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Norman Horrocks Memorial

  • 1.  Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Oct 16, 2010 11:16 AM

    Based upon ALA Council list traffic since we learned of the passing of Norman Horocks, we can use this Conect space as one place to centrally post rememberances, tributes, expressions of appreciation and support for his family, and other items to be considered for inclusion in a final form to be determined.

    This need not be the only place to organize memorial information, but it would work well as a starting point (and it sure beats searching through the alacoun archives online to find the various content).

    -Aaron Dobbs
    ALA Website Advisory Committee Chair
    ALA Councilor at Large

    Diedre Conkling has created an alternate wikispace for rememberances, tributes, expressions of appreciation and support at:
    for people who do not have ALA Connect accounts.

  • 2.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Oct 16, 2010 12:29 PM

    The profession has lost one of our great ones.  He will long be remembered as ALA's corporate memory.  His compassion to others, his familiarity with the bylaws and gentle humor will be greatly missed.


    Christine Lind Hage

  • 3.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Oct 16, 2010 03:16 PM

    I am so very saddened to learn of Norman's passing.  I have known Norman for almost 20 years and he was, as many have stated, a wonderfully kind mentor, colleague and friend. Over the years he took the time to contact me about various ALA issues and writing ideas, the most recent, regarding publishing my dissertation. In 2009 I was honored to receive the Equality Award, and was able to spend time with Norman as the representative of Scarecrow Press.  I treasure each and every time Norman was kind enough to share advice about ALA, scholarship, and publishing and feel very fortunate to have had his influence in my life.  

  • 4.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Oct 16, 2010 08:29 PM

    My Teacher of

    How to Lead & Manage,

    I Learned much by your fine example

    In the classroom

    In our phone meetings

    And in your element

    At the ALA Conferences

    Especially on the Council floor


    I trusted you implicitly

    I greatly appreciated

    Your many words of encouragement

    More than I could ever express

    In words of my own


    I will miss you greatly

    As will many others


    I do have faith

    That you are still

    In your "element"

    In very good Hands

    In a very good Place




  • 5.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Oct 17, 2010 08:42 AM

    It was with great sadness that I learned of Norman's passing. He was so much to so many people, a fountain of information on all things ALA and much more. In my early days being active in ALA I was a Council "junkie" because my job did not allow me to take enough days to stay the full time at both Annual and Midwinter once Annual settled into June. At every conference I would sit in the back of the Council chamber and watch with great interest. I always sat not far from Norman so I could go to him when something puzzled me. He would always take the time to explain what was going on on the floor and what policies or bylaws were involved. I learned so much from these chats with Norman that when I was finally able to run for council and was elected I felt right at home from day one. But Norman was so much more than just a source of information. He was a dear friend and I will miss seeing and talking with him. I was delighted to learn that he liked my favorite hotel in Amsterdam when I went to IFLA and walked into the Kras to register and there was Norman having tea. He was truely a gentleman and a gentle man and will be greatly missed by all his ALA family and I offer my sympathy to his actual family. Know that Norman was loved by so many people and will be missed.

    Peg Oettinger, MLS (Retired)

  • 6.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Oct 18, 2010 08:55 AM

    Norman was truly a gentleman, a gentle man and a gentleman.  I doubt if he ever knew how much he positively influenced everyone he knew, everyone who knew him.  He impressed me as someone who just did what he did because he could do no less.  He didn't do it for fame or fortune or recognition.  He did what he did out of love.

     Don and Lois Ann

  • 7.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Oct 18, 2010 09:03 AM

    Norman was a friend, colleague, and mentor.  The international library world and colleagues from a variety of backgrounds and view points will miss him.   His contributions were many and he will long be remembered.

  • 8.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Oct 18, 2010 10:03 AM

    He was a gentleman and a scholar, a wise, witty, wonderful man, and a blessing to us professionally and personally. He was all kindness to a very green and inexperienced councilor once upon a time, and in all the intervening years always had time for a chat and a hug and a word of encouragement. He made the world a better place. I will treasure his memory.
    Pam Klipsch

  • 9.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Oct 18, 2010 05:43 PM

    Norman influenced so many of our lives in ways that cannot be measured.  His genuine love for the profession, sharp wit, impeccable memory, caring mentorship, and friendship elevated all of us whose lives he touched to be more dedicated and passionate in our own lives.  Norman achieved what Mahatma Gandhi envisioned when he said, "You must be the change you want to see in this world."  I am honored to have known him.

