IASA 2013 Award of Recognition

Congratulations to Richard Green on receiving the 2013 IASA Award of Recognition. The award was announced on 7 October 2013 by the IASA President, Jacqueline von Arb, at the IASA-BAAC joint conference in Vilnius, with the following tribute:

There are few individuals who on being presented with an award, elicit from all those who hear of it such universal responses regarding the good nature and niceness of the recipient than Richard Green. Richard is liked by virtually all those who have ever had to deal with him, and the interaction is always fondly remembered for his inclusiveness and generosity of spirit.

However, in spite of us feeling pleased that such a person gets such richly deserved accolades, it is not for being nice that Richard receives this year's IASA award. Rather, it is the many years of contribution to the sound archiving community in general and IASA in particular, and the significant achievements that has marked his career.  All these make the choice of this year's IASA award recipient a simple one to make.

The two career shaping moments for Richard Green’s work with Library and Archives Canada, and ultimately his work with IASA, came early.  The first after a period of working in the record sales industry, including a period with the legendary Sam the record man (Sam Sniderman), where he developed his knowledge of the value and content of the sound publishing industry,  and the other a childhood memory of willfully destroying his great aunt’s pianola; all that follows is probably compensatory for the latter and fuelled by the former.

Whatever the real reason, Richard became head of the National Library of Canada's music division in 2002, and the first manager of Library and Archive Canada's Music Section in 2004. In the face of many challenges, Richard’s time at Library and Archives Canada has been marked my many achievements.  Most notable was Richard’s conceptualization and development of the ground breaking Virtual Gramophone project, an online audio delivery system which has been a source of inspiration for many similar projects, and one still used even though additions to it were suspended in June 2006.

Richard has always been outward looking in developing the sound and audiovisual archiving industry, and at the Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC), for example,  he was from 2005-2007 ARSC’s “member at large”, a glorious title if ever there was one, and one suited to Richard’s outgoing personality.

One of the places that Richard was at large, and the place at which he has put most of his energies, is in our own organisation, the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA), where he has been prolific in his work for many years.  He became Vice President 2002, the same year he became head of the Music Division, President in 2005, and past president in 2008, finishing his term on the board in 2010.

Richard’s time on the board, and particularly as president, was marked by his inclusiveness, as well as his fairness in dealing with some complicated issues which faced the organisation, and it was also characterised by his clear thinking.  IASA’s conference planning guidelines www.iasa-web.org/conference-planning-guidelines came about in response to the need to think differently about how we hold conferences, and are now amongst the most visited sites on the IASA website.  While Richard was past president of IASA the need to legally incorporate IASA came to the fore, and he worked tirelessly and selflessly with Kevin Bradley to develop the constitution that enabled the process to come to completion.  His ongoing contribution to the Discographical committee has ensured its ongoing viability and relevance.  He was also the one to suggest using the UNESCO scale for calculating membership for developing countries, and so make IASA a more level field with regard to membership.

At the Sydney conference in 2008, as a farewell speech at the end of his presidency, Richard asked “Where is the Bar?” a rhetorical question regarding the issue of measuring the challenges that face us, presented in that urbane and amusing manner he always brings to such matters.  In fact, the need to ask the question is because Richard has raised the bar of service in IASA so high, we need to ask where it is.

For contribution to the sound archiving community, and exemplary service to the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives, I am pleased to present to Richard Green the 2013 IASA award.