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Hale Library Blog

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Building update: Jumping into July

As we jump into July, a lot of changes are coming to Hale Library. Besides the continuation of construction and progress on the building, the library will also welcome the public back for the first time since early March.

Starting July 1, the second floor of Hale Library will be open to visitors. Patrons must wear a mask or facial covering and practice social distancing while in the building. Services offered include access to the help desks, course reserves and computers. Extra steps will also be taken to promote safety and keep the environment clean. You can learn more about the reopening at our continuation of services page.

While the second floor will open to the public, the remaining floors continue to undergo a vigorous and rapid transformation.

In Joyce and Joe’s Cornerstone Café, the tile behind the counters was installed, and the fireplace was completed.

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

The Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab is undergoing more plaster work and drywall installation. The specific rooms for equipment and varying labs are starting to take shape—it’s only a matter of time until we can start moving in some tech!

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

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

The Virginia Carlson Family Reading Room will house the juvenile literature and curriculum materials collections. Virginia Carlson was a graduate of Kansas State College in 1952, a librarian and teacher. Virginia’s family has studied in Hale Library for more than four generations and they have invested in the building to honor her legacy. We are extremely grateful for their generosity!

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

The Libraries plan to have the first and second floors open to students and the community at the start of the fall semester, with the upper floors opening collectively in early spring of 2021. Keep an eye on this blog for more stories and updates as we get closer to the new school year!

Building Update: It’s all about the atmosphere

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.

Joyce and Joe’s Cornerstone Café is coming along at a fast pace. The wooden ceiling has been completely painted black and they are working on installing the tile for the floor. The wooden counters for the café also arrived and are being installed.
In the background, you can see the special purple soft lighting that is being installed near the ceiling in a few parts of the library. We love that royal purple!
Crew members are currently working on the cafe counter area.

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.

From the fourth floor balcony, you get a great view of the completed ceiling woodwork and the new lighting.
Now that the scaffolding has been removed, it’s easy to see the ceiling and get a sense of how much progress has been made.
A crew member uses a lift to reach the ceiling and install new lights.
Crew members have started to repair the plaster throughout the Great Room.

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.

Soft purple lighting appears above the new library and IT help desks located centrally on the second floor.

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!

Building Update: The work continues

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.

This is a picture of the West end of the Great Room.
The woodwork in the Great Room is finished and crews have started removing the scaffolding supporting the West end of the dance floor.
This is a picture of the Great Room and the mural boxes.
About a third of the scaffolding that supports the dance floor has been removed. To the right, you can see the constructed boxes built to cover and protect the four murals.
This is a picture of the lights on the Great Room ceiling.
New lights have been added to the flat portion of the ceiling at the West end of the Great Room.
This is a picture of the main lobby on the second floor of Hale Library.
New shelving is being built behind the library and IT help desks on the second floor. The help desks are centrally located and will be a one-stop shop for library visitors who have questions and need assistance.

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.

This is a picture of the cafe ceiling.
A fun fact about the grid work ceiling of the café: the wood is refurbished and repainted wood salvaged from the Hale Library. The wood was painted with four coats of grey paint—two coats by hand and two by spray so that they covered all the angles.

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.

This is a picture of Denny Ryan using a scissor lift.
Denny Ryan, Annex collection coordinator, uses a scissor lift to reach materials up high on the Annex shelves. Ryan will then scan the articles and book chapters requested by K-State faculty, staff and students.

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.

This is a picture of people loading book carts onto a moving truck.
Movers and the Library User Services team loaded more than 5,000 books and materials into a truck, which then backed up all the way to the loggia entrance of Hale Library.
This is a picture of library staff moving book carts around the second floor of Hale Library.
Moving the more than 5,000 books and materials was no easy task, but the Library User Services team had smiles on their faces and were very excited to move the first books back into the 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!

New challenges, same objective

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.

Stephanie working from home, with her toddler playing nearby.
Stephanie Kiersey, a user services specialist, works alongside her little one. Stephanie helps answer questions from users on our chat service and through email. Our staff sure have some cute new coworkers!
Sara seated at her computer, working from home.
Sara Kearns, an academic services librarian, suggests that students try our Ask a Librarian service if they have issues finding a book or article. “Physical materials, like books, are going to be harder to get, but we may know of workarounds or alternative sources,” Kearns said.

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.

