Toba Robarts, (née Taller), MLS’79

Toba was born March 8, 1948, in Ottawa and died peacefully at Sherbrooke Community Centre in Saskatoon on March 17, 2012, after a long struggle with a rare form of dementia.

Toba began her BA at the University of Waterloo but completed it at Rhodes University (South Africa) in 1973, earning distinctions in English and social anthropology. In 1974, she obtained a higher diploma, with distinction, in librarianship, also at Rhodes. After working for several years she returned to Canada and received her Master of Library Science degree (1st class) from UBC.

Her professional positions included being head of the PISAL project (a South African national union catalogue of serials at the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research), information services analyst, and later head of Research and Development for SABINET, a pioneering South African company that facilitates access to electronic information. In 2003, she was deputy head of Information Services at the Saskatoon Public library when she became too ill to work.

Toba was a dynamic person with a great sense of humour and many interests, including art, in particular pottery, and literature with a strong interest in Shakespearean plays. She loved to cook! Toba and her husband travelled throughout the world, including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, Lesotho, Kenya, England, France, Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Fiji and China, as well as extensively throughout Canada and the USA.

Toba is lovingly remembered by her husband of 43 years, Richard; sons Mered and Sam, daughter Aviva (Gladys) Guttmann, and five grandchildren; brothers Terry (Anne) Taller, and Myles (Roz) Taller and their daughters Jodi and Julia, and their husbands and children; uncle Syd (Barbara) Kronick; brother-in-law Peter (Terri) Robarts and daughter Kara (David), and many cousins and friends around the world.