CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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Honorary Vice Presidents

These appointments were made by the Scottish Library Association (SLA) Council and later by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland (CILIPS) Trustee Board.

The information on Honorary Vice Presidents from 1925 to date was found using information compiled by Audrey Walker and from previous SLA and CILIPS newsletters.


1925-1932 Rt. Hon. William Graham, MA, LL.B, MP

1925-1960 Prof. H.J.C. Grierson, MA, LL.D, LITTD, FBA

1925-1937 Miss E. S. Haldane, CH, LL.D, JP

1925-1934 Sir Donald MacAlister, Bt, KCB, LL.D, MD

1925-1935 Prof. Robert S. Rait, CBE, MA, LL.D (Sir Robert Rait 1933)

1926-1929 Rt. Hon Earl of Moray

1927-1952 Rt. Hon Hugh P. MacMillan, KC (Lord MacMillan 1930)

1933-1952 Sir James Irvine, CBE, DSC, LL.D, FRS

1936-1965 Sir H. J. W. Hetherington, KBE, MA, DL, LL.D, DLITT

1938-1940 Lieut-Colonel J. M. Mitchell, OBE, MC, MA, LL.D, FLA

1953-1975 Rt Hon. The Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, LLD, DLITT, DCL, FRIBA

1963-1993 Baroness Elliot of Harwood, DBE, LLD

1963-1997 Sir Samuel Curran, DL, MA, PhD, DSc, FRSE, FRS

1970-1995 A. Law, OBE, MA, FEIS

1970-1997 A. Neil OBE, MA, FEIS

1976-1988 W. 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…

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, SLA News, September/October 1988

1982-1986 R. S. Walker, MA, FLA

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

1995-1997 W. R. Aitken, MA, PhD, FLA

photograph of W. R. Aitken

Born at Calderbank, Lanarkshire, before county libraries existed, but translated to Fife before he was able to notice the fact, Bill Aitken was a son of the manse.  Reared in Lochgelly, educated at Dunfermline High School, he graduated in Arts at Edinburgh University, editing The Student on the way.  Thus the pattern was set for what was to follow.  No matter where he has pursued his library career, he has filled the unforgiving minute with some literary work on the side.  His first professional appointment was at the Scottish Central Library for Students at Dunfermline under the legendary W.E.C. Cotton and more spcifically under the tutelage of a former schoolmate, Betty Murison.  Following the old adage “if you can’t beat’em, join’em” he joined Betty in matrimony just as war broke out, and the subsequent years were spent in the R.A.F. where he ended up as a technical librarian of the experimental establishment at Boscombe Down.  After demobilisation, the first step on the ladder-county librarian of the “Wee County,” then a steop over the (county) border to the “Big County.” Experience gained in Clackmannan and Perthshire paved the way to Ayr County and lastly, or rather should we say presently, to the University of Strathclyde, to the School of Librarianship, where his accumulated knowledge and experience are helping to turn out future librarians.
-SLA News, January/February 1965

1990-2006 Peter Grant, MA, ALA

photograph of Peter Grant

Peter Grant, a weel-kent figure in Scottish librarianship, was born and brought up in Greenock.  His professional career commenced in his home town where he worked in the Public Library from 1946-1950 with a year as a full-time student at the Scottish School of Librarianship in 1948-49.  He then progressed to Lanark County Libraries from 1950 to 1968 with a year in Brooklyn Public Libraries, U.S.A., in 1956-1957. He was appointed Depute City Librarian in Aberdeen in 1968 and City Librarian in 1973.

His professional activities cover a wide span of interests.  From 1959-1967 he was a part-time lecturer at the Scottish School of Librarianship.  He edited SLA News from 1961-1966, was Press Officer for S.L.A. Council from 1969-73, was Secretary of the North of Scotland Branch from 1967-72, was elected to S.L.A. Council in 1974 and became Vice President in 1975.”
-SLA News, January/February 1978

1996-2005 Alan G. D. White FLA

photograph of Alan White

“ ‘Auld Aged’ as he is known to his cronies, became the first Scotsman working in Scotland to be President of the Association of Assistant Librarians.”
-SLA News, November/December 1971

“Alan White made a huge contribution to librarianship and made friends in the process. Educated at George Watson’s College, he worked briefly in the family motor business, then joined Edinburgh City Libraries in 1956, spending his whole career there. He worked as Branch Librarian, Scottish Librarian and Reference Librarian before becoming Depute City Librarian. He always retained an interest in branch libraries and enjoyed working with architects, designers and booksellers to build or restore a library; several libraries still testify to his flair.