A photo of Daniel with his cat.
Dan Ireton, an academic services librarian, shows off a very serious Spartacus. Dan, along with our other subject specialists, continue to work with both students and faculty remotely from their home.

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.

Christina Geuther, electronic resources librarian, is working from home with her sweet coworkers, Frida and Heidi. Christina helps make sure our online resources and databases are working properly and negotiates licenses with publishers.

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.

A picture of McKenna holding her dog, Molly.
McKenna Lueger is a senior in graphic design and also works for the Libraries. She is working at home with her new “coworker,” Molly. McKenna said she encourages her fellow students to try Interlibrary Loan to access materials because it is really easy.

Additionally, if you have questions about copyright or fair use during this time of transition our librarians in the Center for the Advancement of Digital Scholarship are also working from home to help answer any questions you might have.

A picture of Ryan smiling at his home workstation.
Ryan Otto is a digital scholarship librarian in the Center for the Advancement of Digital Scholarship. In addition to other services, Ryan also continues to support the K-State Research Exchange or K-REx, which makes K-State’s scholarly works more widely available.

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.

Building Update: Taking Things to the Next Level

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.

In less than a month, students and members of the community will be able to walk down this hallway, known as the loggia entrance, and into the second floor.

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.

Early last week, boxes of furniture were piled high throughout the second floor. Crew members began constructing the wishbone-shaped computer stations in pods throughout the floor.
Setting up the wiring for the computer stations is a handful!
And voila, the stations for the computers are set up and ready for the main attraction…the actual computers. There will be 99 public computers on the second floor.
In the Great Room, crew members are working on replacing the lattice work along the walls near the ceiling.

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.

Most of the ceiling woodwork has been completed, including the tresses and purlins. Currently, workers are putting up the lattice work along the sides of the room.

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 first floor of Historical Farrell Library used to be filled with tall bookshelves, which had the unfortunate effect of blocking out a lot of natural light from the windows. Plans for the renovation include shorter bookshelves that will allow more natural light to fill the room. How illuminating!
If you look closely enough at the carved columns in Historic Farrell Library, you’ll notice a recurring theme…the acorns!

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.

While cleaning of the books finished in January 2020, other materials, including maps and microfilms are still being cleaned. In this picture, several maps are being ozoned, a process that removes the smell of smoke from items.

Fall 2019 Finals Week: Back in Hale

While no one really enjoys finals week, there has always been something special about time spent cramming for final exams with fellow students and friends inside the walls of Hale Library. But for the previous two semesters the building hasn’t been available. That all changed this week when students spent their first finals week back in Hale since the May 2018 fire.

Snow covers the ground outside Hale Library.
The week started with a bang as the first heavy snow of the season fell in Manhattan on Sunday. By Monday morning it officially looked like winter at Hale Library.
The first floor of Hale Library is packed with students studying.
A little (or a lot in this case) snow couldn’t keep the students away. Hale Library was packed with students studying with their classmates for final exams.
Three students smile while holding food and drinks in Hale Library.
Just like we used to do, the Libraries provided and coordinated donations of food and coffee to bring a smile to tired and hungry students.
Three students get iced tea and smile.
Pizza, fruit, sweet tea, coffee, hot cocoa and more were all on the menu to help students power through long study sessions.
Two students smile holding pizza.
When the Personal Financial Planning Program heard that Dr. Kelly Welch used to show up at Hale with pizza for students, they decided to step in and take on the role.
A pile of cookies with various encouraging phrases written on their wrappers.
Libraries staff wrote messages of encouragement on cookies and handed them out around Hale Library.
A group of students studying in Hale Library smile with cookies in their hands.
A large group of students studying for their psychology exam on Tuesday morning were excited for the sweet treat and words of support.
A student writes on a white board in Hale Library.
We also caught sophomore Mackenzie Giefer studying for the same psychology exam. She was at Hale until 3 a.m. and then back at it just a few hours later.
Two students write out information on white boards in Hale Library.
The plethora of white boards in the new Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons were put to good use this week. Everywhere you looked white boards were filled with course content from various disciplines.
Several students study for exams using a white board, digital monitor, laptops and books.
In addition to white boards, students were also utilizing the large monitors to make the most of their study sessions.

Here’s hoping all of your hard work paid off this semester. We look forward to having even more space open in Hale for spring semester finals. Enjoy your well-deserved winter break!

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.

 

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

Hale Library featured on “Rescue Heroes”

In the wake of Hale’s fire, our community has been incredibly supportive. 

