Wet but proud

Earlier today, I posted to Twitter:

Archives. Burst pipe.



Which I followed up after some “oh noes!” responses with:

Sorry. Phone rang. “Archives. Burst pipe. Minimal collections damage, campus rallying to save the space, and we have a plan.”



Today, as water pumped my blood pressure through the roof, my spirits soared as well, watching as people rallied around us during a crisis.  They worked quickly and with good humor to mitigate the damage, support the staff, and solve the problem.  Everyone was wonderful today — the library clerks and custodians who soaked their feet to the ankles and their heads to the shoulders to shut off the water and begin clean up, the facilities staff who brought supplies and manpower to bear faster than we could have hoped for, the tradesmen and administrators who diagnosed the problem and started planning for solutions, the librarians who helped move vulnerable materials, the university police who tracked down our security camera footage so we could see the problem in action.  And our Archivist, who, despite being retired, part-time, and out of the building with me at the Employee Recognition Breakfast and Ceremony when it all went down, maintained her cool and formulated a materials recovery plan while we applauded retirements and  awards.

Last night I watched as six of our seniors presented their Presidential Scholars research.  This afternoon I studied the BFA show at the gallery.  Both of those presentations reminded me of just how good our students can be.  This morning as a group of my staff and colleagues went into crisis mode, I was reminded of just how good the employees of this institution are.

No one is paid to care about the history of the college the way the Archivist and I are. It is, quite simply, our job to preserve and make accessible the history stored in the College Archives.  But today a group of people leaped in and helped us save that history, not because they had to but because they knew it was important, and I am both incredibly proud to work with such wonderful people and eternally grateful for their care and attention.

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