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Hale Library Blog

Librarians in the wild

Sometimes you have to step away from the computer and get outside. Breathe some fresh air under a blue Kansas sky, gather around a fire pit and watch the kids run. Maybe hold a baby for good measure.

Following the fire, K-State Libraries’ 80-plus regular employees were relocated to 10 different locations across Manhattan. While we’re hugely grateful to everyone who opened their doors to us, we miss seeing our colleagues. The end of the semester seemed like an ideal time to reconnect and enjoy each other’s company.

Thanks to Laurel Littrell, K-State Libraries director of library planning and assessment, we recently had a gorgeous setting in which to do just that.

Library employees and their families eat and chat last Wednesday, May 29.

Littrell and her husband, David Littrell, professor emeritus of music, live northeast of Manhattan on a farm where they have horses and plenty of space for all of our  junior librarians to chase chickens and farm cats.

“We’ve had these gatherings here before, and I had been thinking it was time to do another one,” Littrell said. “We were all talking about how to recognize the one year anniversary of the fire, and we thought it might be great to do something positive related to fire, like an outdoor cookout!”

At left, Associate Dean Mike Haddock puts the fire pit to good use. (For our regular readers: Mike takes most of the photos of Hale Library construction progress that we use on this blog.)

So on Wednesday, May 28, more than 65 people gathered to roast hotdogs and bask in one of the few summer-like days the greater MHK region had seen in weeks.

K-State Libraries web student employee Emma McLaren and friend Molly Smith enjoy their s’mores.

We took the opportunity to ask some of our colleagues what they’re looking forward to this summer.

Thomas Bell visits with Adriana Gonzalez.

Academic services librarian Thomas Bell was looking forward to travel, but he was glad that he didn’t miss the gathering before heading out.

“With all of us scattered all over campus and town I was reminded how much I deeply like and enjoy the people I get to work with at the Libraries,” Bell said. “I had planned to stay for one hour max, as I was leaving the next day and hadn’t packed. It was such a treat catching up with everyone I ended up staying two-and-a-half hours (and wanted to stay longer!). I was up late packing, got three hours sleep, totally worth it.”

Carol Sevin and Darchelle Martin convene by the fire pit. 

Academic services librarian Carol Sevin echoed Bell’s sentiments.

“After a year of hard work on campus (but outside of Hale Library), togethering off-campus with colleagues and families was lovely.”

We have concluded that librarian babies are the cutest (and librarians are known for their objectivity and research abilities, so it must be true).

And what is Sevin looking forward to in the coming months?

“I love teaching how to learn and am always encouraging students to find and use online resources to supplement course materials or to brush up on prerequisites,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to practicing what I preach by leveling up my musicianship and computer programming this summer.”

(Locals: Don’t miss Sevin playing the french horn in the Manhattan Municipal Band performances on Tuesday evenings in City Park this summer!)

From left to right on stairs: Jim and Katy Bach, Sheila Yeh, and Lori Goetsch.

The cookout also gave us a chance to spend time with some of our newer co-workers. Katy Bach, budget-fiscal officer, and Sheila Yeh, associate dean, (both pictured above) joined K-State Libraries this spring. They’re still getting to know everyone, which is challenging with the multiple different office locations.

Two of Littrell’s chickens, Elvis and Priscilla, warily greet librarians.

We hope all of our library friends and blog readers have some equally beautiful opportunities to unplug and relax this summer. Next week we’ll be back to business with a jam-packed Hale Library construction update!

 

 

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