On Thursday, October 14th, Norman Horrocks, a library giant, passed away. To me, Norman was more than just a legend in the library world, he was a friend and colleague.
I first met Norman at my first professional conference (IFLA) in Quebec City in 2008. I was excited and eager to talk with anyone I could make contact with. I ran into Norman as he was walking out of a session, speaking forcefully and with a few choice words(!) about some topic that had just been presented. When he saw my Nova Scotia name tag, he came right up and introduced himself. I had heard of him, but felt that, after our brief introduction, that would be the end of that.
However, the next day, he not only remembered my name, but called my hotel room, making sure I had a ride to the airport and if I didn’t, he’d be more than happy to share a cab with me.
After our first meeting, we went on to see eachother at local events and conferences all over. He always made it a point to take time out to visit, and always kept abreast of projects and topics that I’d recently been working on or presenting on.
Last Fall, my husband and I had a lovely a dinner date with Norman and his wife – which resulted in excellent pasta and extremely interesting conversations. We had planned, with the relocation of my department, to get together more often (as I was relocating to his local Halifax Public Libraries branch). Unfortunately, Norman became ill during the months that we moved and sent me a note, letting me know that we’d get together once he was feeling better. Unfortunately, we never got the opportunity.
I was extremely saddened by the loss of such a good person – both for the profession and because of the loss of a friend. Norman, despite knowing professionals and people from all over the world, many notable professionals themselves, was never too busy to meet new professionals, take the time to talk to you and he always remembered you. He will be missed by all.
Tributes and Obituaries
Long-time ALA member Norman Horrocks dies at 82