The Introvert Steps Out

Dr. Annie Norman
Dr. Annie Norman

WilmU adjunct Dr. Annie Norman considers herself a stereotypically introverted librarian. Public speaking doesn’t come naturally to her — until, that is, she starts talking about her passion for helping others to learn. Norman was one of four women inducted into the Hall of Fame of Delaware Women for 2016, and the first librarian in its 35-year history.

Norman established the statewide Delaware Library Catalog, which integrates 59 public, specialized and academic libraries statewide. The libraries share 2.6 million physical items, allowing for seamless technologies across the infrastructure. Norman thinks the catalog is just the beginning of the opportunities available for Delaware libraries.

“We now have access to live data so we have a sense of what Delawareans are looking for and what they need assistance with,” says Norman, who has experienced many information shifts in her 30-year career. “We use this data to improve our services.”

It was Norman’s passion for lifelong learning — and admittedly, midlife crisis anxiety — that landed her in the College of Education’s Ed.D. program, where she excelled. Her research was focused on investigating questions she had had about the library’s role in learning. Norman earned a 4.0 average and received the Audrey K. Doberstein award for leadership. In October of 2015, Norman took the TEDxWilmington stage by storm during her talk, “Libraries and the American Dream.”

“The personalization of that learning experience is what I want for everyone (so they can) discover their passions, explore their curiosity and achieve their version of the Delaware dream,” she says. WU