We regret to announce the death of John Lamble, former University Librarian, who died on Wednesday 20 June, aged 86.
Apart from a spell in Nottingham in the 1950s John had worked at the University (and its previous incarnation, the Bristol College of Science and Technology) since 1956. In fact his association goes back even further, to 1948, when he was appointed Librarian to Bristol College’s predecessor, the Merchant Venturers Technical College.
“JHL”, as he was affectionately known by his staff, was a familiar figure around the campus in its formative years, and he was largely responsible for the design and layout of the original Library building which was opened in 1971.
He had a great understanding of the needs of students and staff, and was one of the first University Librarians to introduce the concept of subject-specialist librarians, later adopted by all other universities.
He was not afraid to introduce new technology, and his many innovations included an automated book issue system as early as 1975, many years ahead of other libraries.
He was also a practical man, and was never happier than when he was taking down and re-erecting bookshelves around the Library, his pipe firmly clamped in his mouth.
As one of its founder officers, John Lamble played a prominent role in the development of the University, and was instrumental in establishing the Library service that we know today.
He retired in May 1990.
He leaves a widow, Pauline, and a small host of children and grandchildren.
His funeral will be held at Holy Trinity Church, Bradford-on-Avon, on 6 July at 2pm.