“I Give Back Because I Can”: Norma High’s Story

Norma High, a volunteer who joined the Library in 1974, is so passionate about bringing books to people who can not otherwise access them that she got her whole family involved in the cause.

For nearly 44 years, Norma has volunteered with the Libraries in Residence program, delivering books to people in a continuing care facility. Norma, 85, is one of the Library’s longest-serving volunteers.

“I have always had a love for books,” Norma said. She loves visiting and bringing books to residents at Carewest Glenmore Park, an Alberta Health Services facility in southwest Calgary. With her background in nursing, Norma is a perfect fit for delivering books to the hospital’s residents.

“Volunteering is giving, giving back to the community, giving back because I can,” she said. “We want to put a little bit of sunshine into people’s lives.”

Norma’s husband, Bob High, started volunteering with Libraries in Residence in 1985.

“Besides delivering books, it was an opportunity to talk about local history and events with the residents,” said Bob, 88. He would sometimes go in place of Norma and went on to build his own relationships with the long-term care residents.

“It gives you a lot of satisfaction,” Bob said.