Michael Ramsden

MICHAEL RAMSDEN, BA, MSocSc, FLA, FLAA.  inCite v. 9, no 8, 27 May 1988 pp. 9,11

Michael Ramsden has made a distinguished contribution to the theory and practice of librarianship through his research, his scholarship and publications, particularly in the area of classification and indexing, and in his contribution to the development of education for library and information studies. He has an internationally recognised reputation for his work in the areas of classification and indexing.  His books are used as standard texts throughout the world, and the workbooks published by RMIT have been made available to school of library and information studies in many countries.

Michael Ramsden has researched and made major contributions in other areas. In the 1970s he was responsible for significant pioneering research in the areas of standards and performance measures for libraries. His work with public libraries in Victoria has become a landmark study. He has a record of sustained high achievement and leadership in the field of librarianship. His work experience has seen him progress through public library positions in the UK and then levels of academic institutions, first in the UK, and then in Australia. In his position as Head of RMIT’s Department of Librarianship (now Information Services) he carried through a major reorientation of both the Department’s teaching program and its role in the Institute. The Department’s membership of RMIT’s Information technology Division represents major recognition of this reorientation.

After declining to apply for the position of Dean of the faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Michael Ramsden was then invited to do so. The fact that he then gained this position is an indicator of the high esteem in which he is held in his institution.

Michael Ramsden has been an active member and office holder in the Library Association, the Australian Society of Indexers and FID’s Commission for Asia and Oceania. He has been on the Editorial Boards of two international journals and been involved in education for library and information studies in China and East Africa. He has been a professional member of the Library Association of Australia since arriving in Australia in 1971. He was General Councillor for Victoria in 1976/77, and a member of the Standing Committee of Council, President of the Victorian Branch in 1974, and Secretary of the LAA Biennial Conference Committee for the 1975 Melbourne conference.

Michael Ramsden is a strong advocate of continuing education. He has conducted regular indexing programs for the Australian Society of Indexers,  PRECIS workshops for RMIT, and two series of  travelling workshops for the LAA on the new edition of AACR which were held in all capital cities and Townsville in 1979.

Michael Ramsden has been very active in the area of course development and course design, and led major course redesigns at RMIT, including the early introduction of computer familiarisation subjects. Since 1984 he has been heavily involved in utilising information management software packages in both teaching and research programs. He has always been very generous in giving his time and expertise to others in the interests of furthering the development of librarianship and in education for library and information studies in particular.

Sue Phillips, Assistant Executive Director