The IRM Network was formed in March 1992, after Forest (‘Woody’) W. Horton, an American pioneer of IRM, had presented a series of seminars at Aslib on what he called InfoMapping. Susan Montgomery, a US citizen resident in the UK and member of Aslib, recognised that Woody Horton’s concept of IRM endowed information – and along with it the information profession with respectability for which it had fought long and hard, but had never quite achieved. After an inaugural meeting on 5 March 1992, the IRM Network Steering Group met on 18 March 1992 to discuss the way forward. It was Nick Willard who came up with the answer in the form of what became known as ‘The Willard Model’. The IRM Network was thus founded to explore and develop the concepts of IRM and soon established a loyal following and membership. Three of the founding members from 1992 are part of the experienced team who, in 2006, have established NetIKX.
During the early years of the IRM Network, from 1993-97, the speaker programme was based upon the five elements of the Willard Model; one element was explored in depth each year for five years.
In the middle years, from 1998-2000, a growing interest in Knowledge Management (KM) was developing. Feeling intuitively that KM bore a close kinship with IRM, the meeting programme turned to exploring the relationship between the two.