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Hale Library Blog

Second floor progress update

Most of Hale Library’s second floor is scheduled to open during the spring 2020 semester. We took a peek at the progress and could tell the new space is really starting to take shape!

This floor plan shows some of the exciting new features planned for the second floor. The Info Commons, shaded in purple, will be open this spring and include nearly 100 computers.

Since there is now a direct entrance to the first floor, we are moving the second floor entrance a little further to the West. This will allow us to re-purpose some space for seating, create a better pathway to our help desks and shorten the distance of the hallway leading into the building.

Here you can see where the new entrance is located for the second floor. The former hallway to the East of the new entrance will be used for additional seating.
This was previously the entrance to the second floor. Soft seating will be added to the new space with plenty of natural light from the gorgeous arched window.
The beautiful, high ceilings and original light fixtures in the new seating area will also add to its appeal.

When students walk into the second floor they will immediately see our new Library and IT Help desks. These two services will now be co-located providing campus with more convenience and better assistance.

The Library and IT Help desks will be located directly across from the new entrance. In addition, new consultation rooms will provide spaces for staff to work with patrons on in depth questions.
This wider shot shows the Library and IT Help desks in relation to the rest of floor. On the left side of the photo is the East wall of the stacks. Similar to the first floor, we will expose the limestone walls and add more white boards.
The East end of the second floor will be filled with computer stations and study tables with additional seating next to the windows.
While most of the drywall is up on the second floor, construction continues throughout this floor and the three floors above it. We’ll have more on that in our next post!
How many gallons of paint do you think it will take to paint the walls in Hale? Lots of paint has already gone up on second floor.

Just for fun, we also took a peek inside the new cafe space on the first floor. Joyce and Joe’s Cornerstone Cafe will also open during the spring 2020 semester.

The stonework is complete on the fireplace feature. The tape on the floor is actually the pattern for the ceiling, which will utilize salvaged wood from Hale Library.

In other exciting news, we announced yesterday that the first floor Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons will begin 24/5 hours starting Sun., Nov. 3. This is another service made possible by renovation efforts. We could not be more thrilled to bring this service back for K-State students. Happy studying!

Make yourself at home!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We’re just getting started

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Labor Day Appreciation

This Labor Day we’re thinking of all of the workers who have made Hale Library’s recovery and renovation possible. Due to their dedication, we were able to meet our goal of opening the first floor during the first week of classes. To all the workers, thank you!

A worker in a white hard hat uses a power tool that sprays a shower of sparks
A worker welds on Hale Library’s second floor.
Two men in white hard hats connect steel beams
Workers construct the new roof over Farrell Library.
Man on all fours with green laser running length of photo
One of the workers using a laser level in front of the limestone wall where whiteboards are now mounted on Hale’s first floor.
Man to left in white hard hat writes on table, man in right of frame in white hard had kneels to install electrical outlet
Two crew members work on opposite sides of a wall on the first floor of Hale Library.
Man in white hard hat cutting through wall with power tool
A worker on the first floor of Hale tearing down the wall to create the new entrance.
A man in a white hard hat scrapes putty along a wall
One of the drywalling crew works with the help of spotlights on Hale’s first floor.
A man in an orange hard hat using a sledgehammer to open up the wall
A worker taking down the sheetrock to create the new first floor entrance.
A man in a yellow hard hat writes on paper on stacks of wood
One of the workers on the first floor.
A group of people in hard hats on stilts working to put up ceiling grid
The first floor swarms with crew members from a dozen different subcontractors. They’re finishing lighting, drywall, painting, carpeting, and more.
Two men in white hats on platforms mud the ceiling
Two men mud the drywall by the sunflower entrance at Hale Library’s southeast corner. The doors at left open into the new Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons. 
A worker in a yellow hard hat moves boxes off a truck ramp into Hale's first floor
A worker moves boxes into Hale Library’s first floor.
Man walks across floor scattered with construction materials
One of the crew members makes their way across the destruction on Farrell Library’s roof.

Home Sweet Hale! First floor now open

At 8 a.m. on Wednesday, August 28, 2019, Dean Lori Goetsch opened the doors to the Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons on Hale Library’s first floor.

Oh, K-State friends. We wish you could have been there. It was a beautiful thing. After 15 long months, our people finally got to come back to their Home Sweet Hale.

It wouldn’t have been possible without the more than 2,400 individuals who contributed to Help for Hale. We have four more floors to renovate, so please, be a part of creating the rest of our next-generation library. It’s easy to make a gift through the KSU Foundation online.

If you’re on campus, come visit! We’ll be closed Saturday-Monday of Labor Day weekend, but regular hours start Tuesday.

