Remembering Bob McKee
October 28, 2010 Leave a comment
A memorial event is being held today to celebrate the life and achievements of Bob McKee, until recently the Chief Executive of CILIP. All of us at the Library and Information Research Coalition were deeply saddened to hear of Bob’s sudden death while he was attending the IFLA conference in Gothenburg in August 2010.
Without Bob, the Coalition would not have come into existence. He was in at the beginning, as one of the key speakers (and much more than that) at a workshop organised back in 2006 to celebrate the life of Brian Perry, the former Director of the British Library’s Research and Development Department. Bob was a keen participant in the discussions that led to the conclusion that there was a need for an organisation to stimulate, facilitate and co-ordinate strategic library and information science research.
To get from that conclusion to the setting up of the Coalition took a long time. There were all kinds of discussions about what kind of body was needed, who should sponsor it, what it should do, and how it should be financed. Bob was quietly determined that CILIP should play a key role, and when we were nearly at an impasse over the key question of which organisation should provide the absolutely essential financial and other back-office services, Bob agreed that CILIP would take on that role. His support was unstinting, and we could not have done without him.
So we at the Coalition have a special reason for thanking Bob for his help and support, among all the many other things he did to promote and champion the cause of libraries. We shall miss him.