Citation: John H. Roberts, 2014, Antwerp

Honorary Membership is given to John Roberts in recognition of his long service to IAML in many capacities, notably as President and most recently Chair of the Committee responsible for drafting the new Constitution.

We feel that John has fulfilled the criteria for this honour through his active IAML membership and leadership roles, which have continued well after his term on the Board was over. Following statement by Martie Sievert.

I met John Roberts when I attended my first conference in 1991. John Roberts was already one of the more prominent participants, acting as chair of the Bibliography Commission. John served IAML in many other capacities. He was a member, and chair, of the  Publications Committee,  and a member of the Commission Mixte of RISM. John also served on the Board of Directors of IAML-US. We should not underestimate his role in the merger (a couple of years ago) of IAML-US and MLA.

In 1995 John Roberts was elected Vice-President, re-elected in 1998 and he served as IAML’s President from 2001 to 2004, followed by 3 more years as Past-President.

Since 1998, the year I was appointed treasurer of IAML, our contacts have intensified and I have been able to observe more closely his involvement in IAML.

For IAML it is a privilege that a librarian of one of the finest music libraries in North America, who is also an eminent scholar, is willing to serve the association.

IAML benefitted hugely from his many talents and his great knowledge in all fields of librarianship and musicology.

As President of IAML, John Roberts had the difficult task of leading the association with its many branches, working groups, committees, publications and contacts with other associations (John twice attended a meeting of IMC). Helped by his diplomacy, his patience, his language skills and his perseverance John was successful in building bridges between libraries and librarians with sometimes very different background, traditions and cultures.

An important achievement of John Roberts’s Presidency was a debate on IAML’s conference structure which resulted in changes to improve programs and the involvement of all participants.

IAML was very fortunate to meet in Berkeley in 2002. I am convinced that many participants of that conference wish they could return to Berkeley, as I was able to do, to visit the new music library which opened a couple of years after that conference. This truly magnificent building not only honours the University of California, Berkeley, its Libraries and its Music Department, but also John Roberts. He endlessly used all his talents to make this a library worthy of its fine collections, and to provide outstanding service to students and scholars.

As we all know John did not stop his involvement in IAML after finishing his term as Past-President in 2007. Since retirement  from the Berkeley Library John has been able to spend much  more time on his scholarly activities, with a focus on Handel and his work for the Hallische Händel Ausgabe, as a prominent member of the editorial board. We eagerly wait for the publication by John in this series of the pasticcio opera Giove in Argo.

On behalf of IAML he continues to be very much involved in RISM, as member of the CM and nowadays also as a co-opted Board member of RISM.

John serves as one of the 5 members of the Editorial Board of Grove Music online, and before that he was a member of the advisory panel on behalf of IAML

But John also continued his direct involvement in IAML and never missed a conference in 25 years! In Council and GA we all benefit from his advice. He is now one of our senior members who knows much about the recent  - and not so recent - history of IAML, and is  often able to add some valuable information to discussions, or simply  explain something which is not immediately clear to everyone.

His concern about the future of IAML, it’s role for members and the wider library community,  has been a guiding force during his years as President and continued to be so in the years after. This attitude, this commitment to IAML, explains why John has been able to play such an important leadership role over the years. He is always willing to participate in discussions and define his views about the restructuring of IAML.

After several panel discussions and the thorough work done by the Strategy Committee, John chaired the Ad-hoc Committee on the Restructuring of IAML (which was established in 2012 in Montréal) and presented a report last year in Vienna. This report clearly indicated the new structure which IAML needs and received a warm welcome from Council. The President at that time, Roger Flury, called this acceptance a historic milestone for IAML.

Over the past year John has participated in the Committee responsible for drafting the new Constitution. Along with other colleagues, John fulfilled a key role in all the work which was needed to restructure IAML and I am very happy and proud that the Board proposes to the General Assemblee to elect John as honorary member - a category of members to which he undoubtedly belongs.

We should not be afraid that after this election John will no longer participate in the work of IAML. I expect he will serve the association with even more energy, and continues to inspire many!


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