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Hale Library Blog

Author: Sarah McGreer Hoyt

More first floor construction progress

We’re about six weeks out from the planned completion of the Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons on Hale Library’s first floor! The space is buzzing with activity as drywall is finished, the new paint goes on and floors are evened out in preparation for carpet installation.

Two crew members spread concrete into recessed areas on the floor.
Drywall workers on stilts mud a wall on the north side of Hale Library’s first floor.
A worker muds drywall on the ceiling under a bright construction spotlight. While the wiring is in place, permanent light fixtures haven’t been installed yet.
Workers paint the ceiling. The Everitt Learning Commons features a new color palette of light and dark gray with accent walls in brighter colors — purple among them, of course!
A worker drills into a door at the southeast entrance of the building. This will be the main entrance into Hale Library’s Everitt Learning Commons.

Meanwhile, one level up on second floor, most of the demolition is complete and the space largely has been cleared out. Second floor is slated to open in spring 2020!

Dean Lori Goetsch looks into the second floor at the back wall where the Library Help desk was located. 
Darchelle Martin, public information officer, looks into the former Information Technology Assistance Center on the second floor. This space will be the upper floor of the Innovation Lab.

If you’d like to help make the other floors of Hale Library as amazing as the first floor is going to be, contribute to Help for Hale through the KSU Foundation website! Time is of the essence. Insurance will cover replacement costs—but not the improvements that make an ordinary library experience extraordinary.

Dr. Sheila Yeh & Hale’s reimagined tech offerings

When Hale Library reopens, the renovated space will include increased access to technology, plus some exciting new features. K-State students and faculty members will find the tools they need, including

  • An Innovation Lab where users master state-of-the-art software and hardware that are not readily available elsewhere on campus.
  • Improved infrastructure, including stronger wi-fi and more electrical outlets.
  • Technology-equipped, reservable group study rooms.

Given the complexity of those additions and the role information technology plays in the day-to-day life of all academic libraries, we are pleased to have Sheila Yeh, associate dean for collections, discovery and information technology services, on our team. She joined K-State Libraries in March 2019. Most recently, she worked at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she was assistant dean of library and information technology.

I sat down with Dr. Yeh to hear her thoughts about the Hale Library renovation and her time on the K-State campus so far.

Dr. Sheila Yeh received her doctorate in computer science and information systems from the University of Colorado at Denver, a master’s in industrial and human factors engineering from Wright State University and a master’s in library and information science from University of Maryland College Park.

What has it been like for you to arrive in the wake of the Hale Library fire?
While the seriousness of the fire in the Hale Library can’t be understated, the silver lining is that the library has a unique opportunity to reinvent itself. It is an honor to be part of the team that guides the library’s reimagining.

In your new role, you oversee so many areas in the library, including  preservation and information technology services departments. What excites you about your job?
Information technology has been the catalyst for much of the transformation we find in today’s academic libraries.

Digital and information technology are key resources that must integrate with other library functions to deliver effective services. They are more than utilities and tools; they are enablers.

The Liquid Galaxy platform is a cluster of computers running Google Earth, Street View, and other panoramic applications to create immersive experiences. Photo courtesy https://liquidgalaxy.endpoint.com

What do you mean by enablers?
Consider the technologies that will be available in the Innovation Lab, such as virtual reality goggles or the Liquid Galaxy platform.

I’m very excited about these tools; however, I’m more excited about the prospect that the Innovation Lab, as a space combined with its technologies and programs, will offer new opportunities for interdisciplinary studies, serendipitous discoveries, and knowledge creation.Those tools will enable great things. You never know, our Innovation Lab may incubate something that combats climate change.

What previous career experiences are you drawing from when it comes to thinking about the new Hale Library?
At the University of Hawaii at Manoa, I led the reimagining of group study rooms in the library, everything from new furniture to charging stations, and the completed spaces were very popular.

Prior to the University of Hawaii at Manoa, I worked at the University of Denver Libraries, where I oversaw the area that supported technologies in the library’s innovative group study rooms, event rooms, classrooms, and seminar rooms. I helped establish the Library’s Makerspace, its staffing, and programming support.

Yeh and Associate Dean Mike Haddock look on as construction workers weld iron beams in place inside Hale Library’s new rooftop mechanical room. March 25, 2019. 

Keeping current on the landscape of innovation hubs at higher education institutions and academic libraries in the United States is part of my routine. Aside from technology itself, I also keep up-to-date how institutions are utilizing their space and technology resources to inspire the next generation inventors.

How do you see faculty and students using the new features in Hale Library?
Part of my role is to think about the areas within the Library from a 360-degree, big-picture perspective. I think about the Library as an organic whole, providing a multitude of services for the community. I think about how we effectively and efficiently deliver services by capitalizing on our existing resources. I think about service delivery, and about the services needed to fulfill the Library’s mission at the highest level. I think about how we engage in dialog with our community to continuously evolve and foster success.

The Innovation Lab on Hale’s first and second floors will be the creative nexus of the new library.

For example, I don’t have to know how to use every tool in the Innovation Lab, because I trust my technologists for that. But I do think about how we can create connections so everyone at K-State—students from all majors as well as faculty—finds opportunities for growth and discovery in the new Hale Library.

I want to think about how we can connect and utilize faculty who already have significant connections in the community. How can we bring those parties to Hale Library to help students succeed and prepare them for life after they graduate?

Also, it is imperative to connect with campus constituents such as the Office of Research Development to ensure that the library can be a supportive partner for their initiatives, such as campus-wide data management support.

Yeh takes a ceremonial swing at the wall inside Hale Library’s southeast entrance. When Hale reopens at the beginning of fall semester 2019, this area will be the entrance to the first floor Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons. March 25, 2019.

What feature of the new building are you most excited about?
I am excited that we will have a state-of-the art digitization lab for Special Collections that will be unique to K-State, our community, and the Libraries. It is often not possible nor economical to transport those collections to and from an out-sourced digitization facility. The new digitization equipment will make those collections available to a global audience. This is an example of a sustainable service model with a far-reaching impact.

If you weren’t working in the library world, what do you think you would be doing? 
I have long dreamt about a boutique Chinese dumpling restaurant. Who knows, maybe one day you will find me in the kitchen attending to dough and savory fillings to make the delicious dumplings I grew up with.

Dean Lori Goetsch, Haddock and Yeh confer on Hale Library’s rooftop. April 3, 2019.

 

Construction progress and a familiar face

Things were heating up in Hale Library last week — quite literally, since the new HVAC system isn’t up and running yet. Testing was in progress, and they were about to turn things on!

The warmer days of summer haven’t stopped construction one bit, though. We recently walked through and saw spaces that reminded us how far we’ve come. We also snapped photos of a few of the more than 120 workers who are making it all happen. (Thank you for being such good sports!)

A large curved room on the south side of the first floor after the carpet was stripped out, June 11, 2018.
The same room as shown above, now with new drywall. June 13, 2019. 
A crew member generously lets us take his photo as he tiles a first floor restroom. There are two restroom locations in the renovated space, plus a lactation room. June 21, 2019. 

In the video above, Brenna Leahy, communications student employee, and Mike Haddock, associate dean, look around the first floor under construction. The sunflower entrance at Hale Library’s southeast corner is behind Brenna and Mike. As the video pans to the left, you see the entrance to a large space for meetings and presentations, and then the sites of the new cafe, the entry arch to the Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons and spaces between the pillars where glass-walled reservable group study rooms will be situated.

Another look back: Second floor Information Technology Assistance Center offices filled with dehumidifiers, May 31, 2018.
The same space as the photo above, June 17, 2019. In the new Hale Library, this will be a public reading room that features the juvenile literature collection. The tables at left are among the pieces of furniture that were salvaged. They will be reused in the renovated building.
The view from inside the future home of the Dow Center for Multicultural and Community Studies on Hale Library’s second floor, June 21, 2019. Previously the Dow Center was located on the fourth floor and this was IT office space.
Here’s another “then and now” photo … of a person this time! Aaron Cline, one of the workers from American Fire Sprinkler, spent nearly two years replacing pipes in Hale Library. In 2016, we featured them on our Instagram account, @kstatelibraries: “We ran the new feed that feeds all the standpipes. So it’s a six-inch pipe that we’re dragging through this tunnel. You can barely sit up, much less stand, and it took us a couple weeks.” 
And here’s Aaron back on the job in Hale Library three years later! We’re grateful for the work he did back in the day. There are worse places to be stuck for a big chunk of your working life, right?
A view of Holton Hall from the entrance to Hale Library’s main floor. The reddish-colored tiles in this space were recently removed. Note the nails in the foreground that were spray painted orange so no one steps on them. June 21, 2019. 
Hardhats hang outside the construction entrance near Mid-Campus Drive.

We’ll be back with another building update later in July. Carpet installation is happening on first floor soon!

The K-State Libraries win gold!

On June 12, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, CASE, announced the winners of its 2019 Circle of Excellence awards. Kansas State University Libraries Magazine received a gold award.

Only 145 entries out of 2,856 were recognized with a grand gold or gold designation, and we are thrilled to be one of them.

CASE is an international association of educational institutions, primarily colleges and universities. Their Circle of Excellence Awards honor outstanding work in advancement, alumni relations, communications, fundraising and marketing.

The fall 2019 issue recounted the months following the Hale Library fire.

K-State Libraries Magazine gives friends, funders, students and alumni an inside look at library successes, stories and collections — and it has been hugely important as we strive to communicate our post-fire recovery plans and vision for Hale Library’s future.

This week we’re highlighting some of the amazing photos that were in the issue we submitted to the CASE awards. They’re great reminders of how far we’ve come!

If you’d like to make a financial contribution toward the amazing fire-recovery story, visit the KSU Foundation to make a gift to the Help for Hale fund. And if you’d like to see more of K-State Libraries Magazine, visit our website to access issues online or sign up to receive a copy in your mailbox!

