As we inch closer and closer to the start of the fall semester, we wanted to share an update not just on the progress within Hale Library, but on the books that have been undergoing a rigorous cleaning and sorting process.
But now, the cleaned items are arriving back in Manhattan to be sorted. It’s quite a task…more than 147,000 boxes of books need to be reviewed for damage, sorted, and placed in call number order!
For the past few weeks, Libraries staff, along with employees of Belfor, a disaster recovery and restoration company, have been unpacking and sorting books on temporary shelves set up at Executive Court. The books on the shelves need to be checked by staff to make sure they are in the correct order. We like to call this shelf reading! While time intensive, this is an important step to make sure that people can find the items they are looking for.
Thanks to dedicated staff, the book sorting is going well! We hope to begin reshelving books in Hale Library in August, though items won’t be immediately available for use in part due to ongoing construction.
Construction in the library is also going at a good clip, and the upper floors are starting to come together.
Right now, we anticipate that floors three through five, as well as the Historical Farrell Library portions, will be opened to the public early next spring semester. It’s been very exciting to see the upper floors progress, and we can’t wait until we can share them with the community.
It’s exciting to have people back in Hale Library! With the opening of the second floor, we are working to adjust to a new sort of normal on campus and at the Libraries, while keeping visitors safe.
Our staff have many safety features in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including required use of masks, extra cleaning supplies available to patrons and limited seating areas and computer stations. It has been very exciting to see people come into the space to walk around and explore the new floor.
In the Great Room, crew members are primarily focused on stripping and varnishing the bookshelves in the alcoves, as well as sanding the windowsills and completing any outstanding plaster work.
We are particularly excited about Joyce and Joe’s Cornerstone Café located in the Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons on the first floor. The café is close to completion and the temporary walls separating the café from the rest of the floor have been taken down. The first floor will be open during the fall semester, but plans are still being finalized for the opening of the café, which will be run by K-State Housing and Dining Services.
As we jump into July, a lot of changes are coming to Hale Library. Besides the continuation of construction and progress on the building, the library will also welcome the public back for the first time since early March.
Starting July 1, the second floor of Hale Library will be open to visitors. Patrons must wear a mask or facial covering and practice social distancing while in the building. Services offered include access to the help desks, course reserves and computers. Extra steps will also be taken to promote safety and keep the environment clean. You can learn more about the reopening at our continuation of services page.
While the second floor will open to the public, the remaining floors continue to undergo a vigorous and rapid transformation.
In Joyce and Joe’s Cornerstone Café, the tile behind the counters was installed, and the fireplace was completed.
The Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab is undergoing more plaster work and drywall installation. The specific rooms for equipment and varying labs are starting to take shape—it’s only a matter of time until we can start moving in some tech!
In the Great Room, the protective boxes have been removed from the murals so that workers can perform plaster work around the edges. Removal of the boxes will also allow art restoration professionals to begin work on the murals later this fall.
The Virginia Carlson Family Reading Room will house the juvenile literature and curriculum materials collections. Virginia Carlson was a graduate of Kansas State College in 1952, a librarian and teacher. Virginia’s family has studied in Hale Library for more than four generations and they have invested in the building to honor her legacy. We are extremely grateful for their generosity!
The Libraries plan to have the first and second floors open to students and the community at the start of the fall semester, with the upper floors opening collectively in early spring of 2021. Keep an eye on this blog for more stories and updates as we get closer to the new school year!
This week, we thought it would be interesting to look back at all the stories and updates we’ve posted in the last two years and share the top ten most viewed blog posts. A lot of progress has been made since the 2018 fire in Hale Library, and it is rewarding to see what stories have most resonated with the community following our story.
Below are the top ten most popular blog posts we’ve ever published, along with a quick synopsis of what each post focuses on. Feel free to click around and explore!
This was our blog’s very first post, written just a few short weeks after the fire in Hale Library. In the aftermath of the fire, it quickly became apparent to us that we would have quite a story to share, and that the community wanted information about what happened to the library. We also knew people would want to see progress as we began the long journey to restore the building. In this first post, we shared the details of the fire, the heroic actions of the first responders who worked to save the library and pictures of leadership surveying the smoke and water damage.
Another early post, this entry shared more pictures of the library after much of the damage had been surveyed. During this time, construction revolved mainly around demolition and removing damaged ceiling, dry wall and carpeting. A lot of the technology and furniture was damaged from soot and had to be disposed of as well.