    Barbara Stripling 

  • 10.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Oct 18, 2010 07:20 PM

    When my daughter was very small my mother came with me to an ALA conference. I introduced  my mother to Norman and his kindness to her was never forgotten by her. Norman had the capacity to show genuine interest in every human he encountered.

    Norman won ALA's Honorary membership--our highest honor--in 2004. The citation lauded him  "for his long and distinguished career in librarianship that spans several countries and six decades; his contributions as a library educator, parliamentarian, writer, and publisher;  and his influence as a mentor to generations of librarians."

    There are some special insights into Norman's influence on modern librarianship in Kenneth F. Kister's biography of Eric Moon. Kister writes of Norman's cloakroom politicking on issues of policy and his fame as master of parliamentary procedure and the policy handbook.

    In 2004 John N. Berry III wrote in LJ of Norman rescuing Dewey's motto ["The best reading for the largest number, at the least cost."] at the 1988 Midwinter Meeting by explaining the history of the epigram and convincing ALA Council to reinstate it.

    Norman's 2005 book with Ed Kurdyla. Perspectives, Insights & Priorities: 17 Leaders Speak Freely of Librarianship.  Scarecrow Press, 2005, brought together authors on the field he loved. One of the Dr.Horrock's final writings  on intellectual freedom appeared just a few months ago--"Librarians Must Step Up On PATRIOT Act" (LJ F 15, 2010).

    These past few days I have read through the many long and short writings of Norman Horrocks who kept a steady pulse on librarianship  across many borders. Take a few minutes to enter "Norman Horrocks" into the Wilson index search engine  and read Norman's work back over the decades. You will be in awe to realize to what extent this wonderful man held  intellectual and ethical aspects of our field together across oceans and borders. Norman Horrocks was a scholar. A quiet and true way of honoring his work is to read it over the past many decades and by doing so  remember all that he was to so many of us.


    Kathleen de la Peña McCook, Librarian






  • 11.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Oct 18, 2010 08:44 PM

    I first met Norman when I became Director of HRDR (then OLPR) thirteen years ago.  He was a champion for assisting those who received their degrees from Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand, in getting their credentials evaluated for work in the US.  As a novice to the issue, he “held” my hand along the way and was a fount of information.  Over the years, this dear man became not only a colleague, but a friend.  He had a way of making everyone feel important and never met a stranger.  I am so glad to have known him and my life is better for it.  It seems like only yesterday we were catching up on COE issues around the Annual Conference. Today would have been his birthday and I noted last week that I wanted to send him a note on Facebook.  He will be missed.  Rest in peace, kind Sir………… 

    Lorelle Swader 


  • 12.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Oct 18, 2010 09:30 PM

    I first met Norman in 1996 when I was working on a proposal on the issue of foreign credentialing.  I took the advice from a colleague to contact Norman who sat me down and helped me understand the history, the complexity and the feasible options for the issue.

    Norman was a scholar, a practitioner, and a historian.  Most of all, he was an educator. Norman practiced what he wrote. He shared what he knew with anyone who was willing to hear and without reservation. I will miss his great knowledge of this profession, his world view, his witty words and his always bright smile.

  • 13.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Oct 19, 2010 07:59 PM

    Born: October 18, 1927
    Died: October 14, 2010

    Funeral Service

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010
    St. James United Church
    Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

    Personalize Your Tribute

    Create a personal memorial to celebrate their legacy and preserve your memories for generations to come.