More than seventy emergency personnel responded to the three-alarm fire, which burned intermittently for nearly ten hours.
The fire started in the roof just outside these balcony doors in the Academic Learning Center, a study space for athletes. Employees in this space reported smelling smoke right before the alarm sounded.
Water pools across the Great Room floor. Historic Farrell Library was the most severely damaged portion of the building. The original oak library tables in the Great Room were warped beyond repair.
Portions of plasterwork were damaged by water and fell from the walls, like this decorative capital.
The walls in the Great Room absorbed a lot of water, which put the murals in jeopardy. Conservationists used the scaffolding to monitor the plaster, clean the murals and otherwise ensure their safety until they can be fully restored.
Soot-covered furniture and boxes of books await removal from Hale Library’s first floor. Most tables and chairs suffered smoke damage and were unsalvageable.
A construction worker is silhouetted in one of the Great Room windows.

We’ll be back next week with a building update featuring plenty of first and second floor construction progress!

 

Clean, fresh spaces taking shape

It’s a new era in Hale Library. When Associate Dean Mike Haddock goes into the building to document construction these days, he’s coming out with more and more photos of clean, white drywalled spaces and fewer and fewer of rubble and demolition.

The Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons on first floor is taking shape. Things are progressing on schedule, so we aim to open the doors by the first day of fall semester 2019!

Looking toward the south windows on first floor, June 10. The area in front of the windows will be furnished with groupings of soft seating for  relaxed group study. 
Workers on an aerial lift in Hale Library’s first floor space, June 3, 2019.

The photos below were taken from the same first-floor spot at the bottom of the stairs about 18 days apart.

Looking toward the east end of the first floor and the old location of Einstein Bros., May 23. 
Looking toward the east end of the first floor and the old location of Einstein Bros., June 10. 
First floor looking southwest from stairs, June 10. This area will be filled with reservable group study rooms. 
First floor looking toward Sunflower Entrance, June 3.
Looking west on Hale Library’s first floor with the doors to the sunflower entrance at left, June 10.
First floor looking west, June 3.

Meanwhile, up on second floor, demolition continues. Ceiling tiles, drywall, pipes and ductwork have been torn out to clear the way for clean new walls like those you saw in the photos above.

Even the security gates came down.

Removing the security gates, June 3.
Rubble on the site of the old main floor Help Desk, May 23.
More demolition immediately west of the old Help Desk, May 28.
Workers use a jackhammer and a crowbar to remove the reddish-brown tile out of the loggia entrance on Hale Library’s main floor, June 4.

The renovation doesn’t just affect Hale Library’s external surfaces. Haddock recently captured this photo of wiring sitting in a rusted-out electrical box. It’s a reminder that the damage wasn’t just cosmetic: Improvements are taking place at every level, at every turn.

When Hale reopens in phases starting this fall, that means improved infrastructure, including more electrical outlets and better wi-fi.

Wiring sitting in a rusty electrical box, June 3. 

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!

 

 

Functioning AC, first floor progress and clean books

A year ago if you walked through the building after the fire, you would have experienced varying degrees of destruction. Today, you’ll find varying degrees of progress.

The building renovation is moving forward in phases — and moving quickly.

In the mechanical room on Hale Library’s roof, crews have replaced the old, damaged ceiling that covered one of the fourth-floor stairwells. From left to right, photos were taken on April 29, May 2, May 6 and May 14.  

The penthouse that houses new heating and cooling units got a coat of paint recently.

Crews paint the exterior of the penthouse on Hale’s roof. Only a few weeks ago, the structure looked like a plywood lean-to with plastic sheeting covering the doors and windows. May 17, 2019. 
New air handling units have replaced the old ones that were badly damaged in the fire. April 29, 2019. 

Inside, the mechanical equipment is in place and ready to go online so the many, many work crews in the oldest portions of the building will be able to work in an air-conditioned environment this summer.

As Hutton Construction superintendent Mike Watkins showed us recently though, behind the clean white walls, there are still traces of the fire.

Watkins stands inside the penthouse and shines a flashlight into the space where the fire-damaged Great Room ceiling is still visible. May 17, 2019.

Meanwhile, on the first floor, the future home of the Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons is taking shape. It seems less like a cavernous concrete rolling rink and more like a space that will be ready to welcome students for the fall semester.

At left, a photographer and videographer from local media outlets document construction workers on Hale Library’s first floor. May 17, 2019.
Crew members work on mudding the newly installed drywall in the corridor at the west end of Hale Library’s first floor. May 20, 2019. 

On second floor, demolition is in mid-stride and the space is scheduled to open for the spring semester.

On the north side of the building behind the old Library Help desk, piles of duct work and metal framing are separated from the rest of the debris so they can be recycled. May 20, 2019. 

Things are moving so quickly that we have a window of opportunity. If we’re going to incorporate enhancements that will make the new Hale Library an improved environment for students, we need to raise additional funds now.

Insurance will cover like-for-like replacement costs, but when it comes to making Hale better than it was, we’ll have to rely on private dollars. More reservable study rooms, more classrooms or even more outlets to accommodate students’ innumerable electronic devices: Those will have to be funded above and beyond insurance dollars.

If you’d like to support the Help for Hale fund, you can make a contribution online.

Crews have removed damaged drywall from librarian offices on the west end of the second floor. May 20, 2019. 

At every turn there’s another space in which the old, damaged materials have been cleared to make way for the new.

Piles of floor tile debris sit near the emergency exit doorway closest to the English Department Building. May 14, 2019. 

Plenty of old things are staying, though. For example, not all of the furniture was a total loss. Some of the salvaged tables are currently stored on the second floor in Historic Farrell Library, the 1927 portion of the building.

Dozens of wooden tables are safely stacked in the former IT offices on second floor. Since the porous plaster walls in this space are still drying out, no construction activity is scheduled for this part of the building. May 6, 2019. 

Where are the books? Most of the 1.5 million items are in storage units in the old limestone caves under Kansas City.

The 1955 stacks are dark and mostly empty. Some levels are filled with salvaged shelving and office furniture. May 6, 2019. 

However, the cleaning process is ongoing. All of those boxes of materials are rotated through our facility near the Manhattan Regional Airport. They come in soot-stained, and they’re unboxed, individually cleaned by hand one at a time, and treated in the ozone chamber. Then they’re reboxed and sent back to a storage unit filled with clean boxes.

Workers use chem sponges and vacuums to remove soot residue from Hale Library materials. April 29, 2019. 

At this point, more than 65 percent of our Hale Library collection is clean.

With projects moving forward on so many fronts — book cleaning, construction on first, demolition on second and more — we’ll be providing frequent building updates over the summer.

If you’d like to provide some Help for Hale in support of some of these efforts, please visit the KSU Foundation’s online giving page for Hale Library renovations.

 

 

What Hale Library means to K-State students

The fire was one year ago: May 22, 2018. In the last 12 months, we’ve undertaken a recovery and restoration project of massive proportions.

The new building is beginning to take shape. While insurance is expected to cover like-for-like replacement costs, enhancements for Hale Library will require private donor support.

Today our K-State Libraries Student Ambassadors share why a next-generation Hale Library is an important investment for tomorrow’s Wildcats.

You can provide #HelpforHale online today.

***

K-State librarians are devoted to helping students and researchers.

Funds from #HelpforHale will equip the new building and its Innovation Lab with technology that will take their work to the next level. Our people will be there to help them every step of the way.

I love not only the beautiful library but also how welcoming and helpful the librarians are. — Jehu Mette, graduate student, economics

Insurance will cover like-for-like replacement costs, but it will require private donor support to take Hale Library from good to great. #HelpforHale funds will create better study spaces, group study rooms and provide more white boards.

Also important for students: more outlets. When Hale Library was dedicated in 1997, our users weren’t carrying laptops, cell phones and other electronics at all times. With #HelpforHale funds, we will be able to increase the number of electronic outlets exponentially.

I love that the new Hale Library will focus on what K-State students and staff want most. — Cassie Wefald, freshman, history

It’s hard to imagine a K-State experience without Hale Library, but students like Kali Poenitske went through their entire freshman year without setting foot inside the building.

A contribution to #HelpforHale will allow us create the new Hale Library that Kali and generations of future students deserve!

I have heard from older students about how much they loved Hale Library. I’m excited to experience that! — Kali Poenitske, freshman, elementary education
Hale was a place where productivity and inquiry were encouraged. I want to experience that again. — Zoe Nicolet, senior, history, philosophy, and gender, women and sexuality studies

The new Hale Library will feature welcoming environments for every student on campus, from quieter quiet spaces to improved graduate student study rooms.

Not only that, but with #HelpforHale funds, we’ll be able to extend our hours and provide a first floor that’s open 24 hours a day.

Hale is my home on campus: I’m there at all hours of the day. — Muhammad Khan, junior, biology
I usually spent at least 10 hours a week in Hale, and most of my friends did, too. — Yasameen Albasri, junior, life sciences

As we bring Hale Library back, we have a window of opportunity to make the heart of campus stronger. Renovations are moving ahead at a furious pace. A contribution to #HelpforHale now will allow us to incorporate the extra features our campus community so richly deserves.

Hale Library was where I first felt like I really fit in on campus. I’m excited to see it come back to life. — Alex Wulfkuhle, senior, family and consumer science education

Building update, week 51

What a difference a year makes! One year ago, finals week was in full swing on the K-State campus, and Hale Library was packed. This year, construction crews started tearing down drop ceilings on Hale’s second floor and framing out new walls on the first floor.

Here’s a visual tour of the latest progress. We’re hoping for an A+!

Three librarians in purple t-shirts stand by carts loaded with purple tote bags and snacks. At right, the same room is empty except for metal construction debris.
At left, Mike Haddock, Kim Bugbee, and Carolyn Hodgson prepare to hand out snacks to studious K-Staters during spring finals week 2018. At right, a pile of metal drop ceiling grid sits in the spot where they stood a year earlier.
Zach Kuntz, Willie and Adam Carr (’19) staff the Library Help Desk, finals week spring 2016.
Hale Library Help Desk, finals week spring 2019.

