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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
The late Emeritus Professor Ken Bakewell
Article Type: Obituary From: New Library World, Volume 112, Issue 7/8
Professor Ken (Kenneth Graham Bartlett or “KGB”) Bakewell died on 31 March 2011 after a period of ill health.
He began his librarianship career as an assistant in Dudley Public Library. In 1952 he moved to Derbyshire County Library as Senior Assistant before returning to Dudley as a Branch Librarian and then on to Bexley Public Library as Chief Cataloguer. From that time he became a firm cataloguing, classification and indexing aficionado. In the late 1950s he changed direction from public to special libraries, becoming, successively, Chief Cataloguer at English Electric, Librarian of the British Plaster Board and Librarian of the British Institute of Management. His interest in indexing was stimulated by the fact that he had to index Management Abstracts as part of his duties at BIM. He had an abhorrence of any non-fiction book that did not have an index or, indeed, any book with a poor index. Ken moved to Liverpool in 1964 to work in Ladsirlac (Liverpool and District Scientific, Industrial and Research Library Advisory Council), where he became Technical Documentation Officer.
Ken entered the realms of higher education in 1966 when he was appointed as a Lecturer in what was then the Liverpool College of Commerce (subsequently part of Liverpool Polytechnic and Liverpool John Moores University). He held a number of research, teaching and administrative posts, including research coordinator and leader of both undergraduate and postgraduate librarianship courses. His research interests included information and library management, indexing, business information, documentation terminology and standards relevant to the information profession. His monographic publications, periodical articles and conference papers are far too numerous to mention but no doubt many students and practitioners will remember with gratitude his outstanding contribution to professional literature. He was a great source of encouragement and advice on getting started in research to younger colleagues. Ken progressed rapidly in the teaching profession: Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Principal Lecturer, Reader and finally Professor of Information and Library Management. On his retirement in 1993 he was conferred as Professor Emeritus. Ken thoroughly enjoyed teaching and was grateful for the opportunities provided for research, writing and overseas visits (to places such as Brazil, Chile, Germany (where he delivered a paper in German!), Norway, Sweden and Peru). He is remembered warmly as a hard-working, friendly and valued colleague, who was always ready to help students (and staff) in any way that he could.
He took a very active part in professional activities. Ken obtained his Fellowship of the Library Association (FLA now FCLIP) in 1958, became a Member of the British Institute of Management (MBIM now MIMgt) in 1964 and was an awarded a MA degree from Queen’s University, Belfast, in 1972. He was Chairman of the Society of Indexers (1977-1979) and President (1986-1991). For many years he was an elected member of the Library Association Cataloguing and Indexing Group Committee and served as Secretary for part of that time. He also served on various British Standards Institution committees and chaired Committees on “Documentation Terminology” and “Indexes and Filing”. He received a Distinguished Service Certificate for services to BSI in 1993. In addition he was a member of the International Society for Knowledge Organization (ISKO) Scientific Advisory Board. Ken was awarded the Library Association Wheatley Medal for an outstanding index (1978) and the Society of Indexers Carey Award for services to indexing (1991). He became an active member of the Librarians’ Christian Fellowship in 1980. After several years as Vice-President, he was elected President and served in that role from 1997-2002.
He edited Library Management at one time and, in 1998, he joined the Editorial Advisory Board of New Library World. He received Emerald’s Outstanding Service Award in 2009.
Ken will be deeply missed by all who knew him.