    Norman Horrocks

    HORROCKS, Norman
    Norman Horrocks, OC, PhD, FCILIP, Professor Emeritus School of Information Management, Dalhousie University. Born Manchester, England, October 18, 1927. Died Halifax, Nova Scotia October 14, 2010, aged 82.
    Norman began his career in libraries in Manchester England from 1945 – 53, interrupted by three years in the British Army's Intelligence Corps. He then worked in Cyprus, Western Australia, and Pittsburgh, PA before joining Dalhousie in 1971. He became Director of the School of Library and Information Studies (now the School of Information Management) and was later Dean of the Faculty of Management. He left Halifax in 1986 to become Editorial Vice President of Scarecrow Press in Metuchen, NJ, where he also was an adjunct professor at Rutgers University, until he returned to Nova Scotia in 1995.
    In 2006 Norman was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of his lifetime devotion to library and information science. In 2004 Norman was awarded the International Kaula Gold Medal and was the only person to have been elected to Honorary Membership in the three national library associations - Canadian, British and American. Norman also received awards from the American Library Association, the Association for Library and Information Science Education, the Atlantic Provinces Library Association, Beta Phi Mu (the International honour society for library and information studies), Dalhousie University School of Information Management Association Alumni, the New Jersey Library Association, the Nova Scotia Library Association and both Pittsburgh and Rutgers Universities. In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of Library Science the Nova Scotia Library Association established the Norman Horrocks Award for Library leadership in 2003. 
    Norman was an enthusiastic pioneer of social networking. His ability to remember names and faces, to make connections across continents; in person, by email and via the sharing of newspaper clippings will long be remembered by his students, colleagues, family and friends. 
    In addition to his professional career Norman was an active community member, volunteering with the Dartmouth Heritage Museum, Halifax Regional Public Libraries, and Banook Canoe Club. Paramount in Norman's life was his love of soccer – he was an avid Manchester United fan. He rarely missed a game and kept up with the scores even in hospital. Norman is survived by wife Sandra, children Julie (Cameron Shelley and their daughter Corinna), Guelph, ON; Scott (sons Carl and Logan), Ottawa; Gina, New Mexico; Annie (Rob Baert, children Nick, Bethany, Lily), Dartmouth; Sarah (children Sammy, Elijah, Caleb and Chloe), Cole Harbour. Norman is also survived by many relatives in the United Kingdom, including his sisters Muriel Jacquin and Elsie Quinn and brother in law Philip Humphreys. Norman was predeceased by his parents; Edward and Annie (Barnes), and his sister Doris Humphreys. Special thanks to the nurses and staff on floor 8.1 of the Halifax Infirmary, who took such good care of Norman and his family during his illness.
    A memorial service will be held at 2pm on Tuesday, October 19th at Saint James United Church, 181 Portland Street Dartmouth, Reverend Glenn MacLean officiating. As an expression of sympathy, donations may be made to the Dalhousie Horrocks National Leadership Fund c/o Office of External Relations, Dalhousie University, ( or to a charity of your choice.


  • 14.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Oct 20, 2010 12:47 PM

    Norman's wisdom, sense of humor and crystal clear institutional memory can never be replaced.   He could put everything into perspective with a few gentle words.

  • 15.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Oct 20, 2010 01:35 PM

    Norman was not only kind and knowledgeable, but he was always helpful.  I went to Norman for information on the workings of ALA and for help in publishing my work. He always knew how to proceed. I will miss his presence.

    Al Kagan

  • 16.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Oct 21, 2010 02:37 AM

    It is hard to imagine an ALA or ALISE conference without Norman. He always was a warm intelligent, friendly presence. Even when I was a young student I was touched by his enthusiastic encouraging. He shared warm stories of our profession as well as his personal experiences in the RAF and other early days. He was a true gentleman -- or a mensch -- always encouraging others to do great things with libraries and LIS education. You could sense his commitment to change, tradition, as well as an international agenda. He had great charm and sincerity that could have made him an ideal politician if he wanted to go that way. He certainly will be missed.

  • 17.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Oct 21, 2010 10:33 AM

    Norman taught me government documents in 1967 and it served me well.  I retired in 2007 but in the 40 years in between Norman was always available for advice and he never failed to remember who you were.  He will be greatly missed!

    Sandy Peterson

    Retired from Yale University, 2007; government documents librarian

  • 18.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Oct 21, 2010 10:58 AM

    October 21, 2010


    Norman was first a husband, a father, a grandfather, a traveler, an opera buff, a sports fan. The sticky note remains on my laptop - "Norman Birthday" - a message not sent this year. Dinners, walks, discussions with Norman never closed without him talking about Sandy, the kids, the grandkids, the dog and what he was doing at home. May the memories you have of him comfort you. He was loved by so many of us. 

