Harrison, K.C. 1915–2006
Harrison, K.C. 1915–2006
(Kenneth Cecil Harrison)
OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born April 29, 1915, in Hyde, Cheshire, England; died February 19, 2006. Librarian and author. An influential public librarian of international importance, Harrison headed one of England's most active libraries which included national collections on music and literature. Becoming an assistant at his home town library when he was only a teenager, he was later a branch librarian in Coulsdon in the late 1930s. Returning to Hyde in 1939, he soon joined the British Army Infantry when England entered World War II. He saw action in Europe and North Africa before being wounded at Normandy. Made a Member of the British Empire for his service, he was decommissioned as a major in 1946 and returned to Hyde to continue his library work. Harrison moved on to Hove, Sussex, during the late 1940s, followed by librarianships in Eastbourne, Sussex, and Hendon, London, through the 1950s. He was hired as city librarian for Westminster in 1961, where he was in charge of the Central Reference Library and Central Music Library and would stay until his 1980 retirement. While at Westminster, Harrison combined three library authorities under the new City of Westminster library. During his years as chief librarian, he also took a prominent role in the field. He was cofounder and former president of the Commonwealth Library Association, as well as a founder of the International Association of Metropolitan City Libraries, and was active in numerous other national and local library organizations. Lecturing around the globe, Harrison also spread his knowledge of library science by authoring many books, including the standard First Steps in Librarian-ship: A Student's Guide (1950; 5th edition, 1980), and such works as The Library and the Community (1963; 3rd edition, 1977), Libraries in Britain (1968), and International Librarianship (1989); he also edited Library World during the 1960s. For his many contributions, Harrison was appointed to the Order of the British Empire in 1980 and was made a Knight (first class) of the Order of the Lion of Finland in 1976. His last publications include editing New Library Buildings, 1984–89 (1990) and authoring A Librarian's Odyssey: Episodes of Autobiography (2000).
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Harrison, K.C., A Librarian's Odyssey: Episodes of Autobiography, privately printed, 2000.
Times (London, England), May 4, 2006, p. 68.