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