    He always saw the leadership potential in his library colleagues and was right there to lend a helping hand, advice, or just a friendly comment. No one mentored more librarians than Norman. 

    We met by accident - I had a question and he had an answer. He stood at my side for years and years pushing me, guiding me until ultimately I was one of Norman's ALA Presidents. He will always be missed. 

    He will remembered as a family man, a gentleman, a scholar, a teacher, a writer, an editor..... a friend.
    Ann Symons, Librarian, The Anglo-American School of Moscow, Moscow, Russia
    ALA President, 1998-1999


  • 19.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Oct 21, 2010 12:35 PM

    Sarah, I just adored Norman and will surely miss his hugs and kiss on the cheek at ALA Annual Conference and Midwinter.  He was such a delightful person and very encouraging to me and the ALA-APA.  When I saw him, he made me smile, particularly as I was anxious about a Council meeting. I’m more touched by Norman’s transition because his spirit is closely intertwined with my tenure here.

    When I got the news, I sent a check for lifetime membership for the UNC-CH SILS alumni group, and made another contribution. I've been meaning to for years and the words I read about his contribution to the field reminded me that I must support the school that prepared me for library leadership and its future students.

  • 20.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Oct 21, 2010 03:37 PM

    Norman made ALA history.  He worked with many of us to democratize ALA, to open up the meetings, to bring new faces to committees and other groups.  He was a vibrant part of the Social Responsibilities Round Table and its good works, such as providing library services to the poor and the unserved. 

    GODORT started as a task force in SRRT and Norman was there to help us with the intricacies of getting ALA to establish our round table.  Norman was always there to pick up the phone, write a letter or email about the public's access to government information here in the USA and everywhere on the globe.

    He persuaded me to write my book about lobbying for Scarecrow after I retired from the Congressional Joint Committee on Printing.   He encouraged many to write and our profession is the richer for his efforts.  He inspired us to make the library world a better place for the public and for librarians.  He also inspired love in others with his reasonable and scholarly advice on how to deal with  the passions of we librarians.  Being a member of ALA Council was an honor and quite a lot of fun if approached as Norman approached it, a democratic and spirited way to establish policies.  A little bit of his spirit is within everyone who worked with him and his work will continue through us.  Bernadine Abbott Hoduski  

  • 21.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Oct 22, 2010 12:57 PM

    I will always treasure fond memories of Norman as an early, ubiquitous "grammar police," a policy monitoring guru, and venerable gentleman. 

    Sharing our great loss,



  • 22.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Oct 26, 2010 07:39 AM

    I first met Norman Horrocks in the mid-70's when I worked in Nova Scotia.

    He always remembered my name even after years of not seeing him at a time. AND he was one of the jolliest librarians I have ever met.

    Chris Bull

    College of the Bahamas


  • 23.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Oct 27, 2010 04:18 PM

    Kind, astute, charming and fun. Always ready with advice but never obtrusive. Observant and ready to help. Norman shows us how to be an academic and educator who was also mindful of demonstrating how to providing continuing service. We are privileged to have known and worked with him.

  • 24.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Oct 28, 2010 10:20 AM


    I'd like to echo the many sentiments expressed by so many of Norman's friends and colleagues.  I can trace my friendship with Norman back to the early 1970s. Since that time our paths have crossed my times socially and professionally.  I still recall flying to New Jersey so that Norman could tutor Pat Schuman and I on the basics of Robert's rules to help us avoid gaffs as we chaired Council.  Norman was certainly a gifted parliamentarian.  He also provided wise council to me before and during  my ALA presidency.  Finally, He also aided me in numerous ways as I struggled to produce a new edition of Scientific Management of Library Operations.

    My last communication with Norman occurred at the end of August when he told me he was in the hospital, but would be in touch again as soon as he returned home.  He didn't respond so I feared he was sicker than he was letting on because Norman always responded to messages-always.

    Several people have lauded Norman in his role as mentor.  I would like to add my name to that list.  Norman's contributions to ALA are virtually unique.  And even though he was officially retired, he still seemed to know more about what was going on than almost anyone else.  I doubt if his equal will appear anytime soon.  I know I will miss him.

