A.L. Mattatall Funeral Home

217 Portland Street, Dartmouth, NS


Norman Horrocks

October 18, 1927October 14, 2010

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, (http://alumniandfriends.dal.ca/contactus/) or to a charity of your choice.


  • Funeral Service Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Norman Horrocks

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jo Rolfe

October 24, 2010

I am so sorry I did not have more conversations with him. I met Norman just once at Ken Haycock's retirement dinner May 2010, and had the pleasure of sitting next to him. Vital, interesting and interested conversation ensued. Despite my protestations he turned the topic away from his own remarkable life and achievements and on to mine, even though I have little concrete experience to share about my contribution to library service and his is sheer wealth. I felt special because he wanted my humble opinion on the future of libraries, and the conclusions I had drawn from Ken's leadership classes. I wish the conversation had continued for a few years more.

Shannon Nearing

October 22, 2010

Dearest Sandy and family...I was saddened to hear about Norman's passing.I feel very privledged not only to have been part of the health care team who cared for Norman during these past two months but, to have met this most wonderful and interesting man...a true gentleman!

Susan Klement

October 21, 2010

It's hard to think of the library world without Norman in it. He had an impish sense of humour but also great integrity, a wonderful combination. We will all miss him greatly.

Ann Symons

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.

Sandy Peterson

October 21, 2010

My deepest sympathy to all of Norman's family. He made everyone feel very special. Norman was my government documents professor at Pitt in 1967. It was his love for the subject that started my career of 40 years as a government documents librarian. I know that he influenced and mentored thousands of students over the years. And he never forgot any of their names.

Alvin Schrader

October 21, 2010

My partner Tony and I offer our deepest condolences to the Horrocks family. We admired Norman for his unique ability to make every person he met feel special. He fascinated us as the consummate storyteller. We loved him for his humour, and we were awed by his intellect and insights. He was everywhere, and we were inspired by his energy and organizational discipline. We will always cherish his spirit.

Alvin Schrader, past president, Canadian Library Association

Gene D Lanier

October 21, 2010

Norman was my mainstay, my friend, my advisor.....This great man was always open for a conversation and always with a smile on his face......He was a very unique gentleman who will be missed by many.

Loriene Roy

October 21, 2010

Like so many others, I counted Norman as a dear, close friend. He made everyone feel special while he himself was the special one. He was kind, a great listener, observant, helpful, so intelligent, and humble. I always felt stronger and more confident when he was in the room: one reason I ran for ALA President was to hear Norman call me, “Madame President.” I loved seeing him mischievous—always in a charming way. We had late night email correspondence—once about red-headed dogs, earlier this summer about meeting up at the 2011 CLA conference planned for Halifax. So many of his efforts will live on—he continued to think of how he could help improve ALA for its members. I will always smile and feel a heart pang when I think of him. Thank you for sharing Norman with the library world.

Wendy Newman

October 20, 2010

My sincere condolences to Sandy and family. Having known Norman about 30 years, I recall his friendship and mentorship with deep gratitude and admiration. Along with many former CLA presidents, I had the benefit of his generosity and support through multiple issues and challenges. He was a great librarian, educator, and parliamentarian - truly a renaissance man. I join innumerable friends and colleagues in mourning the loss of this extraordinary man.

Ken Haycock

October 20, 2010

We had dinner together every few months for more than 30 years. He spoke at my retirement in San Jose in May. We corresponded by e-mail every week. I had just spoken to Sandy and to him. My birthday card was in the mail. There will be a hole in my heart and in my mind on many levels. A gentleman and a spy -- now there's a Bondsian tradition!