Allan Horton

Allan Horton BA FLAA

Fellowship conferred 1969

Allan Roy Horton has been a professional member of the Library Association of Australia since 1952. He holds the degree of Bachelor of Arts of the University of Sydney.

The Board of Examiners is pleased to report to Council that, in the Board's opinion, Mr Horton's contributions to both the theory and practice of librarianship and archives well merit the distinction of Fellowship of the Library Association of Australia.

In particular, the Board wished to bring before Council Mr Horton's achievements in no less than four separate fields.

First, as librarian of the University of New South Wales, Mr Horton has been responsible, with characteristic energy, for several experimental developments which, in the Board's view, go well beyond his basic responsibility for building collections and giving service to a rapidly expanding University.

The Board has noted especially the development of staff training programs within Mr Hortons library. It is satisfied that these programs, in their particular design and execution, represent pioneering and genuinely distinguished contributions to the practice of librarianship in Australia.

Secondly, the Board notes that, in the general area of library promotion, Mr Horton has been personally extremely active, travelling and speaking over a considerable area, in connection with the activities of Australian Library Week and in support of one the Association's basic aims.

Thirdly, Mr Horton has been conspicuously successful in organising an informed community opinion concerning school libraries. On his own initiative he set out in 1967 to persuade Parents and Citizens Groups in New South Wales to press for proper provision for school libraries. In less than two years he virtually re-oriented the thinking of a significant group of citizens throughout the State. He conducted an extremely successful weekend seminar of Parents and Citizens Associations (which, significantly, was very well attended despite a coincident petrol strike) and he persuaded the Federation of Parents and Citizens Associations, in effect, to adopt libraries as a major plank in its policy, through the setting up of a special Committee on Libraries and Text Books, of which committee he was the first convenor.

Fourthly, Mr Horton's publications in the fields both of archives and librarianship are regarded by the Board as constituting a substantive and important contribution of professional thought.

Mr Horton was the foundation editor of Archives and Manuscripts (initally in conjunction with Miss Mander-Jones) and the pages of that and of other journals in the field, as of the Australian Library Journal and the Proceedings of the Association's conferences, record his contributions, ranging from technical detail to broad discussions of policy.

Mr Horton's writing reflects the vigour which characterises his actions and the strength both of his convictions and of his professional dedication.

Mr Horton's interests are so wide-ranging that the Board's recommendation does not even encompass his direct services to the Association as secretary of the Archives section, as general councilor, as general secretary, as a member of the Association's Standing Committee and as the Association's representative on bodies such as the Australian Advisory Council on Bibliography Services.

It is proper nevertheless to record these services in this citation for, in his membership of the Association as in every other field of his interest, Mr Horton has never been other than an active participant. In a body with at least minimal tendencies to apathy he has ably filled an important and necessary role as goat, stimulant and, increasingly, leader.

The Board of Examiners commends Allan Roy Horton, Bachelor of Arts, Associate of the Library Association of Australia, to Council as a vigorous and successful promoter of the aims of the Association, as an archivist of considerable reputation and as a university librarian who has contributed in a distinguished degree to the practice of our profession. The Board unanimously recommends that he be awarded the distinction of Fellow of the Library Association of Australia.

INCITE obituary pages 2004

Page 8, page 9.