    Richard M. Dougherty,

    ALA President, 1990-1


  • 25.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Oct 29, 2010 04:26 PM

    When I learned of Norman Horrocks' death, it took the wind out of me. He was a treasure for our profession and for the Canadian and American Library Associations and the embodiment of warmth, kindness and intelligence. I know that I am just one of many who grew under his gentle, effective and unobtrusive guidance and will always be grateful to him.

    Norman and I talked several times about seeing each other at the 2011 Canadian Library Association Conference in Halifax. Knowing that he would be there cheered me. Now I'll be thinking of the lovely man with the lovely voice the whole time I'm there and missing him.

    A beloved friend and colleague, Norman is irreplaceable. His gentle manner and graciousness are an example for all of us.

    We miss you, dear Norman. If there is a heaven, you are in it.

    With respect and love,

    Roberta Stevens, ALA President

  • 26.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Nov 02, 2010 07:56 AM

    For years I sat and watched ALA Council in action and often found myself sitting near Norman.  He inspired me to run and helped me understand how to be effective. 

    At a time when being politically active seems to mean being hateful to opponents, Norman has always been the shining example of a different way.  He used procedure to refine policy, not to win points. 

    For me, he was ALA at its finest. 

  • 27.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Nov 02, 2010 01:18 PM

    Few people in our lives touch so many of us as deeply as Norman did.  As a Council “groupie” in the early 1980’s, I first saw Norman in one of the most visible roles he played in our Association--that of the "go-to" person for his knowledge of ALA governance, process, and policy.  Gradually, I learned of Norman's many other contributions to our profession, not just in ALA but in his global reach in other professional associations and in his scholarship.  Then, like so many of you, I had the opportunity to get to know him, learn from him, and be mentored by him.  He was not only a giant in our profession but also one of the most generous, kind and thoughtful individuals whom I have ever known.  What a gift it was to have him in our lives!  I will always feel his presence when we are gathered together for conferences.  But even more, I will miss his presence in our lives throughout the years as a caring and gentle man who loved life and all those he encountered.

    Molly Raphael

    ALA President-elect, 2010-11

  • 28.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Nov 02, 2010 01:38 PM

    Norman was my friend.  It was that simple and that important.  He was always part of the ALA I knew -- and he was always a whole person, sharing stories of his wife and children and of his long career and inquiring about my life beyond ALA.  He cultivated many talents -- not the least of which was his extraordinary gift for friendship, made all the greater through his unceasing care and discipline.  The loss of him, while not completely unanticipated, remains difficult to fully accept and comprehend.   There is more to say than I am able to say.

    Everlasting be your memory, dear friend.

  • 29.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Nov 27, 2010 11:53 AM

    Just to read the names of those paying tribute to Norman Horrocks reminds us all of how he touched everyone in the association.  I will miss talking to Norman in the hallways and smiling across the Council floor and so much more.  Thank you, ALA, for letting me meet and interact with such a giving, gentle person as Norman Horrocks, the best benefit of being an active member of the association.

  • 30.  RE: Norman Horrocks Memorial

    Posted Dec 08, 2010 01:13 PM

    Norman Horrocks died in mid October.

    I am still devastated about Norman's death.

    How often do you find me speechless, never mind that Janet Swan Hill is also speechless?

    Norman was, in every sense of the word, a gentleman. He was a man who was incredibly gentle and nice. While I cannot claim to know him incredibly well, I never saw him say a really cross word, and never, even when chastising me, did he not have a gentle look of kindness in his eyes.

    I am not sure that I can pinpoint when I first met Norman, but I heard of him at the beginning of my career as a librarian. Perhaps because Michael Gorman taught my "Intro to Librarianship" course and it was around the time that Norman when to Scarecrow Press.

    I do know, that when I first was being oriented to ALA Council (back in the mid 1990s), my predecessor as the Connecticut Library Association Chapter Councilor talked about him.

    Early on, I made my presence known on ALA Council. (I was the one who used the phrase "core values" on the floor of Council in a debate about a resolution on outsourcing in Hawai'i which resulted in two task forces, and finally a policy.)

    Norman was most kind in offering comments about wording and the process suggested.

    Jessamyn West (one of my Web/Library 2.0 heroes) posted a great reflection on the man.


    This is also posted on my personal blog Thoughts from a Library Administrator