Here are a few more views of Hale Library’s main floor that will be familiar to our regular visitors.

The entrance to Hale Library’s main floor is filled with construction debris.
More debris fills the east end of the main floor. The space was previously filled with computer carrels and comfortable seating.

Meanwhile, on first floor, they’ve moved past the demolition phase and have begun framing out the walls for the new Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons, opening fall 2019.

In these photos, the yellow pointer on the embedded map indicates where the photographer, Associate Dean Mike Haddock, was standing and which direction he was facing.

The future welcoming entrance to the Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons is located just inside Hale Library’s southeast doors.

Another view of the entrance with the exterior doors visible at left. 
A construction worker on an aerial lift installs insulation in one of two future seminar rooms on the south side of Hale Library’s first floor.
Crews install ductwork and metal framing in the future Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons. This space will feature multiple reservable study rooms for six to eight students.
Another view of the Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons. The glass-walled reservable study rooms will be equipped with technology so students can work on group projects, practice presentations, video conference and more.
Walls are going up around a future “partner space,” a spot where campus service providers, from tutoring to financial advising, can meet with students in a convenient setting that’s open 24-hours-a-day.
Construction workers operating a mini-excavator are visible through the metal framing of the future Innovation Lab.
In the former Einstein Bros., a trench for new outflow pipes sits covered with plywood. The improvements were needed in order to bring Hale Library’s future cafe space up-to-code.

We hope everyone involved in spring finals week 2019 finishes strong. We look forward to seeing you in Hale Library’s Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons for finals week next fall.

And congratulations graduates! Please come see us for a tour when you return to campus for a visit!

Finals week, when we were all in Hale together

Next week is finals week.

While students are buckling down in study spots across campus, we’re feeling nostalgic. If you ever wanted to capture the spirit of Hale Library pre-fire, you couldn’t find a better time than a Sunday or Monday during finals week.

Every table was packed, and every white board was crammed with notes and diagrams. The building itself seemed to hum with the sound of K-Staters prepping for exams or finishing papers.

This week we look back on some of the end-of-semester moments in which — it felt to us — Hale Library lived its fullest life.

A collage of K-State students in different parts of Hale Library.
Some lighter moments from students’ own photos on social media, including stunting in the Great Room, white board artistry, plenty of snack time and a handstand in the stacks. Clockwise from upper left, Instagram users @lpilney, @landonwingerson, @gonzoschmonzo, @squirrelly_fiascos, @kalipitcock, and @jess__nes.

Granted, there are K-Staters who used the building all year long, day in, day out, who claimed that finals week was for amateurs. We loved it, though, because during finals week the hard work and the camaraderie were writ large. It was on display at every table, on every floor … and sometimes even on the floor.

When there aren’t any tables, the floor works just fine. May 8, 2016. 

Unexpected special guests would stop by. Sometimes it was Willie Wildcat, or at the end of the fall semester, it might be a brass band playing holiday carols. Prof. Kelly Welch from Family Studies used to show up with dozens of pizzas that she distributed to surprised and grateful students.

Willie fills in at Library Help. May 9, 2016.

Local businesses Einstein Bros. Bagels, Jimmy Johns, Mr. Goodcents,  Bluestem and Varsity Donuts regularly donated food. The lines stretched the length of the second floor as students took a break for snacks, caffeine and words of encouragement from our library employee volunteers.

Last May, the KSU Foundation donated goodie bags that we distributed across Hale Library’s five floors.

A studious Wildcat poses with her KSU Foundation goodie bag. May 8, 2018.
A student shows off a note of encouragement. May 8, 2018.

All of this is to say that we are keenly aware that it’s finals week once more, and we’re sad that we’re not all in Hale together.

Of course, students can still contact a librarian for help with research, and they can check out their textbooks on reserve at Library Help in the K-State Union,  and they can interlibrary loan whatever they need for their final papers.

Goodie bags from KSU Foundation. May 8, 2018.

And behind the scenes, we’ll be planning for a glorious return to Hale Library in fall 2019 when the Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons opens on the first floor.

We’re looking forward to it so much. And we’ll be sure it’s equipped with so many white boards, group study spaces and all of the outlets students need for their laptops and phones — you won’t believe how many outlets!

Until then, good luck on finals, Wildcats! Everyone at K-State Libraries is cheering for you!

Group study sesh. May 4, 2017.

Does this rusty stapler spark joy?

It isn’t often you get to make a fresh start, but this week my fellow K-State Libraries employees and I cast off the old in a Marie Kondo ritual of sorts.

After the fire, everything salvageable in our sodden and soot-stained offices was boxed up and moved into storage. We were all assigned new offices in one of ten different buildings across campus and—each according to our unique circumstances and job changes—began navigating a post-fire existence.

We all reacted and adapted in our own ways.

The same held true this week as we took turns visiting a storage facility near the Manhattan Regional Airport to sift through the boxes from our Hale Library offices that have been packed away for almost a year.

At left, Kay Rieder, a restoration specialist with Belfor Property Restoration, meets with K-State Libraries employees Robin Brown, Kendra Spahr, Jesica Sellers and Sara Kearns in the staging area where they opened their boxes. April 29, 2019. 

Staff members had to decide which work-related possessions they wanted to have cleaned and which items weren’t worth saving.

Some employees found the process liberating. “Man, I should have gotten rid of that paper a long time ago,” academic services librarian Sara K. Kearns said, after offloading arm loads of files destined for the shredder.

Others—especially those who have worked in Hale Library for decades—felt a renewed sense of loss.

Most librarians I spoke with said that they had already retrieved the possessions that were most important to them when we were allowed in the building for the first time on May 30, 2018.

Just a week after the fire, we signed in with security, donned hardhats and solemnly filed through the dark, hot library carrying our flashlights. While we navigated puddles, sagging ceiling tiles and random debris, I was in disbelief at the amount of damage we found around every corner.

A group of twelve people dons orange emergency vests, hard hats and respirators.
K-State Libraries faculty and staff members prepare to enter Hale Library to retrieve personal belongings. May 30, 2018. 

In my third floor office cubicle, I grabbed framed photos, artwork, and a two-drawer wooden card catalog that sat on my desk. At the last minute, I stacked a potted plant on top of my armload.

Those few belongings went home with me. The plant—now thriving—sits on my refrigerator, where it gets a lot more sun than it ever did in 313 Hale Library.

A office cubicle is strewn with binders, cords, technology, and office supplies; plastic sheeting meant to protect the space from water damage sits wadded in a puddle on the floor.
Office cubicles in the information technology area on second floor were especially hard-hit with water damage. June 11, 2018.

Some offices were in much worse condition than mine, and those library employees salvaged very little.

“It was pretty surreal visiting the office for the first time after the fire,” librarian Melia Fritch said. “The most disturbing thing was going into to our office and feeling like FEMA had been through since there were these orange spray-painted words like ‘demo’ all over the walls. That was weird.”

Memories of that first post-fire visit came into focus this week as I watched my coworkers open their boxes.

Kearns recovered dozens of books that will be treated in the ozone chamber to eliminate the smell of smoke before she reclaims them. After making quick work of her paper files, she opened several long, flat packages wrapped in cardboard.

Two of them turned out to be prints she bought in Japan while visiting her brother.

A woman wearing a blue jacket holds a long framed red, black and white print.
Kearns smiles as she shows us art she hadn’t expected to recover. April 29, 2019.

“These were on the wall that water absolutely poured down when it drained from third floor to our offices on the second floor,” she said. “I can’t believe they aren’t covered in mold. They’re grimy and they need to be cleaned, but they’re totally fine.”

Senior graphic designer Tara Marintzer approached the process wondering if she’d have similar surprises. “It’s a mystery. I have no idea what I’ll find or whether there’s anything even worth saving.”

A women in a blue jacket stands at left and a women in a black hoodie kneels at right as they
Kearns and Kendra Spahr sift through boxes of paperwork. “There’s something in here called a ‘facsimile,'” Spahr joked. April 29, 2018. 

“After the fire, my new plan was to be more digital,” Marintzer added. “No more paper files.”

In all, nearly 1,000 boxes of office contents were packed out of Hale Library. The recovery crews that boxed up employee belongings didn’t always know what belonged to whom, so there has been some confusion along the way.

Kearns opened up one box marked with her name and said, “I have no idea who anyone is in these photos. This isn’t mine.”

A coworker glanced over and recognized that the images were of Kristin Hersh, lead singer of Throwing Muses, so then we knew that the box must belong to librarian Thomas Bell, who writes about the history of rock and roll. Gradually, the boxes that remain will make their way back to their rightful owners.

For employees who had a lot to sort through, decision fatigue set in.

At left, a man in a brown hoodie reaches into a cardboard box sitting on a table in front of him. At right, a woman in a purple polo shirt holds a clipboard.
Jason Bengtson, head of information technology services, sorts through a box while Sellers waits to check it off of the inventory list. May 1, 2019. 

“I had 80 boxes to open,” Kathryn Talbot, preservation coordinator, said. “By the end, I was throwing things out a lot faster.”

As I write this, I haven’t had my turn yet to open the boxes. I don’t know what I’ll find, but I can’t think of anything that I miss.

It’s a good reminder of the most important things about the fire, though: There were no lives lost. There weren’t any injuries. Everyone came out safe.

Most things can be replaced, or—in the case of Hale Library’s interior—rebuilt so they’re even better than they were before.

When it’s time for the K-State Libraries employees to move back into our offices a few years from now, we’ll be traveling a little bit lighter. A lot of us will be working more digitally, less physically.

And, in a place of honor, my future Hale Library space will feature a healthy spider plant survivor.

Two women carrying boxes walk on a concrete driveway in front of a red brick building.
Darchelle Martin and Sarah McGreer Hoyt walk out of the storage facility each carrying a single box of things they wanted to keep. May 1, 2019. 

Postscript: I went through my boxes a few days after I initially wrote this post. It felt good to offload “stuff” and think instead about the ways in which  working at K-State Libraries still sparks joy.

