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Libraries and Living Memories

Today the annual reunion extravaganza is beginning at the college where I work. Alums from almost every class year ending in a 1 or a 6 are converging on our little town for a long weekend of revelry and memories. The librarians always put on a whole host of activities during Reunion (including a reception for former library student workers) and it’s fun to hear how many alumni end up choosing careers as librarians.

But probably the most heart-warming part of the whole weekend is watching the college archivist interact with the older alums. Often, these alums don’t have anyone there from their year, or any of the surrounding 10 (this year there is one alumnus here from the class of ’36!). The archivist, though, reminisces with them as if he had been alive and in school with them. He knows the names of professors and classmates. He knows what things looked like. He knows the issues that were important topics of discussion at the time. He’s AMAZING.

And he proves that libraries are more than just repositories of information; libraries are centers of living memory. Living memories enrich our lives of today and help us build towards our lives of tomorrow. I raise my glass to you, Eric. Thanks for clarifying yet another glorious aspect of this wonderful job.

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