This spring, we shared new photos of some of the spaces in Hale Library that were near to completion. This included Joyce and Joe’s Cornerstone Café. We also highlighted the Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab and efforts by the Digital Fabrication Lab to create face shields for local healthcare workers battling COVID-19.
After the fire, the books in Hale Library sustained damage from water and soot. The wet books underwent a very delicate and special process to prepare them for transportation to a cleaning facility in Texas. Check out this post to learn more about how wet books are saved.
The fire in Hale Library made it impossible for students to continue studying in the building. Students were suddenly looking for new places across campus to study, and so we worked with a student, Brenna, to share good study spots that students could make use of while Hale Library was unavailable.
We shared this post just a few weeks before the pandemic hit—at the time, we were all prepped for the second floor to open. As such, this post mainly shares photos of the second floor being outfitted with soft seating and computer spaces. We also shared pictures of the lattice work wood ceiling being finalized in the Great Room.
In January of 2019, Hale Library and the emergency first responders who responded to the fire were profiled in “Rescue Heroes: Global Response Team.” The episode gives an overview of the fire, including interviews from rescue and recovery personnel, students and faculty. You can watch the segment highlighting Hale Library at the YouTube video we link to in the post.
In late April, we shared a building update about further progress on the library. The scaffolding in the Great Room came down around that time and the wooden ceiling was completed. Purple lighting was also installed throughout the first and second floors of the building.
After the fire, more than 80 K-State Libraries staff and faculty were left without access to an office space. Thankfully, more than 13 offices and departments graciously welcomed our staff into temporary work spaces. In this post, we shared photos about where everybody ended up.
Close to the Thanksgiving holiday in 2018, K-State Libraries staff visited the Manhattan Fire Department Headquarters to say thank you for their work in saving Hale Library. The post features some of the firefighters who helped combat the fire, along with photos of them in action.
As summer approaches, we are closely following the rapid progress being made in Hale Library. This week, we’d like to highlight sections of the library that you might not have seen recent photos of, particularly the upper floors.
But first, an exciting update regarding the Great Room: the original bookshelves that were in the east and west alcoves are undergoing a vigorous repair process!
In other areas of Historic Farrell Library, further plaster work is being done on the first and second floors. In order to score the plaster, the radiators had to be pulled out. However, they will be repainted and eventually put back into place.
Also on the third floor, work continues on multiple office spaces and the graduate student study rooms, located near the entrance to the Great Room. The study rooms will be in the same location they were previously, but they will be much improved.
The Academic Learning Center (ALC) on the fourth floor is also coming along. The ALC is a partnership between K-State Libraries and K-State Athletics that provides space for student athletes to receive academic support, including one-on-one tutoring.
On the fifth floor, mobile shelving is being removed in the Special Collections space in order to replace the mechanical system that moves the shelving units. The system is under the wood flooring and was damaged during the fire.
As construction continues on these spaces, the Libraries are also working on a plan to reopen the completed areas of the building later this summer. Keep an eye on our website and the Libraries’ social media feeds for more information as it becomes available.
Two years ago, on May 22, 2018 at 4 p.m., things at Hale Library changed forever.
The fire and the resulting damage from water and smoke impacted several sections of the library, including Historic Farrell Library and the Great Room. As a result, nearly 130 employees found themselves out of their regular workspace and into more than 13 temporary work spaces throughout campus.
As a way of recognizing the immense progress that has been made in the two years since the fire, we wanted to share photos that show the tremendous progress we’ve made. As we get closer and closer to completing the renovation and restoration of the library, we hope you find as much inspiration from these photos as we do.
The catastrophic damage to the library was a hit to the entire K-State community, as Hale Library is often viewed as the heart of campus, and a place where everyone is welcome to share a quiet moment of reflection or study. At the time, it seemed that the incredible task of restoring the 550,000-square-foot building would be the greatest challenge the library and its staff have ever faced.
But now, two years later, the challenge lies not in finishing the restoration of Hale Library, but in preparing for what comes next.
Despite the impact of COVID-19, construction continues on Hale Library at a rapid pace. Every week, the changes at the library become more and more visible—we would say that the library is starting to look like its old self again, but that wouldn’t be true. Instead, Hale Library is beginning to look like its new best self, a mix of the historic and the future.