On the job site with Hutton Construction

The Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons opens in fall 2019. We’re so excited, we’ve done everything we can short of scaling Anderson Hall to shout it from the rooftop spire. This week we talked to the Hutton Construction superintendents in charge of making it happen.

At center left, two men wearing hard hats stand in a construction site next to a concrete pillar.
Mike Watkins and Curt Miller, Hutton Construction superintendents, on Hale Library’s first floor. April 23, 2019. 

Mike Watkins has been in construction for 17 years, including a stints working for a general contractor and as an iron worker. This isn’t his first time on the K-State campus: He worked on the Justin Hall renovation and addition in 2011.

A large group of students wearing white hardhats gather around a long table to look at construction plans and listen to the site superintendent.
Watkins speaks to the Illuminating Engineering Society about the Hale Library renovation project. The group took a tour of the building this week. April 23, 2019.

Curt Miller has been working in the construction field a bit longer.

“I started parking cars when I was 16 for $1.60 an hour,” Miller said. “Then I got a job working on a bridge deck wielding a 90 pound jackhammer. That paid $3.20 an hour.”

One day while he was on the job, Miller said he saw the man on the job site sitting in a pickup and told his coworkers, “I want that guy’s job.”

A man wearing glasses and a white hardhat stands on a construction site next to a stack of red metal pipes leaning on a concrete pillar.
Miller says the historical preservation elements of the Hale Library project appeal to him. At one time, he owned a contracting business specializing in historic renovations. April 23, 2019. 

He was superintendent on a small project by the time he was 21.

Both say that most of the jobs they work on are new construction and remodels; they don’t often work on buildings after a disaster. Because of the fire, the Hale Library project has required them to deal with a lot more remediation than they normally would. They’re used to dealing with asbestos, but in Hale Library they’ve had to remediate old lead paint, plus smoke and soot contaminants, too.

Of course, not all jobs are this large, either. In order to manage work throughout the 400,000-plus square feet, they have a third short-term superintendent, plus five foremen who report directly to them. Additionally, there are approximately seven or eight sub-contractors and as many as 100 workers in Hale Library on any given day.

A construction worker wearing a red hardhat and yellow t-shirt stands behind a yellow mini excavator in a large rectangular doorway. A construction worker uses a remote-controlled mini excavator with a jackhammer attachment to tear out concrete on the first floor. April 23, 2019. 

“It’s a big job,” Miller said. “But I think we have a pretty good team dynamic.”

They say that the penthouse that covers the new roof-top HVAC units has been the biggest challenge so far.

“We had to build a roof over the old roof to protect the library’s fourth floor from the weather,” Watkins said. “Then we removed the old roof and installed the floor. In a normal job, you’d start from the ground up.”

While Hale Library’s users might not find the mechanical room an exciting part of the renovation, the process of watching it come together has been fascinating.

The timeline to get the first floor done by fall 2019 is also challenging.

A typical remodel would have more time built into the front-end for the design process. With the Hale Library renovation, the schedule is compressed, and plans are evolving constantly. It requires the superintendents and their teams to remain flexible and patient.

Watkins also said it will be critical to get the “smarts and parts” in time in order to get them installed and meet the deadline.

“Those are the things like technology—and there’s going to be a lot of it on the first floor—or door handles and other fixtures that don’t get manufactured until the order is placed,” he said.

What are some of the things coming up that Watkins and Miller say we should be looking forward to?

In the distance, a construction worker in a blue hard hat and white t-shirt operates a jackhammer. A worker jackhammers out damaged tile in the first floor sunflower entryway. April 15, 2019. 

They’re almost done with the first floor demolition, and then the framing will get underway.

They’re also working hard to get the rooftop air handlers online by May 1. Once they’re in the penthouse and functioning, they’ll help keep Farrell Library cool this summer. It will also help with air flow through the oldest parts of the building where they are working to lower the humidity and dry out the plaster.

While we were visiting with Watkins and Miller, we ran into K-State Student Ambassadors Tel Wittmer and Maddy Mash taking their own Hale Library tour, and we asked them what they thought.

A woman with long dark hair and a tall blond man wear white hardhats and pose on a flat rooftop.
Maddy Mash and Tel Wittmer on the roof of Hale Library withe the spire of Anderson Hall in the background. April 23, 2019.

“I think students are going to love all of the different types of study spaces,” Mash said. “And it will be great to have more natural light. That’s really exciting, too.”

Mash and Wittmer will be traveling across Kansas this year to talk about everything K-State, and now they’re prepared to answer questions about Hale Library.

If our readers have any questions for us or for Hutton Construction superintendents Mike Watson and Curt Miller, leave them in the comments!

 

Preview Hale Library’s transformation

Today’s Hale Library is cavernous, dimly lit, dusty and loud. Showers of sparks fly as work crews weld new pipes in place. A jackhammer clanks and stutters as they remove damaged entryway tiles.

Tomorrow’s Hale Library? It will be welcoming, well-lit and comfortable.

Having a hard time picturing it? Maybe this will help:

Right now on the first floor, workers on aerial lifts install new pipes and duct work. Metal studs cover the limestone facade of the 1955 stacks addition.

But when the Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons opens on Hale Library’s first floor in fall 2019, this wall will be partially covered by white board surfaces, offering plenty of room for students to study and collaborate.

Sections of the limestone will remain uncovered, though. It’s one of the many ways the renovated Hale Library will deliver new, needed amenities for students while honoring the building’s long history.

We can picture it already–the return of the marathon white board study sesh:

Students take a break from studying for their Human Body final, December 2017.

And students will be able to access those white boards at all hours of the day because–drumroll please!–the Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons will be open 24/7.

We’ll be able to close the first floor off from the rest of the building so that students can have the study space they need when they need it–even if that’s at 3:00 a.m.

Damaged sections of drywall have been removed from the old white board study area on second floor, and it’s ready for a revamp. April 15, 2019. 

When the second floor opens in spring 2020, it will feature a similar white board wall.

The first and second floors of the 1927 building, Historic Farrell Library, will open during one of the last phases. When they do open, though, the amazing natural light and plaster work will take center stage.

Previously, few Wildcats ventured into these rooms as they were densely packed with collections and office cubicles.

In the renovation, they’ll be transformed into public gathering spots. The second floor (shown above) will feature current periodicals and plenty of comfortable seating.

The second floor of Historic Farrell Library has been cleaned out and is ready for its rebirth as our campus’s new living room. Previously, it was home to staff cubicles. April 15, 2019. 
Wood salvaged from Historic Farrell Library sits on the first floor of the 1927 building. It will be reused throughout the renovated Hale Library. April 15, 2019. 

Directly below that living room space, the first floor of the 1927 building will include the same comfortable seating plus juvenile literature and curriculum materials, some of our highest use collections.

And for those of you wondering about food and drink options, rest assured that the Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons will include an exciting new dining venue.

Named in honor of the Hale Family, the new café area will feature a warm,  welcoming seating area with wood details salvaged from Historic Farrell Library. Visitors will be able to choose from a variety of settings in which to enjoy a meal or a cup of coffee, including comfortable lounge chairs situated around a large two-sided fireplace, a feature frequently requested by students.

We look forward to sharing more photos as these spaces come to life. If you have questions about the planned space, ask them in the comments section.

And if you’d like to help make the future of Hale Library a reality, visit our Help for Hale webpage or contact Chris Spooner, KSU Foundation Associate Vice President of Development Programs, at 785-775-2130 or chriss@ksufoundation.org.

See plans for the new Hale Library!

You want of-the-moment updates? You know you can find them here on the blog!

Looking for something more? Don’t miss the latest issue of K-State Libraries Magazine.

A white hard hat, a sledge hammer, and a copy of K-State Libraries Magazine sit on a concrete background.

Our spring 2019 issue is online and in mailboxes now!

We’ve got a big-picture update on the future of Hale Library, including a sneak peek of the Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons, opening fall 2019. You’ll also find dramatic renderings of the Innovation Center and working designs for new study spaces, meeting rooms and more.

 

A gray watercolor-style portrait of a woman with short hair and glasses sits next to a graphic reading "Q&A with Dean Goetsch."

Want the latest news about insurance reimbursements? In our Q&A with Dean Lori Goetsch, she shares all there is to know about insurance and the cost of renovating Hale Library.

“I never realized how complicated it would be to negotiate an insurance settlement of this magnitude,” Dean Goetsch said. “Hale Library is so large, and it was packed with furniture and technology. The insurance adjustors and all of the various parties have been working for months to estimate the costs.”

A purple and white graphic reads "Hale Library Renovation Timeline: Fall 2019, Portions of first floor complete ... etc."

And when will all of this happen? The building will reopen in phases, with the Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons opening up first, in fall 2019.

At left, tall bar chairs line a cafe counter. The ceiling is covered with dark wood paneling in geometric shapes. At right, low lounge chairs flank a contemporary-style fireplace.
Old meets new in a renovated first floor café space named for the Hale Family. Additional naming opportunities exist throughout the renovated building.

Of course, Hale Library won’t live its best new life without our friends and supporters. If you like what you see in the magazine preview, visit Help for Hale to join in our effort to create a next-generation library.

An illustrated graphic of cardboard boxes and a man lifting seven blue whales reads, "Hale move-out: We moved 1105 tons of books, the equivalent of seven blue whales."

What about the books? Thanks to hundreds of workers who put in thousands of hours, more than 1.5 million collection items were packed out in less than 17 weeks. Until Hale Library is renovated, the entire collection will be stored in multiple air-conditioned warehouses across the region.

We estimate that all 1.5 million items could be clean by July 2019. Even better news: We anticipate that more than 99 percent of the materials will be saved.

Read more about the process of cleaning and storing more than 147,700 boxes of materials!

Two blonde, smiling women stand in an aisle with packed bookshelves on both sides.
Melia Fritch and Cindy Logan: professors, office mates, collaborators.

