Over 2000 alums are here this weekend for the annual reunion festivities. 2000 may not sound like a lot to some people, but when you consider that it’s just over the number of students we support each year, you can get a sense of how full the campus seems at the moment.
Here in the library (one of the few air conditioned buildings on campus on this very hot day, by the way) it’s been fun to see people’s reactions to the various renovations that have occurred over the past 15 or so years. And there’s been a pretty steady stream of alums into my office asking everything from “where’s the bathroom” to “where’s such and such a collection that was donated 18 years ago.”
Now, it should be noted that I’m not the librarian on call for questions today, but I am the only one here who’s door is open and who’s door is near the reference desk, the stairs, and the elevator. Next to mine is the office of a librarian who’s on vacation today, and next to hers is the office of a co-worker who’s also an alumna and who’s doing the whole reunion thing this year. Next year, I should just take today as my day on call.
But I’m not actually complaining. I love reunion weekend. Every year I think I won’t (don’t know quite why), and every year I end up having a blast.
Meanwhile, the college archivist has set up shop in the Athenaeum (our gathering/presentation space here in the library, and also the room that houses works written by Carleton people). He’s collecting oral histories today and generally having a grand old time. Every year at this time he becomes one of the most valuable employees here. He’s pretty much the only one who can talk to the two or three people from the class of ’37 as if he’d been there. He teaches people about their time here, and he soaks in the experiences and memories of generations of alums. I keep seeing him walk past my office toward the elevator carrying boxes of photos and letters and other memorabilia to be added to his collection. What fun.