CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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Honorary Secretaries

Hon. Secretary was appointed / elected / re-elected by the membership at the AGM of the Scottish Library Association (SLA) Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland (CILIPS).  1984 saw the creation of a full-time paid post of Executive Secretary for the Association due to the increase in work carried out by the Secretary.  The title changed to Director in 1992 when Scottish Library Information Council (SLIC) asked CILIPS if the Director could be seconded to them on a part-time base. This work practice continued until 2012 when SLIC and CLIPS discontinued their joint working arrangements.  

The information on Honorary Secretaries was found using information compiled by Audrey Walker and from previous SLA and CILIPS newsletters.

 

1908-1912 James Craigie
Librarian Perth


1913-1914 W. Munro MacKenzie
Librarian Dunfermline


1915-1932 Edgar H. Parsons
Librarian Stirling Library, Glasgow


1932-1935 A.B. Paterson
Librarian Glasgow

“It is only when the reading problems of children have been solved that the children will develop the kind of reading habits which will enable them in later life to use to the full all the facilities of our public library services.”
-A.B. Paterson, October 1951


1935-1940 A.G. MacKay
Midlothian Libraries

Born in Glasgow in 1899, he was educated at North Kelvinside Higher Grade School and, at the age of 16, began his career in The Mitchell Library.  Apart from a period of 15 months which he spent in the Army, he remained in The Mitchell, engaged in a variety of duties for ten years. In May 1925 he became District Librarian, first at the Anderston District Library and later at Shettleston and Tollcross District Library, with added administrative duties in the Superintendent’s Department.

In January 1931 he was appointed County Librarian to Midlothian in succession to Mr. Robert Butchart where he remained for 31 years.
-November/December 1962


1940-1941 William B. Paton, FLA.
Central Library Wallace Sq

“To assume the high office of President of the Scottish Library Association is an exciting prospect in any circumstances; it is doubly so at this juncture when the promise of new development in library affairs is bright and the professional atmosphere is livened with an exhilarating breeze of expectancy portending great events.”
-William B. Paton March 1955


1942-1943 Angus G. MacKay
Midlothian Libraries

Born in Glasgow in 1899, he was educated at North Kelvinside Higher Grade School and, at the age of 16, began his career in The Mitchell Library.  Apart from a period of 15 months which he spent in the Army, he remained in The Mitchell, engaged in a variety of duties for ten years. In May 1925 he became District Librarian, first at the Anderston District Library and later at Shettleston and Tollcross District Library, with added administrative duties in the Superintendent’s Department.

In January 1931 he was appointed County Librarian to Midlothian in succession to Mr. Robert Butchart where he remained for 31 years.  -SLA News, November/December 1962


1944-1953 William Stewart, ALA.
Librarian Hamilton

photograph of William Stewart

In his earlier years, William Stewart belonged to that group of assistants in the Mitchell Library, Glasgow, referred to by a prominent librarian in the south as the ‘younger Glasgow school’ which would make a distinctive mark in the profession.  Whatever the others of those days may have done, William Stewart has certainly made his presence felt in a way that has been recognised and appreciated by a wide circle of colleagues and friends in many parts of the country.

Born in Glasgow, his service in the Mitchell commenced in 1927, and his grounding in the technique of librarianship could not have been gained in a better field.  He remained there until 1940, when he was appointed Burgh Librarian in Hamilton. Thus the road he took was from the west, slightly to the east, which is not the way the ancients said that wise men travel.  His work over the years at Hamilton, however, has proved him a man of many interests as well as a librarian of resource and energy… Mr. Stewart’s development of the library service in Hamilton is well known to all.  His remodelling of the Central Library and inauguration of branches have provided the townsfolk with facilities of the highest order and book provision which is second to none.
-SLA News, November/December 1969


1954-1960 Alex Dow, FLA.
Librarian & Clerk Coatbridge

photograph of Alex Dow

Mr. Dow is sometimes spoken of as the most gadget-minded librarian in Scotland, but he holds very strong opinions on the development of labour-saving devices to streamline the necessary organisation as much as possible.”
-Quote from SLA News, August 1958

Mr. Alex Dow, Burgh Librarian of Coatbridge, retired in October after 44 years’ service in the library profession.  To mark the occasion, a dinner in his honour was held in Glasgow on 11th October and was attended by nearly 70 guests… Certain outstanding events in his career were referred to-his Secretaryship of the Association followed by his two years as President, the Strathclyde Librarians’ Club Dinner at the Library Association Conference in 1951, where he distinguished himself as chairman, and the now famous dash to London with Messrs Purdie and Paton which culminated in the passing of the Public Libraries (Scotland) Act, 1955.”
-SLA News, September/October 1967