The flow of early morning visitors was slow but steady. Within three hours, though, students swarmed the space.
HOME SWEET HALE! Welcome to the Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons.
Students hooked their laptops up to the large collaboration screens in the reservable study rooms; they curled up in soft chairs; and they put the white boards to good use.
Three women sit on a blue padded bench with a gray wall and a window behind them.
Padded benches now fill the nook in front of the windows to the 1955 stacks addition.
Three students hold up K-State's "WC" hand symbol while standing in front of a wall covered in purple balloons.
Sierra Marstall tweeted this great pic and wrote, “Can I get a HALE YEAH?! But seriously go check Hale out. It’s amazing. We are BIG fans…”
We’re calling this area the “living room” for obvious reasons. Very comfortable!
Two of the first students in the door met for breakfast and a study session. (And they posed for a million photos. Thank you, guys!) Photo courtesy of the K-State Alumni Association. 
Loads of seating options fill the space — note the tall table and chairs in the background.
Smiling man with a beard stands over two computer monitors on a table.
Casey Keller of K-State’s Information Technology Assistance Center was doing some final set up as the doors opened.
A quiet nook with an added screen for privacy.
Home Sweet Hale flags welcome students to the sunflower entrance at the southeast corner of the building.
Every one of these desks was full within hours of the doors opening.
We love the accent lighting in this space.
Tara Coleman and Darchelle Martin were just a few of the library employees in purple “Hale Staff” T-shirts who welcomed everyone who came in the building.
The reservable study rooms filled up fast!
The entire Everitt Learning Commons is filled with enormous whiteboard walls. Employees left welcome notes throughout the space, and then students quickly employed them for more academic uses.
It’s so good to see the crowds of students who stop between classes, who settle in for hours of study and who dearly missed their Home Sweet Hale.

Almost there! Installing the smarts and parts

It’s crunch time! Back in April, Hutton Construction superintendent Mike told us that toward the end of a job, it’s critical to get the “smarts and parts” 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.

That’s the final step. And that’s exactly what’s going down now on Hale Library’s first floor.

The new sunflower entrance at Hale Library’s southeast corner leads directly onto the first floor Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons.
Once the video monitors and signage are installed ⁠— more “smarts and parts”! ⁠— this entryway will welcome visitors to the Everitt Learning Commons.
A crew member cuts metal trim. A few of the reservable collaboration rooms are visible at right.
Workers put finishing touches on more of the reservable collaboration  rooms.
All of the collaboration rooms have floor-to-ceiling white board walls, and most will be equipped with monitors for videoconferencing, practicing presentations and more.
Workers install an accent wall near the elevator that will lead up to the second through fourth floors. Those spaces will remain under construction this semester.
K-State Libraries graphic designer Tara Marintzer tries out some of the new furniture near the first floor stairway.
More white boards are mounted in front of the limestone exterior of the 1955 library stacks addition. Plenty of seating will be available in front of these workspaces.
Darchelle Martin, K-State Libraries public information officer, gets a shot of one of the seminar rooms. This will be designated as study space this semester, but it will be used for library instruction in the future, too.
Another large study space with tables and video monitors for collaboration. 
A panoramic shot of the south side of the Everitt Learning Commons.
Meanwhile, the rest of the building is still undergoing renovation, so some construction noise will be present during the daytime hours. Metal destined for recycling sits in a heap on third floor where demolition is underway.
On second floor, a pile of salvaged wood trim in sits in the future home of the Dow Center for Multicultural and Community Studies.
Construction lights illuminate a work space lined with tool chests. While the electricity has been restored to the first floor, the rest of the building is still running on construction power from an external source.
The entryway to the third floor Great Room has been widened and will serve as a beautiful welcome into the restored historic space. New, improved graduate study spaces will flank this area. 
Workers pile construction debris on the north side of the third floor and get it ready to send out the window.
Debris from demolition exits the building via this tube, so work from the upper floors won’t disrupt visitors to the Everitt Learning Commons when it opens. Soon! Very soon! 

Home Sweet Hale: First-floor study space opening soon!

We are just weeks away from opening the Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons. An official open date will be announced soon, but we anticipate opening most of the first floor very early this fall.

“As is the case with large construction projects, you have to expect the unexpected,” said Lori Goetsch, dean of Libraries. “But it’s coming together beautifully, and we wanted to get the word out in advance of students returning to campus.”

The first floor Everitt Learning Commons is a bright, welcoming space that will feature plenty of options for seating and group study.
Crew members mud drywall and install limestone immediately to the right of the first floor entrance. The elevators, the cafe, and a large presentation room, which is located in the former Einstein Bros., are at the east end of the building. 
A fireplace anchors the Hale Family Cornerstone Cafe, which will open in the spring semester. Until it’s ready, it will be walled off from the rest of the first floor. 
Crew members install ceiling grid. There is still a lot of work to be done, but it’s moving very quickly. 
The first floor swarms with crew members from a dozen different subcontractors. They’re finishing lighting, drywall, painting, carpeting, and more.
Cardboard covers the new purple and dark gray carpet so it remains clean in the midst of all the construction work.
Workers install benches in front of the windows that look into the first floor stacks. This will be a cozy spot to study. 
Desks line the hallway that links the west end of the building to the large, open portion of the Everitt Learning Commons.
On the left are a few of the 14 reservable group study rooms. To the right, plywood mounts indicate where the white boards will be hung. The surrounding limestone facade of the 1955 library building addition will remain exposed. 
Crew members wheel drywall past one of the large seminar rooms.
Crew members unpack furniture. Note the electrical outlets on the ottoman: The Everitt Learning Commons will have plenty of outlets! Hooray!
And just one floor up on second, workers smooth concrete in the main entrance. New tiles go in soon. Even though the first floor will be open, Hale Library will be a construction zone for several more semesters, so some noise is to be expected during the day.