On the first and second floors, the Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab begins to take shape, introducing a creative space that will open new doors for students and patrons as they tackle projects with the latest technologies. On the third floor, the historic Great Room is being restored to its former glory, but the acorn finials hanging from the ceiling are newly varnished, the murals are being repaired with the latest restoration techniques and desperately needed electrical updates flow throughout the space. Similarly, the first and second floors of Historic Farrell Library will also be restored to showcase their beautiful architectural details, but the spaces will have new purpose as they house distinctive collections and comfortable study space with plenty of natural light.
It’s these changes and more, that are beginning to reveal a next generation library.
We want to say a huge thank you to the library and IT staff for their patience throughout this journey, as well as their unwavering dedication to continuing to provide quality service to the community. We also want to extend our gratitude to the entire K-State community for their endless support.
In a year from now, on the third anniversary, it’s exciting to think about what it will be like in Hale Library. By then, the full library is expected to be open to the public and students and staff will once again have a place on campus to call home. The ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel is keeping our staff, in particular, positive and resilient. We also hope that by then, life will have returned to some kind of normalcy for us all.
It hasn’t been an easy road to restore Hale Library, nor has it been a short one. But we’re confident that the results will be well worth the wait.
Spring is in full swing and we’re excited to share pictures of how things are growing at Hale Library!
Many projects are being fleshed out further and some spaces, including the Great Room, Joyce and Joe’s Cornerstone Café and the Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab are visibly coming together. The Innovation Lab in particular is starting to take shape as crew members install drywall and create the rooms that will house technologies new to the library and campus.
The Innovation Lab will be available to all students, staff and faculty at K-State, giving them access to new technologies such as digital media production, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, immersive digital environments and other emerging innovations. The lab will be located on the first and second floors of the library with a staircase connecting the two spaces.
The space also will include 14 3D printers, a Glowforge laser cutter and a studio that will allow users to record high-quality video with a single touch of a button. Two of the 3D printers will be FormLab SLA printers; these printers use ultraviolet light to create a strong but flexible resin often used for healthcare or engineering materials. The remaining 12 Ultimaker printers create materials by stacking melted material layer by layer.
The virtual reality room will allow visitors to explore their projects using 3D technology. For example, an architecture student would be able to view a 3D rendering of a building project as if it were right in front of them.
Crew members are continuing plaster work on the Great Room and installing light fixtures. With every new day, the space is looking more and more trim and polished!
We hope you enjoy seeing the progress in Hale Library as much as we do, and we are thrilled that we are able to obtain regular photos to share with the K-State community. Our next blog post will be an extra special one, as we look at the immense amount of progress that has been made since the Hale Library fire nearly two years ago. Stay tuned!
Things in Hale Library are starting to lighten up! Many lights are being installed throughout the building and overall, things are definitely starting to come together. Work continues on Historic Farrell Library and along with the new, modern parts of the library, the spirit of Hale Library is starting to visually come alive.
Firstly though, we wanted to address that we’ve received questions regarding the reported collapse on the third floor of the library. We want to assure the community that there was no damage to the library structure. A small section of a stairwell was being in-filled with concrete to create additional floor space on the fourth floor and during the process, the form system became unstable and fell to the floor below.
That event aside, work continues in a very positive direction and we’re excited to share with you our latest photos from the building interior.
The scaffolding in the Great Room has been completely removed and workers are using lifts to install new lights throughout the ceiling. A few of the workmen mentioned they almost wish the scaffolding was still there, since the ceiling is so high! Now that the scaffolding is out of the way, the crew is also working on removing boards from the windows and repairing plaster along the walls.
The new purple soft lighting can be seen in multiple spots near the ceiling around the second floor, including near the lobby area and printers, above the help desks and along a section of the study area. Some of the lighting will serve as a back light for lettering; for example, lettering above the help desks and on the first floor, behind lettering for the Dave & Ellie Everitt Learning Commons.
We are extraordinary thankful to the Hutton team members for working hard to restore the library, and thrilled to be able to share frequent photo updates with the community. We want you to share the pride we have in this beautiful building!
Campus might be especially quiet right now, but inside Hale Library, things are anything but quiet.
Right now, construction continues on the building, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the lack of patrons in the building has led to things moving faster than anticipated in some areas. Work on Joyce and Joe’s Cornerstone Cafe on the first floor is moving very rapidly, the second floor is completely finished and furnished, and very soon, the scaffolding in the Great Room will be completely removed, revealing a refurbished, beautifully restored wooden ceiling.