1961-1966 N. R. McCorkindale, DFM ALA.
Burgh Librarian Galashiels
Chief Librarian, North East Scotland Library Service

photograph of Neil R. McCorkindale

“The aim of every librarian must be to foster through the reading of more and better books a wider, more discerning public able to exploit education and knowledge to enrich more fully their own lives and those of their fellow citizens.”
-N. R. McCorkindale, November/December 1970


1967-1974 Robert S. Walker, FLA.
Department of Librarianship
University of Strathclyde

photograph of R. S. Walker

Into the ‘hot-seat’ goes another Association personality, Robert S. Walker, Lecturer in Librarianship at the University of Strathclyde.  Born in 1921 and educated at Hamilton Academy, Robert Walker joined the staff of Lanark County LIbrary in 1921 and educated at Hamilton Academy, Robert Walker joined the staff of Lanark County Library in 1939 under the late Alfred Ogilvie.  War interrupted his career, and he served in the Royal Navy from 1941-1946, returning to the Lanark County staff as Branch Librarian at Larkhall from 1947 to 1952. Moving to Headquarters, he was in charge of the Accessions Department from 1952 to 1957, and the Circulation Department from 1957 to 1960.  Turning to lecturing, he joined the staff of the Liverpool Library School in 1961, returned to Scotland in 1963 to the then Scottish School of Librarianship… With a particular flair and enthusiasm for editorial work, he serviced as the second Honorary Editor of S.L.A. News, and was responsible for the introduction of photographs and the design of the journal’s present format.


-SLA News, January/February 1967


1975 William B. Paton, OBE MA FLA

photograph of William B Paton

Born in Glasgow and educated at Allan Glen’s School, he began his library career in the Mitchell Library in 1925.  After a brief interval at Watford, he was appointed Chief Librarian of Airdrie in 1931 when only 24 years old, and for the rest of his library career, he was based in Scotland.

When Mr. Paton moved to Greenock in 1939, three months before the outbreak of war, his concentration on library affairs was interrupted, at first partially by the blitze and his duties as administrator of the Emergency Relief Organisation, and then totally when he joined the Royal Artillery… When the Scottish School of Librarianship was set up in 1946, Mr. Paton became its first and only full-time lecturer…I do not know if Mr. Paton took over Lanark County Libraries in 1950 with a sense of freedom; but he certainly trapped like a whippet.  The system to which he succeeded was ripe for consolidation, modernisation, and all three proceeded with speed and urgency…

SLA News, 1988

“Throughout his distinguished and eventful life, William Bryce Paton was a man of integrity, a warrior who stood up and spoke up for all he believed in.  He fought a good fight, he finished the course and he kept the faith.”
-Peter Grant September/October 1988


1976-1980 Michael C Head, ALA.
Robert Gordon’s Institute of Technology

photograph of Michael Head

Michael Head had a mandatory stint in the National Service, after which he worked in several positions until 1964 when he started working for Leeds Reference Library.  In 1970, he took the train north and began work at Robert Gordons University. He was secretary of the SLA between 1976-1980. He was a Senior Lecturer and an Open University graduate at the time of his presidency.  After ten Aberdonian winters under his belt, he became an English President of the Scottish Library Association in 1982.
-SLA News, January/February 1982


1981-1984 Robert Craig, BA MA ALA

photograph of Robert Craig

Robert studied librarianship at the University of Strathclyde where he won prizes for best overall performance as well as for Bibliographic studies.  He joined Lanark County where he held positions in Branch and Mobile Libraries, took charge of the Circulation Department, set up the Bell Educational Resource Centre for teachers and became Depute County Librarian in 1974.  After Local Government reoganisation, he was appointed Principal Educational Resource Librarian for Glasgow Division where he established the Woodlands Teachers Centre. Robert lectured in Public Library Management, International and Comparative Librarianship and Historical Bibliography  at the Department of Librarianship and Information Science at the University of Strathclyde from 1978-1985, when he became the first Executive Secretary to the Scottish Library Association.  -SLA News, May/June 1985


1985 – Executive Secretary – first full-time paid post

1985-1992 Robert Craig, BA MA ALA

photograph of Jimmy Airlie and Robert Craig

Jimmy Airlie and Robert Craig