Remembering Malcolm: coda

Following on from our earlier post about Malcolm Lewis, a few words from Katharine Hogg, current President of IAML (UK&Irl).

There were three Malcolms in IAML (UK), as it was then, when I joined in the late 1980s; Malcolm Lewis, Malcolm Turner and Malcolm Jones. Was it something in the name that turned them all into music librarians?

Malcolm Lewis was a kind friend who always had an eye out for new members and made a point of welcoming them to events. I benefited from this particularly at my first overseas IAML in Canada in 1994, when Malcolm, as Branch President, was also attending his first overseas IAML – the public library service then was better funded, but didn’t run to overseas conferences. As we melted in the heatwave there he made a point of including me in conversation at coffee and lunch breaks, introducing me to UK colleagues and sharing our bafflement at some of the more obscure sessions and constitutional matters.

Having said that, Malcolm was an expert on the IAML (UK) constitution, and older members of the UK branch will remember extensive debates on some finer points over the years. His indefatigable optimism was infectious, in his collaborative contributions to the Music Library and Information Plan in the 1990s, his support of public music libraries during endless financial cuts, and his continued interest in the Branch long after he retired from active service.

One of his last contributions to the branch was to nominate me for the post of President; in his time as President he set the bar high! Always self-effacing, in his final years Malcolm fought illness bravely, sharing the positive moments of his life as well as facing the stark realities of his condition. His love of cricket, pints, music and libraries remained with him, as did his humour and sense of the ridiculous. He was much loved by colleagues across the UK, and will be sorely missed.