The café on the first floor, which will be managed by K-State Housing and Dining Services, will provide a comfortable space for visitors to grab a coffee and meet with others. Construction crews have completed the fireplace and taken down the temporary walls; next, work will begin on the cooler and the kitchen itself. The café counter and the kitchen equipment will be installed later this month.
Our Libraries staff are also hard at work behind the scenes to provide students, staff and faculty with the academic resources they need while being away from campus. While people can’t access physical textbooks, journals and books right now, our interlibrary loan staff are busy filling requests by sending scanned articles and book chapters to patrons electronically. We are so grateful for our hardworking staff, and glad we have the ability to help our community access the information they need.
Things are hopping over at the K-State Libraries Annex, an offsite storage unit where many books and items are held.
During Spring Break and before campus moved to limited operations, our Library User Services team spent a day moving all the course reserves textbooks in the Student Union back into Hale Library.
Construction is expected to continue on Hale Library for the foreseen future. The crew is taking precautions by following appropriate social-distancing standards and holding meetings outdoors in good weather or in larger indoor spaces to maintain space. There also are fewer workers than there were previously. All in all, things are moving at a fast pace and we are excited to share more photos as the library progresses!
When students arrive at June Orientation and Enrollment before they begin their first semester at K-State, there’s one thing we want to make sure they know: We are here to help. We tell them that they don’t need to fumble through the hundreds of databases available, or stress out about what keywords to use to find the research they need. That’s why we are here.
This message has perhaps never been as relevant as it is today. As students return to their classes this week, now in an online format, we know that there will be added stress. Now, more than ever, we want you to know that you should not hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help.
Our librarians and staff are working remotely and are available to answer your research questions or to provide help with using online resources. Chat services will be available Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For general questions, use our Ask A Librarian service; you can also contact your subject librarian by email.
K-State librarians have also created handy research guides. These guides are divided by subject and can help you navigate the best ways to find articles and research related to your class. They’ve also created a guide specifically for instructors with information about incorporating Libraries resources into Canvas.
Our staff are also working to make sure that you continue to have access to our online materials. Several resources are available online for research and can be accessed remotely. Some resources will require users to log in with their K-State E-ID and passwords.
Our Interlibrary Loan staff will continue to process requests for articles and books chapters for electronic delivery. Our ability to fill requests is heavily dependent on the operations of other libraries, many of which are also reducing their operations, but we are working very hard to fulfill as many requests as we can.
We can also scan chapters from our textbook collection. To place a request for a chapter of a textbook, use the Interlibrary Loan request form. We will work to get you a scanned copy either from our collection or another library. If you don’t have your textbook, you might also check RedShelf. The K-State Campus Store is partnering with RedShelf to provide access to up to 7 e-textbooks.
Our continuation of Libraries services webpage has more information about our resources during the university’s limited operations status. As we move through the uncertainty ahead, we will continue to keep you updated through this blog as much as we can. While construction continues on Hale Library, our ability to obtain photos of the progress will be limited. We will continue to post updates, but they may not come out quite as often. In the meantime, remember that we are still here, and we are ready to help in any way we can.
If you walk into Hale Library today, one of the first things you might notice is how busy the first floor has become. With floors 2 through 5 currently closed, students are grabbing every chair and filling every collaboration room they can find. Desks and study nooks on the first floor are prime real estate right now, but soon, students and the K-State community will be able to branch out.
The second floor of Hale, set to open immediately following Spring Break, is currently being finalized and outfitted with swanky new furniture.
Early last week, workers started assembling furniture from the multitude of boxes stacked into corners on the floor. The wishbone-shaped computer stations were taking shape, their grey tops left to one side in preparation. By Friday, the stations were nearly complete, with the only missing pieces being the computers themselves.
Meanwhile, in the Great Room on the third floor, things also are progressing. Earlier this month, we shared how the woodwork from the ceiling had been repaired and varnished, and that workers had started putting back the pieces in their original places.
While there is still a substantial amount of work to be done, the Great Room is getting closer and closer to looking like the “Harry Potter” room we all know and love. An up-close view of the ceiling woodwork reveals how beautifully stained the wood is, giving one an idea of the high level of artistry the artisans working with the wood possess.
Most of the other portions of Historic Farrell Library are still under heavy construction; crew members are focused mainly on plaster work.
The main welcome desk on the first floor of Hale also received a makeover. The welcome desk is a one-stop resource for students and members of the community who have questions about the library, including directions and resources the library offers.
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