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The Scarlet & Black

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Day in the Life: Catherine Rod, Special Collections Librarian & College Archivist

Photo by Devon Gamble.

5:30 a.m.—Alarm goes off.  Hit snooze.

6:30 a.m.—Get up and make coffee. Feed the cats, forage for breakfast food for me. Settle on a muffin I found in the freezer and fight Gibbs, my cat, for the crumbs. Must remember to make more yogurt tonight.

6:45 a.m.—Turn on the iPad and check the headlines, Facebook and Twitter. Nothing like a little wisdom from George Takei to start the morning. Check my mail accounts for any danger lurking in the day ahead.

7:00 a.m.—Shower and get ready for work.

7:45 a.m.—Stop by Saint’s Rest for a soy latte. Do I need two shots of espresso?  Absolutely!

8:00 a.m.—On call this morning so check the email account, log in to chat and take the beeper from the Circ Desk. See request for articles from ScienceDirect, so get those and send them to the student.

8:01 a.m.—Find that my assistant and his cohort turned the Vault in Special Collections into Dr. Who’s TARDIS in my absence yesterday. Totally amazing!

8:40 a.m.—Prepare for presentation to alumni about archival materials and Digital Grinnell (

9:45 a.m.—Hand off the beeper while I go to the JRC for more coffee and to check the mailroom for any publications we might have missed for the archives. The student cashier knows what I usually get and has it waiting for me by the time I get to the head of the line.

10:00 a.m.—Library Management Council meeting, the weekly conclave of college librarians. On the agenda: planning for a library renovation that won’t happen until long after I retire 🙁

11:30 a.m.—Meeting over, so back to office to check email. Get call from Communications Office needing photo from the archives for press release.

11:45 a.m.—Photo is scanned and sent off.

12:00 p.m.—Turn in beeper and go to lunch. Do I have time to catch the end of the Perry Mason episode? Even though I know who did it? Oh yeah!

1:00 p.m.—Back to work to plan our next exhibition in Burling.

1:55 p.m.—Web conference call regarding ILEAD grant that will help us scan photos and letters and other stuff from people throughout Poweshiek County.

3:00 p.m.—Library lab appointment with student, so head up to Research Desk to meet.

3:45 p.m.—Quick run to staff room for coffee. Drat!  It’s been sitting on the burner too long.  Spend a few minutes cleaning out the sludge from the bottom of the carafe.

3:50 p.m.—Back to office.

5:00 p.m.—Head to grocery store for supper supplies. Vegetable Thai curry sounds yummy.

5:30 p.m.—Make supper and enjoy a rare evening with no class, rehearsal, or other commitments.

6:30 p.m.—Decide to sort through some laundry. Throw in a load and while I’m in the basement, clean out the kitty litter boxes.

8:00 p.m.—Clean up the kitchen a bit and then watch some TV and read This is the life!

10:00 p.m.—Jammies and bedtime. Must finish this book, though. Only 3 more chapters.

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