Even without the building, K-State’s librarians are working hard to elevate research on the K-State campus.

Visit the magazine to read about two librarians who have forged a unique partnership with K-State’s athletic training program. Melia Fritch and Cindy Logan don’t just help students complete assignments, they equip them to excel in their chosen professions.

A black-and-white photo of a castle-style building engulfed in flames is overlaid with text reading "50 years ago"For K-Staters of a certain age, the big campus fire isn’t Hale Library but rather Nichols Gymnasium. Did you know that after a major conflagration 50 years ago, the limestone skeleton of Nichols Gym stood unrestored for almost two decades before it became Nichols Hall? Learn more from the latest installment of K-State Keepsakes in—where else?!—our magazine!

Be the first to learn about great stories like these! Don’t miss an issue of K-State Libraries Magazine. Click here to receive a copy in your mailbox.

Wide open spaces

The walls came tumbling down on Hale Library’s first floor last week! We have even more great shots of the demolition and the dramatic progress going on behind that purple construction fence.

A light shines in a partially visible room at left, lighting up a concrete room filled with construction debris.
A light in the old vending machine alcove shines through a newly created opening in that space’s north wall.
A man and a woman wearing hard hats walk through a room with concrete floors. Three large square windows are visible at their left.
The wall at left featuring a large bank of windows blocked off the sunflower entryway from the rest of the first floor.
A man with a gray mustache wearing glasses and a white hard hat knocks a hole in a wall with a yellow-handled sledgehammer.
Associate Dean Mike Haddock did his best Wreck-It Ralph impersonation on the wall that separated the sunflower entrance from the rest of the first floor.
A petite dark-haired woman wearing glasses and a white hardhat knocks a small chunk of plaster out of the wall with a hammer.
Associate Dean Sheila Yeh takes a whack at the wall.
Four men, two on the ground and two elevated on scaffolding, are seen from behind pieces of metal framing lowering a piece of drywall to the floor.
Construction workers lower a large section of drywall and metal framing to the ground after creating an opening between the sunflower entrance doors and the rest of the first floor.
A construction worker wearing a florescent yellow shirt and white hard hat throws a crumpled chunk of metal framing on a pile.
A construction worker throws a section of metal framing on a pile of debris. They are recycling all of the materials that they can.
Two men wearing white hardhats and gloves push a cart with a large square piece of glass on it.
Two construction workers wheel out a window pane that allowed visitors at the sunflower entrance to look into the first floor but prevented them from walking into the space.
A large concrete entryway with metal and concrete pillars.
As of this week, the entire wall is gone and the sunflower entrance opens directly into the first floor. This will be the main entryway for the Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons, which will open fall 2019.
In the distance, sun shines in wood and glass entryway, lighting up a dusty room filled with concrete floors and pillars
A view of the sunflower entrance from inside the first floor. Note that the alcove where the vending machines were has also been removed.

A construction worker uses a remote-controlled mini excavator to pull down duct work in front of the first floor elevators. 

The entire first floor has been opened up, and the walls that separated Einstein Bros. Bagels from the rest of the space are gone. A new cafe area named for the Hale Family will be constructed closer to the Learning Commons entrance. 
A rough yellow and gray painting of Hale Library about five feet high stretches the length of a yellow concrete block wall. A pile of bent and broken wiring conduit sits in the foreground.
When crews removed drywall from a wall behind the first floor librarian offices, they discovered a mural of Hale Library painted on the concrete block.

Three construction workers stand in a concrete room surrounded by debris on the floor in and several large trashcans.

As the space opens up, we can more clearly envision what the Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons will look like. Stay tuned! Next week we’ll share drawings from the architects at PGAV so you, too, can get a glimpse of Hale Library’s first floor in its fall 2019 state!

Tearing down the walls

Demolition and construction are in full swing in Hale Library!

When we visited on Monday, March 26, more than 60 workers swarmed through the building.

On the first floor, they were stripping out drywall and tearing down walls in preparation for the creation of the Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons, opening Fall 2019.

One feature of the Learning Commons? Improved access! If you’ve visited Hale Library, you know it has two exterior entrances: One at the end of a long ramp that originates at the southwest corner and one at the opposite end of the building near Mid-Campus Drive. The latter is called the sunflower entrance because of the wrought-iron sunflower sculpture above its doors.

Previously, when a visitor used the sunflower entrance, they came inside and encountered a wall of windows that blocked their access to the first floor. Instead, they had to climb the stairs or take an elevator to the second floor in order to enter through the main gates. Another trip down the stairs or the elevator was required to get back down to the first floor.

Unsurprisingly, this configuration baffled Hale Library’s visitors and first-time users (and frankly, even K-Staters who have been around for awhile).

Associate Dean Mike Haddock takes a swing at the wall that separated the sunflower entrance from the first floor.

But no more! This week, the wall came down. When Hale Library’s first floor reopens in fall 2019, visitors will walk through the sunflower entrance directly into the Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons on Hale Library’s first floor.

That’s one small step for Associate Dean Haddock, one giant leap for future visitors to the Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons! Haddock enters the first floor through the opening created during demolition.

Progress!

Meanwhile, on the third floor, workers are installing new duct work in the Great Room ceiling.

The new duct work will improve ventilation and heating and cooling throughout the oldest parts of the building. 
Workers wrap insulation around new duct work in the Great Room.
A crew removes debris in the attic space immediately south of the Great Room, just above the Academic Learning Center.

Outside, on the north side of the building, scaffolding is going up in preparation for an imminent roofing project.

A crane is parked nearby on the south edge of the quad. It is maneuvering steel beams from the roof into a space above the fourth floor Academic Learning Center where the fire started.

The north side of Historic Farrell Library (the 1927 section of the Hale Library building).
The crane extends over Historic Farrell Library’s roof and moves the beams through a gap in the penthouse wall, which is below and to the right of the crane’s lifting hook.

Since the crane operator on the ground can’t see over the building, the workers rely on communication via wireless radio to complete every step of the process.

A worker on Hale Library’s roof guides a steel beam into the penthouse and onto a winch system in the ceiling that moves the beam into place. 
Two steelworkers position the beam. Most of the walls are black from years of roofing tar, but in this photo, the wall behind the worker in the florescent yellow shirt was also blackened by the fire.  
Associate Deans Sheila Yeh and Mike Haddock look on. 

From the outside, Hale Library appears quiet and empty. On the inside, it’s a different scene entirely. We look forward to bringing you more construction updates in the coming weeks.

Two workers clean debris from the attic space adjacent to the Great Room.

The Hobrock Award Nominees

Award season continues! If they created an all-team Big 12 librarian category, these would be our contenders: They’ve all been nominated for the Brice G. Hobrock Distinguished Faculty Award.

The Hobrock Award was established by the Friends of K-State Libraries to honor Dean Emeritus Hobrock upon his retirement in 2004. Annually, the award recognizes outstanding librarianship and superior accomplishments among the K-State Libraries faculty.

Nominees are evaluated based on their professional activities during the last two years. One recipient is honored with a plaque of recognition and an award of $1,000.

Jo Crawford was nominated for her dedication to securing the best possible journal prices in the face of increasingly difficult economic conditions.

Collection development librarians oversee purchases and subscriptions, deaccession underused materials and make other strategic decisions regarding how the Libraries spends their acquisitions dollars.

Jo, who currently focuses on science materials, has worked in this challenging field since 2011. The Libraries currently spend about $5 million each year on subscriptions to electronic databases and journals. However, publishers have been raising their prices for years.

Jo’s nominator noted that she has been a dedicated employee, working long hours in Hale Library to find the best prices possible in order to get the materials our researchers need, even in the face of inexorable subscription increases.

Casey Hoeve, associate professor, was nominated for outstanding scholarship and leadership.

Like other K-State faculty members, our librarians conduct research, write journal articles and books, and present and lead committees for professional associations in their field of study.

Casey’s nominator said, “Casey has worked very hard … as co-chair of the Libraries, Archives, & Museums area for the Popular Culture Association … . He attends area chairs meetings, chairs all panels (often 8-10 panels per conference) … reviews paper proposals and handles a multitude of questions that come to the area chairs prior to a conference. Additionally, he has presented at the conference and his papers are exceptional.”

And finally, they noted the excellent work Casey has done as a collection development librarian for the arts and humanities in a challenging economic environment: “[H]e has worked diligently over the past two years to work with academic departments as K-State Libraries has continued to cancel serials due to ongoing budget constraints.”

Char Simser, professor, was nominated for professional excellence and patient mentorship.

Char, coordinator of electronic publishing, works hand-in-hand with the editors who create their online scholarly journals through K-State Libraries’ online open access publisher, New Prairie Press. There is a significant amount of setup work associated with creating a new journal, and Char has helped dozens of organizations navigate that process.

In the fall of 2017, the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) sought to publish a new journal, NACADA REVIEW, with New Prairie Press. Char’s nominator from NACADA said, “Char has been with us every step of the way.”

“Char’s expertise is invaluable as our editors … [prepare] for the inaugural issue. For Char, no question is too ‘dumb.’ Her explanations are straight forward, her patience boundless, her advice golden. In short, this journal would not exist without Char’s expertise. … [she] is truly an excellent resource and colleague for K-State faculty, and takes the mission of the open access community to heart.”

Ellen Urton, associate professor, was nominated for outstanding contributions in support of faculty teaching.

Not all students come to K-State prepared to conduct college-level research. Academic librarians address that challenge by teaching research skills in classrooms across campus. In fact, K-State’s librarians often collaborate with other faculty members and become co-teachers or research partners.

Ellen Urton is a devoted teaching partner. She has long supported the Landscape Architecture and Regional and Community Planning (LARCP) program through hands-on instruction. However, according to her nominator, “she eclipsed all of her past efforts through her recent collaboration on LAR101 ‘Introduction to Landscape Architecture.’”

