As we inch closer and closer to the start of the fall semester, we wanted to share an update not just on the progress within Hale Library, but on the books that have been undergoing a rigorous cleaning and sorting process.
But now, the cleaned items are arriving back in Manhattan to be sorted. It’s quite a task…more than 147,000 boxes of books need to be reviewed for damage, sorted, and placed in call number order!
For the past few weeks, Libraries staff, along with employees of Belfor, a disaster recovery and restoration company, have been unpacking and sorting books on temporary shelves set up at Executive Court. The books on the shelves need to be checked by staff to make sure they are in the correct order. We like to call this shelf reading! While time intensive, this is an important step to make sure that people can find the items they are looking for.
Thanks to dedicated staff, the book sorting is going well! We hope to begin reshelving books in Hale Library in August, though items won’t be immediately available for use in part due to ongoing construction.
Construction in the library is also going at a good clip, and the upper floors are starting to come together.
Right now, we anticipate that floors three through five, as well as the Historical Farrell Library portions, will be opened to the public early next spring semester. It’s been very exciting to see the upper floors progress, and we can’t wait until we can share them with the community.
It’s exciting to have people back in Hale Library! With the opening of the second floor, we are working to adjust to a new sort of normal on campus and at the Libraries, while keeping visitors safe.
Our staff have many safety features in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including required use of masks, extra cleaning supplies available to patrons and limited seating areas and computer stations. It has been very exciting to see people come into the space to walk around and explore the new floor.
In the Great Room, crew members are primarily focused on stripping and varnishing the bookshelves in the alcoves, as well as sanding the windowsills and completing any outstanding plaster work.
We are particularly excited about Joyce and Joe’s Cornerstone Café located in the Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons on the first floor. The café is close to completion and the temporary walls separating the café from the rest of the floor have been taken down. The first floor will be open during the fall semester, but plans are still being finalized for the opening of the café, which will be run by K-State Housing and Dining Services.
As we jump into July, a lot of changes are coming to Hale Library. Besides the continuation of construction and progress on the building, the library will also welcome the public back for the first time since early March.
Starting July 1, the second floor of Hale Library will be open to visitors. Patrons must wear a mask or facial covering and practice social distancing while in the building. Services offered include access to the help desks, course reserves and computers. Extra steps will also be taken to promote safety and keep the environment clean. You can learn more about the reopening at our continuation of services page.
While the second floor will open to the public, the remaining floors continue to undergo a vigorous and rapid transformation.
In Joyce and Joe’s Cornerstone Café, the tile behind the counters was installed, and the fireplace was completed.
The Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab is undergoing more plaster work and drywall installation. The specific rooms for equipment and varying labs are starting to take shape—it’s only a matter of time until we can start moving in some tech!
In the Great Room, the protective boxes have been removed from the murals so that workers can perform plaster work around the edges. Removal of the boxes will also allow art restoration professionals to begin work on the murals later this fall.
The Virginia Carlson Family Reading Room will house the juvenile literature and curriculum materials collections. Virginia Carlson was a graduate of Kansas State College in 1952, a librarian and teacher. Virginia’s family has studied in Hale Library for more than four generations and they have invested in the building to honor her legacy. We are extremely grateful for their generosity!
The Libraries plan to have the first and second floors open to students and the community at the start of the fall semester, with the upper floors opening collectively in early spring of 2021. Keep an eye on this blog for more stories and updates as we get closer to the new school year!
Subscribe by Email
Completely spam free, opt out any time.
Please, insert a valid email.
Thank you, your email will be added to the mailing list once you click on the link in the confirmation email.
Spam protection has stopped this request. Please contact site owner for help.