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BC ELN Steering Committee Terms of Reference and Procedures

Refresh Approved: December 5, 2014

Updated: July 23, 2012

Approved: June 14, 2010

(Version information: The new Steering Committee Terms of Reference was approved by the Steering Committee on June 14, 2010. Subsequently there were minor changes in the Procedures section regarding the member start-of-term dates. In November 2014, a refresh of the Term of Reference was undertaken by the partner libraries and was approved December 5, 2014.)

(This document is also available in PDF format at http://www.eln.bc.ca/docs/view.php?id=1555)

The British Columbia Electronic Library Network (BC ELN) is a partnership between the British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education (the Ministry) and its post-secondary libraries (partner libraries). BC ELN exists to promote, develop and maintain system-wide mechanisms that enable post-secondary libraries to effectively meet the expanding information needs of the provinceís learners, educators, and researchers at the lowest possible cost.

1. Mandate:

The BC ELN Steering Committee representing partner libraries is charged with determining the overall strategic direction of BC ELN, identifying specific strategic initiatives, and monitoring and evaluating the progress of BC ELN.

2. Accountabilities:

The Steering Committee is directly accountable to partner libraries for the services and operations of the BC ELN partnership.

The Steering Committee is directly accountable to the Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development for cost effective use of BC ELNís core funding.

3. Scope and Authority:

The BC ELN Steering Committee is a representative body drawn from the greater membership of the BC ELN partner libraries.

Individual members of the Steering Committee represent the interests of their constituency group or institution, and collectively work toward the best interests and success of the entire BC ELN partnership.

As the leadership group of the BC ELN partner libraries, the BC ELN Steering Committee aims to:

1. Position the BC ELN as a viable and sustainable initiative responsive to current, and future needs and opportunities by:

a. Planning, prioritizing, monitoring, and evaluating the achievement of its Strategic Plan;
b. Securing sustained funding and provincial support by effectively communicating the value of BC ELNís services to ministry officials, post-secondary administrators, partner libraries, and related organizations
c. Ensuring BC ELN business stability, continuity, and growth;

2. Provide leadership that reflects the core values and principles articulated in the strategic plan: collaboration, trust, innovation, leadership, and sustainability;

3. Operate a governance structure that promotes accountability and transparency in planning and decision making;

4. Support and model a philosophy of authentic partner engagement as essential to BC ELNí s success;

5. Recognize and celebrate BC ELNís achievements with all partners.

4. Membership

The Steering Committee membership includes the Chair and the following 11 members. One member in group 1 or 2 will also serve as Vice-Chair.


1. There shall be one Library Director elected to represent each of the following five constituencies:

a. Associate Members
b. Regional Universities and Institutes with four-year programs
c. Rural Colleges
d. Small Universities
e. Urban Colleges

2. There shall be one Library Director ex-officio or their designate from each of the following institutions:

a. Simon Fraser University
b. University of British Columbia
c. University of Victoria

3. There shall be an ex-officio officer appointed by the institution hosting the administrative functions of BC ELN


4. There shall be an ex-officio officer appointed by the ministry

5. The Executive Director of BC ELN

5. Roles and Responsibilities

A) The BC ELN Steering Committee, as a collective, is responsible for:

B) The Committee Chair is responsible for:

B) The Vice-Chair is responsible for:

D) Individual Committee Members are responsible for:

6. Key Steering Committee Relationships

A) Administrative Host Site and BC ELN Staff

Simon Fraser University Library currently serves as BC ELNís Host Site, providing administrative, financial, and organizational infrastructure. While the Steering Committee has the responsibilities listed in this document, the BC ELN Office exists as a unit in the Simon Fraser University Library and is subject to SFU policies in areas such as human resources, salaries, and financial management. An officer of the SFU Library sits on the Steering Committee to monitor issues affecting these areas.

SFU receives and manages BC ELNís base funding from the ministry but its budget is kept separate from that of the University Library. BC ELN pays an annual administrative support fee to Simon Fraser University.

Staff of the BC ELN office are employed by Simon Fraser University. The BC ELN Executive Director is at the level of Associate University Librarian within the SFU Library, and oversees and evaluates the work of BC ELN Office staff in accordance with appropriate human resources policies.

The University Librarian of Simon Fraser University with the participation of the Steering Committee Chair carries out evaluation of the Executive Director in accordance with Simon Fraser University Policy A 12.03. The Steering Committee Chair determines how partner libraries engage in the evaluation process.

The Relationship clause will be reviewed and amended in the event of a change of host site.

7. Decision Making

Partner libraries as members of BC ELN are autonomous organizations with full authority over their own budgetary decisions. The business of the Steering Committee must always strike a balance between the interests of individual libraries, the representative groupings, and of BC ELN as a whole.

To do so decision-making shall be determined by consensus. If consensus is not achievable, or it is inappropriate to the question, Robertís Rules of Order will apply.

To Promote consensus decision-making there must be:


1. Meetings

There shall be at least three meetings per year, generally in May, June, and November. Other than the All Partner meeting, meetings may be held in person or virtually as appropriate.

Quorum shall be set at 60% of voting members.

If a Steering Committee member representing a constituency is unable to attend the meeting, they may appoint a designate from their constituent group to attend and act in their place.

From time to time, the Chair may invite representatives from external stakeholder organizations in the library and post-secondary communities to attend meeting for the purpose of information exchange and communications.

Expense claim policies and procedures will follow those of the host institution, Simon Fraser University

2. All Partners Meeting

The winter meeting will consist of an All Partner meeting to which all partner library directors or their designate will be invited to attend, followed immediately by a Business Meeting of the Steering Committee. The purpose of the All Partner meeting is to bring partner libraries together to discuss issues of importance for the group. Generally a central theme is chosen for this meeting and is explored in depth. Should a situation arise requiring input from all partner libraries, the All Partner meeting would be an opportunity to discuss and/or endorse recommendations from the Steering Committee.

The All Partner meeting is chaired by the Steering Committee Chair.

3. Election and term of office of Steering Committee members

Steering Committee members representing a constituency shall be elected by that constituency for one year, and may be re-elected for a second year. Elections are carried out by the constituency each September, and the memberís term commences October 1.

4. Election and term of office of the Chair and Vice-Chair

The Chair shall serve for a term of one year commencing October 1. At the end of the Chairís term, the Vice-Chair shall become the new Chair.

The Vice-Chair will be elected by voting members of the Steering Committee at the November meeting each year. Their term shall commence immediately.

All voting members are eligible to hold the Chair position, excluding the ex-officio member representing the host institution.

The Vice-Chair will continue to represent their constituency or institution during that first year. The Chair will serve at-large and will not carry other representational duties.

If a University representative is elected Chair, a designate will replace them on the Steering Committee.

5. Subcommittees

From time to time the Steering Committee may delegate oversight of an initiative to a subcommittee under terms of reference endorsed by the Steering Committee. The subcommittee will:

6. Executive Committee

In order to execute urgent business or seek advice between regularly scheduled meetings of the Steering Committee, the Executive Director may consult with or receive advice from the Chair, the Vice-Chair, and the appointed officer of the administrative host institution collectively as the Executive of the Steering Committee. This advice is not meant to pre-empt or circumvent the deliberations of the Steering Committee but to advance business in a timely manner.

7. Term of Reference Review

The Steering Committee Terms of Reference will be reviewed at least every five years or earlier if there are substantive changes in the nature of the BC ELN or its partner libraries.