Ellen collaborated with an LARCP professor and graduate student to develop a course from scratch: “Ellen’s vast expertise of resources, learning models and concrete teaching methods complimented her creativity for course structure and content development,” her nominator said. “Once the semester began, Ellen helped students directly by providing feedback on their work … . I can state with absolute certainty that [their] was significantly enriched by Ellen’s diligent contributions.”

The winners will be announced at the All-Staff Recognition Ceremony on  Wednesday, March 27. Congratulations to the nominees!

 

Destruction, demolition and new construction

Sometimes, you have to strip away the old before you can build the new. That’s our theme this week, as we bring you dramatic photos of the latest demolition and construction in Hale Library.

A map illustrates 10 of K-State's university buildings. with Hale Library located at the center. A small red mark is at Hale's upper left corner.

To help give you a sense of the site of our first photos, the jagged red spot above marks the location of the fire.

Two peaked plywood roofs stand about four feet high in the foreground. An attic-like space is situated on a ledge above and behind them.

Today, if you enter Historic Farrell Library’s third floor and stand on the false floor built on top of the scaffolding that fills the Great Room, like Associate Dean Mike Haddock did recently, you can see that spot.

The Great Room murals are covered by the plywood boxes with peaked roofs, which you see in the photo above. The attic space where the fire burned is directly above and behind them. In an attic-like space, a charred wall is at the right. The floor is missing except for some support beams, so you can see through to the room below.

Up close, you can see that the debris has been cleared away. Through the holes in the attic floor you look down into the Academic Learning Center (ALC) where the student athletes met for study tables. ALC staff members were the ones who first smelled the smoke, even before the fire alarms went off.

While the charred walls are a clear mark of the destruction, this also serves to illustrate that the actual fire was contained to one location. The vast majority of the damage was from smoke and water.

But enough destruction for today’s post.

How about some demolition? In Hale Library as we knew it, there were a lot of stairwells–many of them in tucked-away corners of the building that weren’t highly trafficked. They took up prime real estate, so in our renovation, we’re reclaiming the stairway highlighted in purple above.

A pile of rubble sits at the base of a metal staircase.

Before we can renovate, though, it has to be demolished. It might not look very innovative right now, but workers have jack-hammered away concrete to clear away space for the Innovation Center on Hale Library’s first and second floors.At the left, a worker in a blue hardhat stands on a staircase. A shower of sparks rains down from the next flight of stairs on the right.

After the concrete was hauled out, crews used blowtorches to disassemble the frames of the metal staircases.

A stairwell made of concrete blocks stands nearly empty except for a small piece of metal stairway and a section of red scaffolding.

Here you can see that the demolition has cleared out the stairs between third and fourth floor. As of today, that entire stairwell has been emptied. Progress!

A computer-generated rendering shows a dozen students scattered around a large room that features tables and chairs of different styles, computer screens, white boards, and a tool board hung with tools in a makerspace setting.
In the Innovation Center, users will generate virtual reality experiences through 360-degree video or 3-D animation. They will create artificial intelligence, edit audio and video and learn to use state-of-the-art technology that is not readily available elsewhere on campus.

So, Associate Dean Mike Haddock (who takes 97% of the amazing photos we bring you) is back. The map below shows the northwest corner of the first floor. Mike, as represented by the small purple man, is standing in Historic Farrell Library’s Room 117, and the rectangles highlighted in pink represent shafts (called “chases,” in construction parlance) that extend
through the building from the first floor up to the fourth.

A line drawing of the upper left portion of a floor map. Four small pink rectangles are in a horizontal row across the top third of the map.

This is what Mike sees when he turns and faces east-north-east toward Willard Hall and Mid-Campus Drive. A large, shabby room lined with glass windows with small square panes and columns with ornate plaster moldings.

If he turns to face south, he sees a wall of Room 117 opposite the large bank of windows looks like this:

A very thick, worn wall made of limestone and plaster is different shades of white and beige and has several different-sized rectangular windows and doorways.For most of us, the exciting part of construction comes when you get to look at the shiny, clean end product. We’re not there yet, but there’s really important work going on now so that the new Hale Library’s infrastructure can support all of those shiny, clean new spaces, like the previously mentioned Innovation Center.

Case in point regarding infrastructure: The steel beam over the doorway in the photo above is new reinforcement.

A rough limestone wall is at right. Two narrow rectangular-shaped holes are cut in the floor in front of the wall. Dust and stone debris coats the rest of the floor.If we were to walk through that doorway, you’d find the chases that are highlighted in pink on the floor plan above. On second, third and fourth floors, guardrails have been built around those chases for safety, since they’re essentially like an open elevator shaft.

A room with a lot of exposed metal wall framing is filled with give large rectangular metal pieces of ductwork wrapped in metallic silver insulation.

Over the last month, workers have been installing ductwork wrapped in insulation into those chases. The ductwork runs through the building from top to bottom.

A length of metallic silver insulation-wrapped rectangular ductwork is installed in one of the chases in front of the limestone wall.

This is just some of the construction work on Hale Library’s infrastructure. With improvements like these in place, the building will have improved air quality and more efficient heating and cooling.

A worn limestone and plaster wall in shades of off-white and white is punctuated by several rectangular windows and door. Several of those spaces are now blocked by the air vents wrapped in metallic silver ductwork.

Progress is happening. It’s not shiny and clean, but it’s important work that will take us one step forward to our new Hale Library.

As always, if you have questions about the process, please comment on the blog post or contact us at libcomm@ksu.edu!

To all of our student and faculty readers, happy spring break! We won’t be posting next week, but we’ll be back on March 19.

Hale Library update from PGAV architects

On Feb. 13, 2019, architects from PGAV joined K-State Libraries all-staff meeting to discuss next steps for the Hale Library renovation.

Four people stand in a cluster in discussion at the front of a classroom with white walls.
IT coordinator Renee Gates, architects Pat Duff and Jennifer Goeke and Dean Lori Goetsch confer following the February all-staff meeting.

The key take-away: Construction on most of the first floor has been scheduled. Meanwhile, designs for floors two through five are under development.

So in relation to the graphic above, we are at the end of Stage 3 when it comes to the first floor, and between Stages 1 and 2 for the other floors of the building.

A man stands with a microphone at the front a room. At right a PowerPoint slide is projected on the wall.
Mike Schaadt of PGAV architects gives Libraries employees an update at the February meeting.

Who are the architects in charge of this process? PGAV is based in Prairie Village, Kan., and they’ve worked on the design of more than 25 libraries, archives and special collections facilities in the last several decades.

In their work on Hale Library, PGAV has helped establish this timeline for target reopening dates:

  • Portions of first floor: Fall 2019
  • Second and fifth floor: Spring 2020
  • Third and fourth floors: Fall 2020
  • Historic Farrell Library, all floors: Late 2020/early 2021

Note that Farrell Library, the 1927 portion of the building that includes the Great Room, will open last: The plaster walls are still wet, and plaster dries very slowly. The process can’t be rushed if the integrity of the material is going to remain intact. The historic conservation of the Great Room murals and the woodwork is also very complicated.

But rest assured that the new Hale Library will incorporate the things that K-State students ask for most. We’ve spent nine months in concert with PGAV and the university community to develop spaces that fill a wide variety of needs.

Here are just a few of those desires as expressed by K-State students:

A man stands at right. A graphic purple background to his left says "Quiet study is good, but it doesn't have to be absolutely silent. A table with a lot of space is important. I like to spread out."

For years, noise complaints have been one of the top issues reported to the Hale Library Help Desk. Third floor was the quiet floor, but because of the way sound traveled through the building, it was never truly quiet.

Now we have the opportunity to rezone Hale Library’s noise levels: In the renovated building, first and second floors will be the most active and bustling. Third floor will be quiet, with some talking allowed, while fourth floor will be the place to go for really intense quiet. That means students like Nick might want to try a big table on third floor for an optimal study experience.

One of Hale Library’s amenities that students say they miss most since the fire is the white boards. They were always in high demand—which also meant we had to replace them frequently.

In the new building, students like Erin will have plenty of white board options to choose from. In fact, Hale Library will have entire walls covered in white boards, including long stretches on first and second floor. Those walls will be punctuated by strips of limestone that offer a glimpse of the 1955 addition’s exterior that was covered in subsequent expansions.

A group of three students sits in the lower left in front of a graphic purple background with two quotes: "I like windows and natural light," and "We definitely need outlets."

Hale Library spaces were repurposed multiple times over the years. In the most recent iteration, the first and second floors of Historic Farrell Library housed collections and office cubicles. That meant that the larger K-State community rarely had the opportunity to appreciate the gorgeous natural light and architectural details in those spaces.

In the renovated 1927 building, the first and second floors will be converted into public gathering spots featuring some of our high-use collections like juvenile literature. They will also be outfitted with plenty of soft seating and tables so students like Carlie can study in a room flooded with natural light.

Another retrofit: When the 1997 Hale Library renovation occurred, no one could have predicted how high the demand for outlets would be 30 years later: Today’s students want to charge their laptops and phones while studying. Since the entire building has to be rewired, we will be able to increase the number of outlets in Hale Library exponentially!

A man stands at right in front of a graphic purple background with a quote that reads, "I'd like to see smaller rooms for smaller group sessions."

First-year students like Jacob haven’t ever experienced Hale Library. When it reopens, one of the major new improvements will be the reservable rooms that will accommodate groups of all sizes.

In fact, the first floor, which reopens in fall 2019, will feature at least a dozen of these spaces, and more will be spread throughout the building. Students will finally have a private spot equipped with video technology to practice presentations, conduct interviews and meet with study groups.

These are just a few of the types of improvements we’ve been planning with PGAV, and we look forward to featuring progress on construction of these spaces in the coming months.

 

 

A floor-by-floor progress update

At our recent all staff meeting, Associate Dean Mike Haddock gave the K-State Libraries team a run-down on the latest happenings inside Hale Library. So, as we’re lining up at the starting line for our massive first floor renovation project this spring, we wanted to give you an idea of where things stand.

Starting on the ground floor: The first floor is finally clean, so the plastic  sheeting that divided the space into sections has left the building. Now, first floor looks…. a lot like the other big, empty, clean expanses on second, third and fourth floors.

