Patricia (Tish) DeMauro Dickinson

PATRICIA (TISH) DeMAURO DICKINSON                      Class of 1962                                      

Patricia (Tish) Dickinson is a 1962 Canastota High School graduate. She was Senior Class President and voted Outstanding Senior Girl. A National Honor Society member, she also received a National Distinction Award from the Future Scientists of America Foundation. She was a three-time recipient of the DAR Citizenship Award. Graduating from the College of New Rochelle in 1966 with a B.A. Degree in English, she received her Master’s Degree in Library Science from Syracuse University and was inducted into the Beta Phi Mu International Library Honor Society.  

Always a vigorous advocate for lifelong learning, she began her nontraditional library career at the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library where she became Chief Consultant for 60 libraries. She advised on all service aspects with a focus on underserved and special populations in metro and rural communities. She oversaw the building of new and renovated libraries and provided services for inner cities and Native American reservations. 

When massive budget cuts closed many Buffalo libraries, she accepted a position in Dallas as Special Services Consultant to 70 libraries in the Northeast Texas Library System. She developed services for special needs, with an emphasis on literacy, the homebound, new program design, public relations strategies, new media formats and continuing education for library staff.

While in Dallas she became Customer Service Manager for the Dallas Public Library. She designed continuing staff education to insure exemplary customer service, and public training for a full conversion to a new automated system. She also managed the library’s extensive volunteer program. 

In 1986 Tish became a National Management Consultant for Girl Scouts USA advising Councils in all service operations. She advised on GSUSA’S new outreach program for minority and underserved youth aimed at building leadership and career skills for women in an evolving workplace. 

In 1990 she became the Fund Development Director for the Dallas Communities in Schools program. This national dropout prevention program placed vital social services and volunteer mentors for at risk students in K -12 schools helping them achieve academic success and attain personal goals. 

When ill health brought Tish home to Canastota, she recovered with the help of her family and the wonderful people of the village. She was able to offer her experience to the public library where her love of libraries had begunShe served on the Library Board of Trustees as Vice President and President.  In 2003 she became Assistant Library Director and developed new programs, public relations and community outreach.  As part of the library’s Carnegie Centennial, she facilitated the publication of “The Voice of the Village.” That chapbook was also performed for audiences featuring the memories of nearly 100 village residents. In 2004 she cofounded and still facilitates the Canastota Writers Group where she encourages writing skills and identifies publication opportunities.  

Tish has volunteered her energies in the Catholic Church for the implementation of Vatican II reforms from 1968 to the present. One of the first lay members on Diocesan Worship Commissions in Buffalo and Dallas, she fostered lay participation, ministry training, building design and the expansion of female leadership roles. As part of a four-member design team, she helped lead a ten-year project to build the 1000 seat Jesuit St. Rita Church in Dallas. Upon returning to Canastota, she helped expand ministry training at St. Agatha Church and continues her work in ministries and has led the team assisting people wishing to enter the Catholic faith.   

Tish has been an annual volunteer fundraiser for Library Book Fairs, the Opportunity Shop Harvest Dinner, Kids Day, and others. She initiated the first local fibromyalgia support group. In 2007 she cofounded and still facilitates a bereavement support group that continues to meet monthly.  

Tish met her husband, Dean, when he was a widower and attended the Writers Group in 2005. Together they are proud of their large family of five talented grown children and their spouses, twelve exceptional grandchildren and five delightful great grandchildren whom they wish all lived closer.