As students enter the library at Panama Central School, Patricia Lundquist knows each of them by name.
In her role as Library Media Specialist at the school, Lundquist is in charge of promoting reading through a variety of programs and events aimed to students in Pre-K though Grade 12, working with teachers using technology in their classrooms, and teaching students how to use the library’s resources which include online databases for research projects.
Lundquist also serves as the advisor for the National Honor Society.
“One way I really try to have a positive effect on the kids here (through National Honor Society) is by reminding them that when they go to fill out the CRCF (scholarship) applications there will be places on there for them to record their volunteer work and their leadership roles. Through that I believe more (NHS) kids I work with are signing up to lead projects, or saying ‘Can we do this project?’ instead of sitting back and waiting for me to organize things,” she said.
Growing up in the Chautauqua region, Lundquist graduated from Westfield High School and lived in Carthage, NY for a number of years with her husband and family. While living there, she began volunteering at her son’s school and quickly developed an interest in library science.
“I was a stay at home mom, and I had had some college, but I was trying to be very active in my kids’ education. I was volunteering in the elementary library where my son went to school and I loved it! And I loved the work I was doing in there, and the school librarian said to me, ‘You should think about going to library school.’”
Lundquist and her family eventually moved back to Jamestown and she began taking classes at the State University of New York College at Fredonia. She earned her bachelor’s degree in social studies education and went on to earn her Master’s degree in Library Science at the University of Buffalo.
“One thing I loved when I was a student at UB, in the library program, was the diverse backgrounds of people who were going into librarianship. I met people who had already had careers in other areas, people who were fresh out of college and 22 years old and people who were in their 50s and yet there was such a feeling of camaraderie among us, that we all shared this common interest,” Lundquist said.
As a non-traditional student herself, Lundquist had advice for students, of all ages, who are considering going to college.
“Just go for it! Even if your path doesn’t end up where you expect it will, it’s all worth it because education is never wasted. “
This is part of a series focusing on students who have received scholarship assistance from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and have returned to the area to live and work. If you were a scholarship recipient and want to share your story, contact Sarah Marciniak at 661-3390 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current high school seniors or college students interested in learning more about the scholarship opportunities available through the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation can learn more here. Applications are now available for the 2015-2016 school- year and are due June 1.