There’s a little more action on the ground floor of the 1927 portion of Hale Library, where crews are removing sea foam green paint from the plaster work. 

Removing the paint will aid in drying the plaster, which is still retaining moisture from the water that poured through Historic Farrell Library during the fire.

This space, Room 117, used to be packed with a lot of shelving, and except for a small group of devotees who flocked to the dozen or so tables that lined the room, few people knew about it. Once it’s renovated, Room 117 will be home to our juvenile literature and curriculum materials collections plus plenty of comfortable seating. More people than ever will be able to enjoy its beautiful architectural details and natural light.

Up in the “Harry Potter Room” on third floor, a lot of carpentry wizardry has gone into building protective boxes around the Great Room murals. This will prevent damage during all of the renovation that has to happen in the space.

Above, you can see protective dark felt fabric stretched across the murals, and on top of that, a layer of plastic.

Once the plywood “rooms” around the murals were complete, they fastened small doors at multiple levels up and down the height of each painting so the workers can climb up and down the scaffolding and check on each mural’s  condition on a regular basis.

This photo is of the “dance floor” which is supported by the scaffolding that fills the Great Room. The dance floor gives workers access to the underside of the roof. Recently, a lot of the wood supports criss-crossing the space were removed.

Next, workers reinforced the existing metal roof supports with steel beams. It’s exciting to see improvements like these going in to strengthen the building so it will be here for many more generations of K-Staters.

Now, if you were to jump into the photo above, climb the orange ladder from the dance floor, go up through the attic and exit the little portal to the right, you’d arrive on the roof of Hale Library.

There used to be some massive air handling units out here on the roof, but those were heavily damaged by the fire and removed with a crane last summer. Now, a new penthouse is going up.

Before you think that we’re building something super fancy, we learned that in construction, “penthouse” refers to a shed-like structure built on the roof to house machinery or provide roof access, not “a luxurious dwelling on the top floor.”

Nonetheless, this new home for our HVAC systems will be the nexus for improved heating and cooling across the entire 550,000-square-foot building. Students who have spent time in Hale Library during the heat of summer and cold of winter (and during those hot-cold-hot fluctuations in spring and fall) have heard us say how difficult it was to control temperatures in the massive space. This penthouse and its equipment will make the new Hale Library dramatically more comfortable!

So, from the first floor to the roof, that’s what’s new at Hale Library. Our renovation begins in earnest very soon, and at this point, we still aim to reopen an amazing first floor space in fall 2019.

In the meantime, we leave you with a discovery Haddock made when he was in Hale Library to take these photos.

Nothing like a little dark humor to brighten up a cold winter day.

The K-State community gets a glimpse of the new Hale Library

It’s coming: Hale Library’s new first floor will open in fall 2019! Other floors will follow in 2020.

 

On Tuesday, December 4, architects from PGAV held an open forum to share existing plans for the building and to get feedback from the K-State community.

As attendees pored over proposed floor plans, they talked about how they used Hale Library in past semesters and what they’d like to see in its future. They even considered details like noise levels and various furniture styles and configurations.

Thank you to everyone who was willing to share their reactions (and have their photo taken during a stressful dead week!)

A man looks at a poster that includes various options for library seating and desks.
Chance Braun, sophomore in construction science

“Last year I usually studied on the second floor when I had time in between classes. It was a great way to knock out a couple things or just relax. I definitely see a lot here that I like.”

Molly Banwart, senior in social science, and Emma Pettay, sophomore in anthropology

“The first floor looks awesome, including the café right in the middle and the event space next to it. The way the noise levels are configured makes sense, how it starts with the loudest on first where the café is and then gets quieter as you go up each floor. Love the rooms with the natural lighting.”

Anna Ellul, freshman, feed science management, and Angela Oliver freshman, interior design

Angela: “I like the open concepts and how they’re looking at different kinds of furniture to get different uses out of the space. Large tables with dividers would help for solo study, but then they also have some good examples of large desks where you could spread out or study with a group.”

Anna: “I look forward to the enclosed study rooms that you can reserve.”

Ashton Strub, senior in apparel textile emphasis on marketing

“I like the reservable group study spaces. I use the ones in the Business building all of the time, but they’re first-come, first-served, so it can be hard to find one that’s open.”

Camree Mills-Gladney, junior in communications

“There were a lot of things I loved about the old Hale Library, so I hope we don’t lose some of its good qualities. But there’s a lot of interesting features on the first floor, and the innovation center looks cool.”

Brien Moylan, junior in construction science, pictured with interior designer Andrea Brundis ’13, PGAV interior designer.

Brien: “I got excited when I saw images of the innovation space. The rendering showed some tools on the wall, so I thought at first that it was going to include a shop, and I’m a construction science major. The architects told me it’s going to be more of a maker space and not a full shop, which makes sense for the building, but I still think it will have cool things in it that I’m looking forward to.”

Over the past several weeks, architects have been making revisions to reflect some of the feedback they’ve received in meetings and in the open forum. We look forward to sharing more renderings, floor plans and timelines in 2019!

Watch, read and wear all things Hale Library!

Maybe it’s the coming holiday season, but we’re feeling reflective. Join us in looking back at our post-fire Hale Library progress via some exciting releases (video, print, and apparel) that you might have missed.

WATCH

We are so excited about this KSU Foundation video that was presented at the Friends of the K-State Libraries gala. It includes some intense live footage that hasn’t been seen widely.

Hale Library: A Next Generation Library from KSU Foundation on Vimeo.

We love the part where Roberta Johnson says, “When we’re done, we’re going to be better. That’s the only way you can look at losing this much. Eighty percent of the building has been destroyed. You can’t not feel devastated by that unless you have the hope that … when you put it back together [it’s] going to be better.”

That’s exactly what keeps us excited about coming to work every day and creating the news you read about Hale Library!

READ

Speaking of reading, if you’d like a more in-depth version of what’s happened in the last six months, we hope you didn’t miss “Unexpected Journey,” in the most recent K-State Libraries Magazine.

Two issues of K-State Libraries Magazine, one open and one closed, lie on a wooden surface. Both feature photos of firefighters outside Hale Library during a fire.
When we were planning this issue last spring, we didn’t think we’d feature firefighters on the cover.

An overwhelming amount of work has occurred since May. This is a great place to get a recap, view photos not seen elsewhere and take in some inside points-of-view from our administrators and faculty.

WEAR

Finally, if you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone in your life who loves comfort, K-State and all things purple, consider the Hale Library t-shirt. On campus, it’s available at the Library Help Desk in the K-State Student Union, or you can order it online via the K-State Super Store. Proceeds go to the Help for Hale fund, which will assist with renovation efforts.

In closing, here are a few of our favorite photos of our friends in their Hale tees:

Willie the Wildcat 💜
Librarians from USD 383 and the Manhattan Public Library. (They surprised us with this photo, and it still makes us tear up a little.)
K-State Libraries student employees, from left to right: Patrick Dittamo, Skyler Gilbert, Hawa Dembele, Carleigh Whitman and Andrew Le.

Giving thanks for the Manhattan Fire Department and all first responders

This month we took some time out for expressions of gratitude. One of the highlights? A very special visit to the Manhattan Fire Department Headquarters.

Librarians and firefighters gather for a photo in front of a firetruck.
Left to right: Mike Haddock, A.J. Mueller, Battalion Chief Jason Hudson, Rebekah Branch, Carol Sevin, Brenna Leahy, Jesica Sellers, Robin Brown, Nick Clark, Captain Micah Hydeman, Darchelle Martin, Sarah McGreer Hoyt, and Captain Lou Kaylor. November 16, 2018.

On November 16, a group of K-State Libraries employees met at Station 1 on the corner of Denison and Kimball. We were greeted by Battalion Chief Jason Hudson and his team. Hudson, who was a K-State freshman during Hale Library’s construction, was in charge of the scene on May 22.

Hudson started off echoing what many of us thought on the day the MFD responded to the fire: “We’re there all the time. How could it be that bad?”

Yellow crime scene tape stretches across the foreground. A red fire truck with a metal ladder extends onto the roof of a limestone building.
A fire engine extends its ladder onto the northwest corner of Historic Farrell Library. May 22, 2018.

“So I get out of my vehicle and I talked to some folks that are outside already, and they’re like, ‘Yeah, there’s some smoke on the fourth floor.’ I was thinking cooking smoke, or something like that.

“I was walking … between Willard and Hale on the north side of the building … and I could smell it. You can’t mistake that smell. I look up and I see just a little wisp come off the roof, and then … I had a driver come up Mid Campus Drive from the south and he said ‘Hey, there’s smoke on this side of the building.’

A firefighter stationed at the southwest corner of Hale Library sprays water onto the rooftop fire. May 22, 2018.

“And I said, ‘Oh. We have a big fire.’ I actually thought the roof was going to come off the building. In fact, I moved trucks back thinking that the roof was going to burn off. That was my first impression of it.

More than 70 firefighters and a dozen emergency vehicles responded to the scene. May 22, 2018. 

“I actually ended up going inside with my crews and I couldn’t believe… It was almost like, ‘This building’s taken a kill shot.’ I knew it immediately when there was zero visibility… we were fortunate that everybody made it out of there when they did, because it could have been bad. Had anyone stayed in that building thinking it was nothing they would have been overcome by smoke ….

Firefighter Nate Hollenbeck rests after a shift inside of Hale Library. May 22, 2018. 

Hudson also talked about challenges the building presented.

“[T]ypically we don’t like to be on top of fire. We’d rather be under it, pull the ceiling down and then putting water on. [In Hale Library] you can’t! There’s concrete [between the floors]. We spent a lot of time trying to pull ceiling, and we couldn’t do it, so we had to get on top of it and go down.

“[The sprinkler system] saved the building. It did a lot of water damage, but there wouldn’t be a roof on that building … It could have been like Nichols Hall, back in the ’60s when it burned and all that was left was a shell. I mean,  it could have done something similar to that.”