We didn’t expect national exposure like this, though: Hale Library was recently profiled on a new television program. The series, which is called “Rescue Heroes: Global Response Team” (not to be confused with the Canadian children’s show “Rescue Heroes,” which features animated dogs), premiered last month. The second episode gives an overview of the fire, including interviews from rescue and recovery personnel plus students and faculty. 

Watch the full show on YouTube! (The portion featuring K-State starts at 11:07). 

The episode features several people who are near and dear to the Libraries talking about the fire, the process of rescuing the books, restoring the building, and Hale Library’s future. Here are just a few of them.

Before the fire, Kathryn Talbot managed digital preservation and the preservation lab that cared for the books. She also supervised all staff that physically moved library materials: They shifted the collections from one part of the library to another, reshelved books returned by patrons and more. 

After the fire, Talbot became one of Hale Library’s key players in working with Belfor, the property restoration company, to make sure our collections made it out of the building and into safe storage locations.

Katheryn Talbon, Preservation Coordinator at KSU sits in the gutted remnants of one of Hale Library's floors.
Katheryn Talbot, preservation coordinator

“Books are a part of us,” Talbot said. “They have all our ideas, our thoughts, our hopes, our futures embedded in those pages. Missing that would be missing a huge part of ourselves.”

Tiffany Bowers, a student at K-State, sits on a bench outside of Hale during an interview.
Tiffany Bowers, a senior at K-State, was interviewed for the video

Tiffany Bowers, a senior in anthropology, was also featured in the video. Bowers is planning on going to graduate school for library sciences and is the current president of the K-State Libraries Student Ambassadors.

Her interview included her hopes for a renovated Hale Library: “This is an amazing opportunity to really rethink how… the library could serve students even better.” 

Battalion Chief Jason Hudson, who was featured in a previous post, shared experience on the scene of the fire that day. “It was pulling at my heart knowing how bad this was,” he said.

Hudson was an undergraduate student at K-State when Hale was being built in the late ’90s, so witnessing its near destruction held special significance for him. 

Rodney Todd, a restoration specialist with Belfor stands in front of the library
Rodney Todd, a restoration specialist with Belfor, stands in front of Hale Library

Rodney Todd, a restoration specialist with Belfor, shared facts about the extent of the damage: “There was not one square inch of the library that didn’t have some sort of either soot or water damage from top to bottom.”

Todd also talked about the murals in the Great Room and the process of trying to repair them after water and soot damage. “They’ve got the Great Room, which has murals that we’re saving. That’s one thing that’s really important to the university.”

The books that were damaged in the fire are being taken care of by Kay Rieder, another restoration specialist with Belfor. The approximately 1.5 million books are being stored in several locations throughout the state in storage facilities that have humidity and temperature control.

Key Rieder, Belfor Restoration Specialist, sits in front of piles of boxes filled with books in storage.
Kay Rieder, Belfor Restoration Specialist

Kay described the process of dealing with wet books: “When we get wet materials we put it straight in our trailer, which is set at zero degrees. They then go in a freeze-dry chamber and that chamber puts it in a dry state and when the books come out they’re completely dry.”

These people are just a small part of the Hale Library emergency response team. As disheartening as it can be to think of the fire this summer, the knowledge that our books and building are in good hands made the process much easier, and we loved seeing it all captured so beautifully on “Rescue Heroes.”

Students explore the state of Hale Library

From the outside, Hale Library looks relatively normal. Sure, there is a fence around it, and there is obviously some sort of construction going on, but the building’s exterior does not mirror the level of destruction inside.

This week we started a new semester, complete with new students wondering why the library is under construction. Even though we have been posting updates, there seems to be a disconnect with students about why Hale Library isn’t open.

In order to get a student’s perspective on what’s happening inside the building, the week before finals I joined a group of K-State Libraries Student Ambassadors on a tour so I could see the damage through their eyes and get their honest opinions.

Gutted office space on the first floor with exposed wall
Gutted office space in Hale.

The inside of the building has been stripped of almost all furniture and carpet, with a few remaining belongings sitting on the second floor. Most of the building is unrecognizable, and extension cords trail along the ceiling for lighting.

“I remember walking around Hale thinking that I knew where we were, and then Dean Lori would say something and I would realize that I had no idea where I was,” said Matthew Millholm, a junior agricultural education major.

The second floor is home to a few tables that survived the fire and random boxes. Wefald said of the second floor, “I was surprised that there was still some stuff left inside on one of the floors, like office chairs, desks, and even Christmas decorations.”