Stay tuned! We’re hoping to announce our opening date next week.

New developments in the Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons

Hale Library’s first floor looks less like a skating rink and more like the beautiful home of the Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons these days. Don’t miss the latest photos of the workers and spaces! We see in these images a promise of Hale Library’s bright future.

Doors will open to the first floor early in the fall semester, and the second floor will open spring 2020. The entire building will be complete by the end of 2020!

A worker lit by the glow of a laser line level measures the area where a row of white boards will be mounted. The limestone facade, which is the exterior wall of the 1950s addition, will still be visible around the margin of the white boards. July 16, 2019. 
A worker on stilts muds the drywall ceiling in front of the future Everitt Learning Commons white board wall. July 23, 2019.
The former 24-hour study space will serve as a presentation and meeting room eventually. This fall it will be filled with tables and chairs, though, in order to meet the demand for more centrally located study spaces on campus. July 16, 2019.  
This large stretch of space will soon feature reserveable study rooms. The Hale Family Cornerstone Cafe will be located immediately next to this space. We can’t wait to see the menu when they open this spring! July 16, 2019. 
A crew member installs ceiling grid in the Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons. July 16, 2019.
Two men mud the drywall by the sunflower entrance at Hale Library’s southeast corner. The doors at left will open this fall into the new Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons. July 23, 2019.
A crew member installs flooring: Goodbye concrete shell, hello gorgeous carpet in lovely saturated tones of gray and purple! July 23, 2019.
Meanwhile, up one level, demolition continues in order to make way for a fresh new second floor, opening spring 2020! July 16, 2019.
The space by Hale Library’s main second floor gates await new flooring, new entryway framing and much more. Opening spring 2020! July 16, 2019.

Thank you to University Photo Service’s Tom Theis, who took most of these amazing photos!

Butler Family Community Foundation supports K-State Libraries

Many K-Staters have committed private funds to facilitate the student-focused upgrades that will make Hale Library a next-generation library. We are grateful that the Butler Family and their Butler Family Community Foundation of Manhattan, Kansas, is among those generous donors.

The Butler Family Community Foundation gift will support the creation of a new digitization lab equipped with cutting-edge technology. Librarians will use the space to scan unique and rare primary source materials from the Richard L. D. and Marjorie J. Morse Department of Special Collections, which is located on Hale Library’s fifth floor. Thanks to this digitization lab, K-State Libraries will be able to preserve historic photos, documents, correspondence and more for future generations.

The lab will digitize historical photos like this one of Angel Flight participants at K-State, 1959. Angel Flight was a unit of the Air Force ROTC for female students. Courtesy Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries.

This process is increasingly important and a key part of preservation work in large libraries.

“We are thrilled at the prospect of extending the reach of the Libraries’ special collections to the world,” explained Brenda Butler, executive director of the Butler Family Community Foundation.

“As the digital archives become available, anyone can access a wealth of knowledge in cookery, Kansas history and so much more. This initiative finds a new way to place Kansas State and its knowledge base on a global stage. This is exactly the sort of project, with benefits to so many diverse groups of students, scholars and researchers that the Butler Family Community Foundation and our commitment to education, creativity and community is proud to support.”

A century of K-State newspaper and yearbook content is available online thanks to previous digitization projects completed by outside contractors. Thanks to the Butler Family Community Foundation’s gift, the Libraries will be able to accomplish more digitization projects in-house. (Kansas State Collegian, Nov. 4, 1957; 1912 Royal Purple).

As K-State Libraries’ Associate Dean Sheila Yeh noted recently, “The state-of-the-art digitization lab 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. … This is an example of a sustainable service model with a far-reaching impact.”

Thank you to the Butler Family Community Foundation and the many alumni and friends who have been inspired by K-State’s vision for a next-generation library.

The 1910 women’s basketball team: Reva Cree, Maude Estes, Christine Heim, Emma Lee, Hope Olive Palmer, Esther Sieder and Edna Willis. Courtesy Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries.

There is still work to do. You can help.

Give online to support the restoration of Hale Library. It’s never been easier.

Students in the balcony and rafters of Nichols Gymnasium demand a new field house, 1941. Courtesy Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries.

 

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.