Kansas State University


Hale Library Blog

Month: July 2020

Building update: Sorting the collection and prepping the upper floors

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.

Our library materials have gone through quite the journey over the past two years. All materials had to be removed from the library, and each item had to go through a cleaning process. They were stored at various facilities including a restoration facility in Texas and several caves in Kansas City.

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!

Boxes of books on wooden slats sit in one end of a big room.
The Libraries are using Executive Court as a sorting and staging area. We are grateful for the space to conduct this work!

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.

Dean Lori Goetch and other volunteers practice shelf reading.
Temporary shelves have been set up so that staff, including our very own Dean Lori Goetsch, can make sure the books are in the correct order.
A picture of Raymond Deiser working on the computer.
Raymond Deiser, library specialist, works on the computer to identify books that need extra help in getting to the right place on the shelves.

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.

A construction worker is seen on the other side of an arched doorway.
Work continues on the Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab. Here a construction worker can be seen through one of the historical arched doorways on the first floor.
A man walks through a doorway. To the right is a wall of limestone.
Historical details are highlighted through the building. Exposed limestone walls can be seen in several locations including outside the east entrance to the Great Room.
Several arched windows and concrete floors in Hale Library.
The third floor is looking more prepped and ready everyday. The east end of the third floor will include several study tables with lots of natural light from the arched windows.
The Dean of the Libraries looks over a railing in Hale Library.
Up on the fourth floor, the ceiling overlooking the new third floor exhibit space is ready for drywall. Dean Lori Goetsch looks down to the new exhibit space. The “We Are the Dream Mural” will go back on the wall directly in front of Dean Goetsch in the Academic Learning Center.
A picture of a classroom on the fifth floor under construction.
The Kenneth S. Davis Seminar Room in the Morse Department of Special Collections is taking shape. This new addition will allow our Special Collections staff to provide instruction with their materials in a separate space from their reading room, which is often occupied by researchers. 

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.

Building update: A new normal

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.

A picture of the loggia entrance of Hale Library, with COVID-19 related signs.
Visitors to the second floor of Hale Library enter through the loggia entrance, where there are signs to help inform them about safety guidelines.

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.

A picture of the help desks in the center of the second floor of the library.
The IT and Library Help Desks on the second floor have floor signs to help encourage social distancing.
Two students are pictured sitting and studying in the library.
On July 1, students came by the library to check out the new space and take some time to study. It’s great to see students back in Hale Library!
A picture of Kim Bugbee with her mask on, sitting in the loggia entrance.
Kim Bugbee, user services specialist, helped greet visitors to the library in the loggia entrance. The entire library user services team helped make sure that visitors knew where to go and how to follow safety precautions.
A picture of Libraries IT staff at a computer.
Our Libraries IT staff have also been working hard to make sure our technology is up and running.

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.

A picture of Brian Hawk varnishing wood near a Great Room window.
Bryan Hauck, a Riley Construction crew member, works on varnishing wood in the Great Room. Hawk was excited to work in the space and told us that his mother used to work in the basement of Hale Library. What a neat connection!
A picture of stripped bookshelves in the Great Room.
Before being varnished, the bookshelves are repaired and stripped.
A picture of varnished wood laid out along the length of the Great Room.
The varnished pieces of the bookshelves are laid out along the length of the Great Room to dry.
A picture of a Great Room window and construction workbench.
Even under construction, there is so much beauty in the Great Room.

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.

A picture of the new cafe on the first floor of the library.
We can’t wait for students and the community to have a cozy place to study and grab a cup of coffee!

Building update: Jumping into July

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.

A picture of the fireplace inside the cafe.
The “flames” in the fireplace do not produce any heat, but they do change colors and will provide a comfy atmosphere. Safety first!
A picture of the faux marble counter in the cafe.
Behind the cafe’s front counter, tile was added in a geometric design.

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!

This picture shows the view from the middle of the first floor of the Innovation Lab, looking toward the entrance to Historic Farrell Library.
This picture shows the view from the middle of the first floor of the Innovation Lab, looking toward the entrance to Historic Farrell Library.

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.

A picture of the west end of the Great Room.
The view of the west end of the Great Room from the fourth floor balcony is fantastic! On the left hand side, you can see one of the decorative columns that span throughout the room.
A picture of the covered murals.
The murals are still covered to protect them while the crew continues plaster work around the edges.

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!

A picture of the Virginia Carlson entrance.
A new entrance into the Virginia Carlson Family Reading Room is under construction.
A picture of the wall ornament in Historic Farrell Library.
During construction and plaster work in Historic Farrell Library, several interesting architectural details have become more noticeable. Here, you can see a wall ornament on the first floor.
A picture of a crew member working on a lift outside the library.
Late last month, crew members also worked on fixing the seals on several external windows in the building. It’s good to make sure that the cool air stays in during these warm summer days!

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!