A group of students walks up poorly lit, damaged stairs. Extension cords trail across the ceiling.
The railings lining the stairs aren’t particularly stable; they shift and make loud and frightening noises.

The combination of the exposed wall and partially destroyed tile on the staircase between the first and second floors was haunting, but we made it. From there, we took the elevator to the third and fourth floors, which was terrifying, but in different ways: There are no lights in the elevator. It was pitch dark.

This really brought home what Dean Lori Goetsch explained to us about the power in the building: Right now, all of the electricity is a low level of “construction power” that is brought into Hale Library from outside. As a result, areas that don’t absolutely have to be lit up (like the elevators) are left dark. It will be a huge job to replace all of the building’s electrical wiring so that it has its own power again.

Two Library Student Ambassadors look at students walking below from the room that used to house iTAC.
Two library student ambassadors, Brooke Sullivan and Matthew Milholm, look at students walking below from the room that used to house iTAC.

“The third and fourth floors are completely empty,” Milholm said. “I think that’s where I really realized that the renovation is going to be a lot longer process than what I expected.”

The Great Room has seen better days but is under active construction. We barged in on two workers who looked very surprised to see us. Despite the scaffolding and the construction, the room is still gorgeous.

“It was a little bittersweet going inside the Great Room and walking by my old study spot because it really does look like a completely different building now,” Victoria Sparkman, a senior political science major, said.

Sunlight filters through the scaffolding in The Great Room.
Scaffolding and amazing lighting in The Great Room.

After the fire, all the carpet needed to be torn out. As we exited the Great Room, we encountered a portion of the floor that is still alarmingly sticky from carpet glue.

A student sits in the only chair on the otherwise empty third floor
Victoria Sparkman sitting in the lone chair in this part of the third floor.

Even after all of the demolition and repairs, there are still places in the building that look beautiful. This is the woodworking room, boxed in by plastic sheets and dedicated to repairing wooden trim from the Great Room.

Rows of wood lay on the ground in a makeshift woodworking studio
Woodworking room on the fourth floor.

The fourth floor was probably the most terrifying of all. The students—and, off the record, some of the adults—thought it would have made an excellent haunted house, with the exposed brick, scattered debris, and office space that has been temporarily transformed into a lair of some kind.

“It was very cool to see the old brick walls that were covered up when Hale was expanded over the years; it was like seeing more of Hale’s history,” Sparkman said.

Exposed brick walls and the entrance to a dark room that used to be part of the Academic Learning Center.
This haunting room was once part of the Academic Learning Center.
This gaping hole in the ceiling shows where the fire began, on the roof above the Academic Learning Center on the fourth floor.
This gaping hole shows where the fire began on the roof above the Academic Learning Center on the fourth floor.
Students walk up the stairs to the fifth floor. A chandelier hangs covered in plastic.
Stairway to Heaven (or stairs to the relatively undamaged fifth floor).

The fifth floor is surprisingly intact because it was not damaged by the water. Because of this, desks, carpet and other items were left behind. This floor is where special collections were housed, so they escaped intact, although they were moved offsite for storage and will need to be cleaned.

“One of the weirdest things was going to the fifth floor and having it look relatively normal while the rest of the building looked so different,” Wefald said.

A student rubs the nose of a bust of Abraham Lincoln, one of a few items that still remain on the fifth floor.
Me, touching an Abraham Lincoln bust. Allegedly, if you rub his nose you’ll have good luck.

The final part of the tour took us to the stacks for special collections. There was a fan on somewhere in the room that made the plastic sheeting move. This, paired with the dangling light bulbs at the end of the dark bookshelves, made for a terrifying experience.

Plastic sheeting covers the bookshelves on the fifth floor. Bare lightbulbs hang from the exposed ceiling.
Horror movie-esque plastic sheeting that covers any bookshelves left in the library

“After leaving the tour, I realized we are going to have a brand new building,” Milholm said. “I know that the current students will have a library that is fit for them. I won’t be in school when Hale reopens, but I’m still excited about the new library.” 

At the end of the tour, we were all excited that we had the opportunity to see the inside of Hale. For the students who will graduate before it reopens, it was lovely to be able to say goodbye to the library that has been their favorite study spot for so long.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ashton Strub, senior in apparel textile emphasis on marketing

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

Camree Mills-Gladney, junior in communications

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

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

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

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