Celebrating the Life of Norma J. Hanson
On March 23, 2011, Madison lost a Norma J. Hanson, former supervisor of the Pinney and Hawthorne branches. Norma came to work in the Lakeview branch in 1970 as a part-time library assistant and retired in 2009. Her contributions to the Madison Public Library system were countless.
A devotee of the library, Norma was always working toward improving the services, collections, and facilities at the two branches under her supervision. She believed in creating a library atmosphere that combined friendly, helpful staff with orderliness, and wanted patrons to be proud of their library while comfortable using its many resources. Norma was a skilled reference librarian, kept up with news and trends, and encompassed a vast knowledge of literature both old and new. She was also passionate about implementing new technology in library service.
A major milestone in Norma’s career was her coordination of the relocation of the Pinney Library in 1996. Another proud accomplishment involved her spearheading a partnership between the Hawthorne Library and Hawthorne Elementary School. In one project she worked with teachers, students, and volunteer quilters to create a quilt called, “Our Madison Cityscape,” depicting east-side neighborhoods in which the students lived. Former students still come into the library and point out “their” important piece on the quilt.
Norma supported the Friends of the Library for both the Pinney and Hawthorne Branches, guiding their efforts to enhance each branch. Her legacy of library service lives on in the friendly environments she helped to create and the staff and patrons she affected during her career.
Photo: Norma with her dog Baran.