard format for the agenda was attached as Appendix two to the original documentation).

3.3.4 Wherever possible meetings will be arranged so as to take advantage of any relevant events or activities happening at or near to the meeting venue, e.g. conferences, symposia, lectures, exhibitions etc. It is hoped that this will encourage participation and also justify members travelling to the meeting.

3.3.5 The committee may establish work-parties and sub-committees to consider relevant matters outside the normal meeting schedule, e.g. the digital working group.