27 January 2016

Demise of Prof. Russell Bowden

By Premila Gamage

Russell Bowden

With great sadness and a real sense of loss we share the news of the passing of Prof Russell Bowden, an eminent library scholar on the morning of Wednesday 27 January 2016 in Kottawa, Sri Lanka. 

Russell, a Charted Librarian born in Manchester, UK worked for the British Council in Iraq, India, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and London. From 1974-1976 he was attached to the Loughborough University of Technology where he played an important role in the development and early delivery of a programme for library educators in developing countries. Russell worked for the Library Association, UK (now CILIP) as the Deputy Chief Executive for nearly 18 years (1974-1994).

As most of you are already aware Russell was very involved in IFLA activities for nearly 24 years. He was the first Vice President of IFLA.  In addition, he served in a number of IFLA Sections and Groups including Asia & Oceania and FAIFE in many capacities. Until very recently Russell was very active in the Regional Standing Committee on Asia and Oceania as a member, corresponding member and advisor.

After his retirement he came over to Sri Lanka to spend the rest of his life here. From 1996 to date he lived in Sri Lanka rendering an enormous service to the library profession and professionals in the country. Russell served in a number of LIS related governing boards and committees including the Sri Lanka Library Association, the National Institute of Library and Information Sciences (NILIS) of the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka and the National Library of Sri Lanka.

Russell was a Fellow of the Sri Lanka Library Association, an Honorary Fellow of CILIP, Honorary Fellow of IFLA and Honorary Librarian of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka. He was awarded a PhD from the University of Kelaniya in 2013 for the research titled ‘The history of the development of the Pali Theravada Tipitaka [the Theravada Buddhist canon] investigating also the possibilities of related genesis of Lankan libraries’.

Russell’s death is a great loss to all of us who knew him, especially those in the Sri Lankan LIS community. He will be greatly missed.

We invite colleagues to post their condolences on the Asia and Oceania Section’s Facebook page.

Asia and Oceania, Sri Lanka, Death announcement, Russell Bowden

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