Pam Manders is a Reference Assistant in the Jordan Special Collections and Music Library.
Where are you from?
Speaking with Pam about her personal history, I liked the breadth of this question… the answer actually continues to build throughout one’s life. Pam has had a home in Kingston since she was six years old, but her life has taken her many different places. After high school she moved to Montreal. This was the era of Expo 67 and interesting jobs on offer, and Pam took one with a small public relations firm, working in the pavilions. That led to a job for several years as a media buyer for an advertising firm. Then, in the mid-1970s, she and a friend packed their bags and travelled around Europe and north Africa for a year. It was on that trip, on a bus in Morocco, that she made the decision to go to university. It was a combination of seeing the world and just knowing she was ready. Queen’s seemed the natural choice, following in the footsteps of siblings, so Pam came back to Kingston.
What might some people not know about you?
Pam’s answer to this question is “My dog is a big part of my life.” There’s another answer, but perhaps some do know: one of Pam’s core strengths is her determination. Her dog, Wally, was in bad shape when she picked him at a rescue shelter, but after many years of tender care he is now calm and healthy. Pam and her daughter – they live in the same neighborhood – walk their dogs together every morning before work. Going to university was a matter of determination too, involving summer work in Yellowknife and part-time jobs. And, here’s something many of us do know for sure – several years ago Pam made the decision to start going to the gym and she hardly ever misses a day. “Get a schedule,” says Pam, “And don’t break it.” She also adds, “At night I flop. I read, or watch documentaries, and am a fan of Downton Abbey. I also have some great friends to hang out with. They’ll get me out cross country skiing after a day of work. I also do volunteer work at the Grand a couple of nights a month. I love the theatre. ”
Why the Library?
There was a job! And it has worked out well. When Pam came back to Kingston to go to Queen’s, her sister Kathy Harding worked in the Library, in Maps. Pam started out in Serials, and, except for time out for those summers in Yellowknife and a year in France, she moved through Law, Art, Bracken and Acquisitions before landing in Special Collections. With her degree in art history, and her early experience in the world of publicity, it has been a very good fit. Pam often says she has the best job in the Library, particularly when she’s working on a display. “It’s interesting,” says Pam, “and the Library is a home away from home.”