It is for his contribution to our professional organisation that we owe Alan most. Throughout his career, he held office in the Scottish Library Association (SLA) and the Library Association (I adopt the terminology in force when Alan served), and was proud of what he called his “professional triple crown” – the presidency of the Association of Assistant Librarians (1972), the Scottish Library Association (1980) and the Library Association (1989). Elected an Honorary Member of SLA in 1977, he was also an Honorary Vice President of CILIPS.”
-Rennie McElroy, October 2006

2000-2011 Gavin N. Drummond, MBE, MCLIP

photograph of Gavin Drummond

Gavin started his library work in Dunfermline, then moved to Perth and Kinross where he had a break while attending library school in Glasgow, in those long distant days when there were only two members of staff.  After a short stay in Perth City he moved to Bedfordshire for an enjoyable five years as Area Librarian, first at Houghton Regis, a London overspill area, and then at Dunstable. He moved back to Scotland in 1970 to Aberdeenshire, and had four “lively”  years at a time of considerable expansion of all aspects of that service, with new branches, additional mobile libraries, and great school library developments. Working there with the late Neil McCorkindale was, Gavin considers, a great experience.

1973 saw the move to Angus, first as County Librarian where he was the first professional librarian in post, then in 1974 as Director of Libraries and Museums for Angus District.
-SLA News, January/February 1985

2001-2005 Andrew Miller, MA, FCLIP

photograph of Colin Will, Theresa Breslin, Alan Reid, Liz Knowles, Andrew Miller, Frances Saline

Colin Will, Theresa Breslin, Alan Reid, Liz Knowles, Andrew Miller, Frances Saline

Andrew Miller, former Director of Libraries and Archives, Glasgow City Council, was one the outstanding public librarians of his generation. Born in Hamilton, he started his long career in Hamilton Public Library in 1954. After serving two years in National Service, he returned to Hamilton, completed his professional qualifications and took up the post of branch librarian. He moved to Glasgow in 1962, working in the Mitchell Library when, in 1965, he was appointed Depute Burgh Librarian of Motherwell. In 1967 he became a Fellow of the Library Association.

In 1974 he returned to Glasgow Corporation as Depute City Librarian under Bill Alison. Following local government reorganisation in 1975 he was appointed Depute Director of Libraries for the new Glasgow District Council. In 1981, on Bill Alison’s retiral, he became Director of Libraries, a post he held until, as Director of Libraries and Archives in the new unitary authority of Glasgow City Council, he retired in 1998.
-SLA News, December 2006

2007 Robert Craig, OBE, BA, MA, MCLIP, Hon FCLIP

Jimmy Airlie, 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

2008 Moira Methven, MCLIP

“Who am I and what do I do? I’m Senior Manager in the Communities Department of Dundee City Council. As well as being Head of Library and Information Services, my other responsibilities include adult learning, community centres and youth work. My mother worked in libraries too, so they have always been an important part of my life.”
– Moira Methven, February 2004

2010 G. Alastair Campbell, MA, BCom, MCLIP

In short, I am incredibly fortunate to work for a local authority and communities which recognise the importance of public libraries in their daily lives. Professionally I am privileged to be working in libraries at one of the most exciting times in their history.”
-G. Alastair Campbell, February 2003

2011 Alan Reid MA, MCLIP

Alan grew up and went to University in Dundee (graduating in Modern History). His first post was a trainee Librarian with Lanark County Library Service where he was based in Bishopbriggs Library for a year before pursuing a postgraduate librarianship qualification at Strathclyde University.

Thereafter he returned to the local authority as Assistant Librarian working for six rich and varied years in reference, local studies, archives and museum services before taking up a promoted post as Senior Librarian, Reference Services with Moray Council.

After five years or so Alan joined Midlothian Council as Depute District Librarian, working with Brian Osborne, who he succeeded as Library Services Manager.  Alan remained at Midlothian Council for the next 20 years before taking early retirement.

Alan is an Honorary Member and Honorary Vice President of CILIPS. He was appointed CILIPS President in 2011 and served as Chair of CILIPS Trustee Board in 2012. Throughout his professional life and  into retirement, he has retained a particular interest in local studies and the support that public libraries can give to local creative writers.

For many years Alan served as  CILIPS’ Honorary Publications Officer and oversaw the publication of a number of titles of both professional and general Scottish interest.  In recognition of that work, he was awarded Honorary Membership of CILIPS in 2000. Since his retirement he has been involved in several editing projects, of which ‘Voices of Scottish Librarians’ is one.

2018 Jeanette Castle MA(Hons) DipILS, MCLIP

Jeanette is Library Services Manager at University of West of Scotland and was the CILIPS President of 2015.

Jeanette was previously Head of Library  and Heritage Services for West Lothian Council.  She has senior management experience in both South Ayrshire  and West Lothian Councils. Jeanette is a passionate believer in the power of  public libraries to make a difference in people’s lives, and in free, open and  accessible access to reading, learning and information to all people.

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