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Hale Library Blog

Author: Darchelle Martin

Make yourself at home!

We are in the thick of the fall semester, and the Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons on the first floor of Hale Library has been busy with students working on projects and studying for exams. In fact, during the last few weeks the first floor has averaged more than 7,600 visits each week.

A sign reads "Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons"
New signage was installed welcoming students to the Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons.

The experience of returning to Hale Library felt like coming home for those students who were at K-State before the fire.

Student sitting in a chair next to his skateboard.
Kevin is a junior studying secondary education and said he used to spend up to six hours a day in Hale before the fire. “I was pretty overwhelmed when Hale first opened up again,” he said. “I reminisced about the good times I’ve had here. The first hour or two after it was open and already seeing whiteboards full of equations, it was awesome.”

We’re paying close attention to how students are using the new spaces to help us plan for the rest of the building. In fact, a team of librarians are conducting an assessment study. They record student use of the space multiple times each day. This data helps us understand which areas and types of furniture are the most heavily utilized. The results will impact the remaining floors.

One feature that has been a big hit with students is the abundance of whiteboards, some of which stretch from floor to ceiling.

A student sits in a room with her laptop.
Macie, a junior in pre-nursing, said she is excited about all the new whiteboard space on the first floor. “The whiteboards are great! I’m in human body so it’s great to have the space to write and draw the pathways of the body,” she said.

Ah, yes. Biology 341. Perhaps no one gets as much use out of the whiteboards as these students. But, do they really need floor to ceiling whiteboards? Students like Danielle have found them useful!

A student writes out her biology work on giant whiteboards.
Danielle, a junior at K-State, explained that this massive diagram was for her biology class.

The Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons also includes new technology. Dozens of large monitors are spread throughout the floor that students can connect to their devices.

A student works on his laptop in Hale Library.
Chance is a junior majoring in construction science. While working on his estimating homework Chance told us that having multiple screens makes it easier.

While students are excited about the first floor of Hale, they can’t wait to see the rest of the library. Students are looking forward to the new quiet floors that will be located on the third and fourth floors.

A student in a green shirt sits in a chair with his bookbag.
Nestor, a junior studying business, thinks the new library has a fresh feel and is excited for the other floors to open. “I’m looking forward to a new quiet area…like the Great Room coming back,” he said. “All the buildings were packed last semester. I’m glad Hale is back.”

The second floor of Hale Library is scheduled to open during the spring semester. The rest of the building should be complete by the end of 2020. Support is still needed to for the remaining restoration and renovation of Hale Library. Donate online to the Help for Hale fund!

We’re just getting started

A few short weeks ago, we opened the Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons on the first floor of Hale Library. As we watched students walk through the doors for the first time we saw lots of jaws dropping, many audible gasps, and we even witnessed a few tears of happiness.

Students walking into Hale Library
Students walk through the Sunflower Entrance doors for the first time on August 28, 2019. Prior to the renovation, this was a wall with windows which caused many a student great confusion about how you actually got into the library.

Since the opening, Hale Library has been bustling with students thankful for the new space to study and collaborate. These spaces wouldn’t be possible without the 2,400 donors that have given to the project so far.

Photo of two students smiling, standing next to a whiteborad in Hale Library.
Blanca (left) a senior in kinesiology and Emireth a junior in biology say they are grateful to have the first portion of their library back. “It really does affect our grades and schoolwork,” said Blanca. Emireth added that a lot of students find it distracting to study at home, so they turn to Hale Library.
A digital sign in Hale Library thanks Dave and Ellie Everitt.
A sign at the entrance of Hale Library thanks Dave and Ellie Everitt for their generous contribution. The Everitts provided the lead gift for the first floor renovation.

Now that the first floor has opened, the Libraries must turn their attention to the remaining four floors which still require philanthropic support to create spaces as impactful as the first floor. Donations can be made online to support the renovation and restoration of the rest of the building.

An infographic show future updates and plans for the renovation
Plans for the next phases of the renovation include restoring the Great Room, creating new graduate student study rooms, and improved infrastructure throughout the building. The project will also turn the first and second floors of Historic Farrell Library into beautiful reading rooms with unique collections and tons of natural light. Previously these spaces were taken up by office cubicles and tall bookshelves with minimal seating.
A student sits in a chair smiling
Kevin, a sophomore studying architecture said he feels that buildings like Hale Library can make a difference for students. “I believe buildings and places have an impact on student psychology and their emotions,” he said.

The Friends of the K-State Libraries have also been strong supporters of the renovation efforts with $250,000 dedicated to the project to date. Since 1984 the Friends have advocated for a strong library system that enriches the student and faculty experience. The Friends have dedicated their efforts over the past several years towards raising funds for improvements to Hale Library. The Libraries and K-State students are grateful for their efforts.

A student smiles at the camera in a busy Hale Library
Taylee just finished her B.A. in English at K-State and is now in her first year of graduate school. She describes Hale Library like a community and a home. “There’s always somebody here that I can come and talk to and cry, or take a nap, or do homework, or eat lunch. I can do anything here, which is nice. Away from my actual home where I get distracted.”