Like many colleagues, I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Marion Kelt earlier this week. Marion was Research and Open Access Librarian at Glasgow Caledonian University Library, but more than that, she was a weel kent, well respected and well liked member of the open education community.
Marion was nothing if not tenacious and, as a result of her persistence, Glasgow Caledonian University became the first university in Scotland to approve an institutional OER policy. Marion gave an enlightening and entertaining talk about the development of this policy at the OER15 conference in Cardiff, and the extraordinary lengths she had to go to get it approved. I vividly remember her telling us about the months she spent trying to track down the institutional IPR policy, which she’d been told the OER policy had to refer to, only to finally discover that no such policy existed!
It was typical of Marion’s enthusiasm and generosity that she was more than willing to share her experience with colleagues here at the University of Edinburgh when we were developing our own OER policy and establishing the OER Service. GCU’s OER policy is one of three OER policies the University of Edinburgh’s builds on.
The GCU OER policy wasn’t the only contribution Marion made to the open education community. She regularly attended and spoke at the OER conferences, and just recently presented a paper at OER19 in Galway about the GCU Copyright Advisor, a really useful piece of work that I hope will stand as Marion’s legacy. The Copyright Advisor walks users through a series of questions to help them decide whether and in what context different types of resources can be used. The tool was developed for use within GCU but because it’s open licensed (of course), it can easily be adapted for use in other contexts and institutions.
We won’t remember Marion just for her contribution to the open education community though, we’ll remember her for her warm and generous spirit, her love of cats and music, fancy shoes and G&T. Marion’s colleagues at GCU have set up a Just Giving appeal in her name to benefit Cats Protection, a cause that was close to her heart, and which you can donate to here. CILIP Scotland have also written a touching obituary for Marion here: Marion Kelt (nee Murphie).
The annual ALT Scotland Meet Up this week was dedicated to Marion’s memory, and these are just some of the many tributes to her that have been posted on twitter.
So very sorry to hear this news. Will miss Marion very much. Infectious enthusiasm is my main thought – such a joy to be with
— (((MarshallDozier))) (@mafrado) June 19, 2019
I am so sad to read this news! Marion was brilliant in so many ways! I think she would appreciate your celebration, she would definitely encourage a wee dram!
— Ella Mitchell (@meatyloafy) June 19, 2019
We will miss her terribly here @SaltireCentre On a personal note she was hugely supportive of my MSc dissertation and career aspirations. Always suggesting people I should speak to and bringing me to events. I will dearly miss the chats we had about how to take #GCU #OER forward
— Seth Thompson (@sthom_23) June 19, 2019
I'm so sorry to hear about Marion's passing. She was phenomenal in so many ways. We'll all miss her a lot but particularly you guys in Scotland. So so sad.
— Bea de los Arcos (@celTatis) June 19, 2019
This is such sad news, Marion will be missed by so many.
— Leo Havemann (@leohavemann) June 19, 2019
So sorry to hear about Marion who I remember so well as a positive, creative and energetic colleague at Glasgow Caledonian University. #altc
— Allison Littlejohn (@allisonl) June 19, 2019
— Aidan Johnston (@aidej) June 19, 2019