Captain Dan Newton tells Sarah McGreer Hoyt about his team’s experience fighting the Hale Library fire. November 16, 2018. 

We also spoke with Captain Dan Newton, who is currently with Station 4 by the Manhattan Regional Airport. He started out his career at Station 2, which  covers Hale Library. So like Chief Hudson, when Captain Newton heard that there was smoke in the building at Hale, he said his first thought was, “Just another burnt bagel.”

Initially his crew didn’t go … but when they started getting radio traffic that smoke was coming from the eaves, they came to the scene. After an assignment clearing the Great Room, they went to the roof.

Two side-by-side photos show firefighters climbing to the roof to fight the fire.
At left: Crews access the roof via scaffolding that was erected as part of a roofing project. At right: A firefighter climbs an extension ladder to access the roof at the northwest corner of Historic Farrell Library. May 22, 2018.

“[W]e did multiple revolutions on the roof, which was the best place to be. We spent several revolutions cutting holes, using special nozzles that you can stick in a hole and get water to confined spaces. It was a very tough operation. It’s always a great team-building experience when you have something big like that.

Two firefighters in full protective gear and oxygen masks stand at the top of a metal extension ladder while accessing a small window in the peak of a limestone building.
Firefighters cut through wood to access the attic via a small window on the east end of Historic Farrell Library.

“I can just remember my whole entire crew cramping up … and getting to that point where knowing okay, we’ve pushed to our limit here … and you know so we did that multiple times, not just once ….

“It was a really, really hot day. And for me it was good to see my guys kind of step up. I had a very new firefighter getting to see him push through limits he didn’t know he had, and a very young driver that hadn’t been a decision-maker on scene but came up with the idea to use the special nozzle to put out the fire. So getting to see these guys grow and learn right there right in the middle of the scene isn’t something you always get to do.”

Five firefighters in full gear on the scene of the Hale Library fire.
MFD firefighters, from left to right: An unidentified firefighter, Nate Hollenbeck, Captain Clint Castor, Kody Songs and Louie Disney.

We don’t always get to hear about the fire from those who experienced it first-hand, so we’d like to extend a huge thank you to Chief Hudson and Captain Newton. Thanks, too, go out to Captain Micah Hydeman and Captain Lou Kaylor, as well as Scott Helberg, Nick Clark, A.J. Mueller, Lawilson Horne and the rest of the crew.

Thanksgiving, November 22, marks six months since the Hale Library fire, so it’s a fitting time to give thanks for the MFD and all of the other emergency personnel who were there that day, including the crews from Fort Riley, Blue Township, Riley County EMS and more.

We’re deeply grateful for these and for all first responders this holiday season, and we’re wishing them health and safety today and always!

***

Photos of the May 22 Hale Library fire courtesy K-State University Photo Services.

 

Basking in the glow of a successful Friends gala

On November 2, 2018, more than 200 revelers gathered in the Bill Snyder Family Stadium for “A Night of Illumination.” The gala attendees—Friends of the K-State Libraries, long-time supporters and event sponsors, students and librarians—all held one wish in common: To see a new, renovated Hale Library functioning at the heart of the K-State campus.

Attendees watched video highlights of both the post-fire devastation and the developing vision for the new, renovated Hale Library. In her remarks, Dean Lori Goetsch said, “We have a blank slate … We get to decide what kind of a university library we will create for Kansas State University.”

A round table covered in a black tablecloth, formal white place settings and a centerpiece of purple candles and white hydrangeas is framed by an enormous semi-circle window in the background that covers an entire wall.
Clusters of white hydrangea and lavender candles punctuate the table arrangements.
Two men face away from the camera as they look out over the football field in the Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
Guests enjoy the views afforded by the beautiful West Stadium Center venue.
Gala co-chair Whitney Short, Betsy Young and Steve Short pause to smile for the camera.
A close-up of the table arrangements featuring white hydrangeas and purple cylindrical vases and candles.
Candles featuring quotations from students reflecting on Hale Library’s importance in their lives decorate the tables. Among the favorites: “All I want for Christmas is for Hale Library to be open next semester.” – Josh
A man speaks into a microphone at a lectern, and three screens on the wall glow purple with graphics of Hale Library and quotes from students about what the library means to them.
Long-time Friends member and former president Mark Knackendoffel kicks off the evening’s events.
Surrounded by gala attendees, President Myers, seen in profile, sits facing the stage holding his chin in his hand.
President Richard Myers listens to the presenters.
Dean Goetsch, wearing a black dress, delivers her remarks from behind a lectern emblazoned with the Powercat logo.
Dean Lori Goetsch celebrates the opportunity that lies ahead: “We were prepared to renovate Hale Library’s first floor before the fire. Now we can make improvements on the scale of that renovation over and over and over, from first floor to fifth.”
Ruth Dyer and Mark Knackendoffel dance to music by Dr. Wayne Goins & the Rhythm & Blues Machine.

Four smiling gala attendees, including two students wearing purple student ambassador polo shirts, pose in the middle of the event space that glows with a soft purple light. Tiffany Bowers, Chair of the K-State Libraries Student Ambassadors; Andrew Kohls, Friends member; Sara Kearns, librarian and student ambassadors adviser; and Taylee Helms, student ambassador. Bowers delivered an impassioned testimonial about the out-sized role Hale Library played during her K-State career.

Thank you to everyone who planned, sponsored and attended “A Night of Illumination.” After a dark season in our history, it felt good to celebrate with light, music and our K-State friends.

Now, as we end the recovery phrase, we look forward to sharing our vision for Hale Library.

The Morse Department of Special Collections opens Bluemont Hall reading room

Post-fire, the Richard L. D. & Marjorie J. Morse Department of Special Collections faculty and staff have offices scattered across campus, and their rare books, manuscripts and more have been boxed up and moved to secure storage facilities.

“We were really fortunate that our research materials escaped serious damage,” Cliff Hight, university archivist, said. “The collection has been moved offsite for cleaning and storage until we’re ready to move back into Hale Library.”

But in early October, the department opened a reading room in 116 Bluemont Hall. The space features a small fraction of their collection, including a limited amount of frequently used archival materials plus research tables, a scanner and a microfilm reader.

Multiple open books and large photographs in both color and black and white are spread across a long table.
Materials include photos, yearbooks, news clippings and more that cover K-State’s history.

“We realized within a week or so after the fire that in order to continue providing at least one aspect of our services we would need to have access to some of the collection,” Hight said. “We determined that it made the most sense to offer core materials related to university history. After that, we were in a holding pattern until they could move those items out of Hale Library and clean them so they were free of soot and smoke odors.”

Items available for public use include subject clipping files, photo collection files, yearbooks, catalogs, recent budget books, campus directories, Manhattan directories and commencement programs.

“We’re looking forward to seeing students, faculty and the community engage with our collections again, even if it is on a much smaller scale,” Hight said.

A man wearing glasses and a blazer and tie looks at the camera while sorting through manila file folders in an open filing cabinet drawer.
Patrick Dittamo, special collections employee and graduate student in musicology, searches through subject clipping files in the new reading room.

Visitors can also request to view the St. John’s Bible. If you can’t make it to the reading room but would like to bring the St. John’s Bible to your community, our outreach program remains active. The Libraries’ trained docents regularly bring this work of art to organizations throughout the Kansas region.

A close-up of the interior pages of a book covered with abstract drawings, calligraphy, and gold leaf decorations.
The St. John’s Bible is the first completely handwritten and illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine Abbey since the invention of the printing press. K-State Libraries was gifted a Heritage Edition of The Saint John’s Bible, which is a fine art reproduction of the original.

Additionally, a selection of digitized materials from the department’s primary collecting areas is available online.

So what kinds of things can you find in the reading room? And who might need them?

Let’s say you are a history or journalism student researching the arc of the civil rights movement on the K-State campus. The reading room staff can pull subject clipping files related to your topic. You’d find articles about events, people and conflicts as reported in regional, local and campus publications dating back over many decades. They can also pull files of related photographs, many of which have never been published or digitized.

Of course, professional journalists, professors from K-State and further afield and members of the community can also access these resources.

A student standing behind a table covered in open books, news clippings and photographs hands a black-and-white photo to a student seated next to her.
Special collections student employees Alex Wulfkuhle and Jarrod Kuckleman examine an array of materials related to the 1968 Nichols Gym fire.

How can I contact the reading room? 

If you have questions about the holdings, policies or more, call 785-532-7456, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday or email libsc@ksu.edu.

What types of materials are boxed up and stored offsite?

Well, for starters, the Morse Department is home to more than 38,000 cookbooks and manuscripts that date back as far as 1487.
It might seem arbitrary for a library to have so much focusing on a single subject.

“Libraries that have a special collections department often narrow their focus and collect most heavily in a few specific subject areas,” Lori Goetsch, Dean of Libraries, said. “That means they can develop a collection with depth and breadth to truly serve researchers in that field. At K-State, we’ve developed a great reputation for our cookery collection. People come from all over the country to access everything from 19th century hand-written manuscripts of recipes to regional cookbooks covering different American cuisine.”

A recent addition to the cookery collection, this untitled two-volume set of Austrian manuscript cookbooks dates from about 1790. It was handwritten in German by an anonymous chef who packed nearly 400 pages with recipes of all kinds.

Two other collection highlights include topics related to Kansas history and the consumer movement.

The Consumer Movement Archives (CMA) was established in 1987 through the initiative of Richard L.D. Morse, a prominent leader in the consumer movement and a Kansas State University professor. Broadly defined, the consumer movement consists of individuals and organizations that advocate for the rights and welfare of consumers, especially when those rights are violated by corporations and governments.

This is just a small sampling of the materials included in the department. We look forward to bringing them back to Hale Library once they have a new, improved space.

Where do the materials come from?

The university’s librarians regularly buy and receive donated materials to grow the collection. Funds come from a range of sources, including private gifts and grants from organizations such as the National Endowment for the Humanities.