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Terms of Reference

Interim Terms of Reference and Procedures for the BCDL Steering Committee

Approved April 21, 2017


Steering Committee members initially are drawn from organizations, including BC libraries, archives, museums, and their associations that responded to the BC Government Provincial Digital Library (BCDL) announcement, and that have participated in early conversations to shape the initiative.

These interim terms outline the role of the Steering Committee for the BCDL in the implementation phase of the project, including membership, accountabilities, and relationships with task groups and allied organizations.

In the interim, Steering Committee operations are facilitated by the BCDL Admin Team, comprised of in-kind staff contributions from participating organizations.


1. Mandate:

The BCDL Steering Committee has been formed and tasked by a consensus of knowledge and memory organizations to guide a phased, multi-year project that will fulfil the vision of digital access to the intellectual, historical, and cultural record of the Province. The BCDL initiative emerges from a vision posed by government to expand public access to the knowledge of the British Columbia.

2. Accountabilities:

Through collaboratively-defined Guiding Principles, the Steering Committee commits to act for the public good.

Accountabilities are demonstrated through regular public communications about activities related to the BCDL, and through ongoing consultation with stakeholders. The BCDL Steering Committee aims to operate in a manner that promotes accountability and transparency.

3. Scope and Authority:

Members of the Steering Committee collectively represent the best interests and work for success of the BCDL as a whole. The Steering Committee

  • determines strategies and initiatives to meet shared goals and objectives.
  • ensures the appropriate and effective use of contributed resources
  • and guides operations.

The organizations that Steering Committee members may represent are autonomous with respect to policy and budget.

4. Membership

Presently, to promote efficient and sustainable collaboration, the Steering Committee has a cross-sector, composition.

Steering Committee members initially are drawn from organizations, including BC libraries, archives, museums, and their associations that responded to the BC Government Provincial Digital Library (BCDL) announcement, and that have participated in early conversations to shape the initiative.

Composition of the Steering Committee should be balanced and not exceed twenty members. Applications from prospective members are reviewed by the Steering Committee as a whole.

5. Roles and Responsibilities

These officers are elected by voting members of the Steering Committee:

Chair (must be voting member) - 1 year term renewable for up to 2 years. Responsible for:

  • Providing leadership to the Steering Committee;
  • Arranging administrative support for the Steering Committee;
  • Conducting Executive and Steering Committee meetings;
  • Planning and communicating meeting agendas, actions, and records of decision; and
  • Supporting Committee functioning to reflect the BCDL Guiding Principles.


Vice Chair - 1 year term renewable for up to 2 years. Responsible for:

  • Acting as Chair in the case of the Chair’s absence;
  • Assisting the Chair in their role and responsibilities as required.

Steering Committee liaisons to ongoing committees are determined through overlapping membership, or may be appointed by the Chair or filled through consensus of the group. These include:

  • BCDL Admin team liaison
    • The BCDL Admin team liaison provides ongoing communication between the Administrative team and the Steering Committee.
  • BCDL Technology Committee liaison
    • Provides ongoing communication between Admin Team technical resources and the Steering Committee.

Additional task groups and their leadership may be determined by the Steering Committee on a case by case basis as needs arise.

The Executive

The Executive of the BCDL is derived from the greater membership of the BCDL Steering Committee. The Executive provides leadership for the BCDL, assists with the tasks of the Chair, and ensures that objectives are met.

The Chair, Vice Chair, Admin Team Liaison, and BCDL Technology Chair, will be known as Officers of the Steering Committee and will act as the Executive.

6. Decision Making

Where possible, the Steering Committee makes decisions by consensus. If consensus is not achievable there will be recourse to decision making by vote. Decisions brought to a vote require approval by two-thirds of members present. Decisions that do not meet with approval may be referred to the Executive for review and further action.

These matters require decision by vote:

  • Finances
  • Membership recommendations
  • Strategic plans
  • Adoption or amendment of terms of reference or other governance documents
  • Election of officers



1. Meetings

There shall be at least 3 meetings per year. At least one of those meetings will be in person.

Quorum is set at 60% of the Steering Committee.

If a member is unable to attend a meeting, they may appoint an informed and appropriate designate to attend and act in their place. If members do not attend any meetings throughout the year, nor arrange for a designate, a replacement for them may be considered by the Steering Committee.

2. Minutes

Steering Committee minutes, once approved, will be posted on the BCDL website, and will be available to the public.

3. Terms of office of Steering Committee members

These Steering Committee positions are not elected, but are held by appointed representatives of these member organizations:

  • Archives Association of British Columbia
  • Association of British Columbia Public Library Directors
  • British Columbia Library Association
  • British Columbia Museums Association
  • Council of Post Secondary Library Directors
  • First National Technology Council (FNTC)
  • First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC)
  • Royal British Columbia Museum

These additional positions are filled by appointees from these organizations:

  • Post Secondary Library member at large
  • Public Library member at large
  • British Columbia Library Association
  • BC Libraries Cooperative
  • BC Electronic Library Network

These positions are held by executive directors of enabling agencies:

  • BC Libraries Cooperative Executive Director
  • BC Electronic Library Network Executive Director
  • British Columbia Library Association Executive Director

3. Task Groups and Committees

From time to time, task groups or other committees may be established by the Steering Committee, using Members and/or appointees from Member organizations, to execute specific tasks. Task groups and committees will report their activities and recommendations to the Steering Committee in a timely manner, and are expected to:

  • Present progress reports at each Steering Committee meeting
  • Make recommendations to the Steering Committee for final decision on strategic, financial, or operational matters.
  • Dissolve once their mandate has been achieved or by decision of the Steering Committee.

Revision of terms

Terms and procedures will be affirmed or revisited every year or at the discretion of the Executive at a formal meeting of the Steering Committee.