Aspire Award launched at celebration event


IFLA and CILIP, with the support of his family, have launched the Aspire Award in memory of CILIP's Chief Executive Bob McKee, who died in August 2010. The Award will support Bob's strong interests in developing new professionals and strengthening international relationships. It will provide bursaries for new professionals to attend CILIP and IFLA conferences.

The creation of the Award was announced at a special event to celebrate Bob's professional life, held in London on Thursday 28 October, which was the date when Bob was due to hold his retirement party. IFLA's Secretary General, Jennefer Nicholson and CILIP's President, Biddy Fisher launched the Award.

IFLA President, Ellen Tise, had these words to say:

"For IFLA, the Aspire Award is a gesture to honour Bob McKee, who meant so much to the international library world and to IFLA. It is fitting that we do this with our CILIP colleagues who so generously shared Bob with us for many years and for which we thank CILIP.

The Award commemorates Bob and his contribution to IFLA and CILIP, and in particular the inspiring way he encouraged new professionals. Over the next three years the successful awardees will experience an exceptional career opportunity that will hopefully inspire them to follow in Bob's footsteps in international librarianship. May Bob's spirit continue guiding us within IFLA and CILIP through this Award."

Biddy Fisher said:

"It is a great honour to launch the Aspire Award at this celebration of the professional life of Dr Bob McKee. The joint IFLA and CILIP communities have been great beneficiaries of Bob's terrific energy and passion for libraries.

This Award is a fantastic opportunity to provide newcomers to the profession with the opportunity to network and learn from colleagues at our professional conferences. Bob always made 'first timers' feel part of the professional family, and now it is our turn to celebrate the spirit of Bob McKee."

IFLA will provide an international bursary to support a new professional from Ukraine, a country in which Bob had a professional interest. The scope of the international bursary will be widened to the whole library community after two years. The initial timescale for the Award is four years.

CILIP will provide a UK bursary to pay for attendance at either its biennial Umbrella event or its annual New Professionals Conference.

It is hoped the Award will be funded by donations, which can be made through CILIP or IFLA.

Donate through IFLA at www.ifla.org/funds-grants-awards/aspire

Donate through CILIP at www.cilip.org.uk/aspireaward

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Press contacts:


Ingeborg Verheul, Communication and Services Director, IFLA
Tel: +31 70 3140 884
Email: ingeborg.verheul@ifla.org


Mark Taylor, Head of Corporate Marketing and Media Relations, CILIP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7255 0650
Email: mark.taylor@cilip.org.uk

Notes to editors:

  1. IFLA: the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is the global voice of the library and information profession. IFLA provides information specialists throughout the world with a forum for the exchange of ideas and promotion of international cooperation, research, and development in all fields of library activity and information service. IFLA is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization, promoting libraries and defending their interests in international forums. Currently IFLA has around 1600 members (associations, libraries and individual professionals) in 151 countries. Visit www.ifla.org for more information about IFLA.
  2. CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals is the leading professional body for librarians, information specialists and knowledge managers. It forms a community of around 36,000 people engaged in library and information work, of whom around 21,000 are CILIP members and around 15,000 are regular customers of CILIP Enterprises. CILIP is a registered charity, no. 313014. Visit www.cilip.org.uk for more information about CILIP.