This summer saw a great many changes to K-State's Hale Library. In addition to the continuing restoration of the Overmyer murals in the Great Room, other areas of Hale under went a renewal process.
Most noticeable is the reconfiguration of the library entrance on second floor. Where there once were two sets of gates separated by a large and seldom utilized desk, there is now a single grand entrance flanked by two large display cases. Coming in the single gate now makes it apparent where library patrons should go for assistance -- the new Help Desk, which has brought several services previously spread throughout Hale to a single point.
At the Help Desk, patrons can receive basic library assistance, get directions, and check out and return materials including interlibrary loans and course reserves. Reference librarians are at the desk for comprehensive research help and can go with patrons needing help locating or accessing materials in Hale.
New equipment, technology and furniture were added to second floor to facilitate collaborative student projects. Additional changes are part of a two-year plan for updating the floor, including special seating for use with laptops and mobile wall and whiteboard pieces that can be reconfigured for small group work.
Also, collections previously located on the second floor were moved. Reference materials and current periodicals were consolidated from four locations -- including the second floor -- and are now housed on either side of first floor stairwell. This puts these collections adjacent to the new individual study area, which is intended for quieter study and scholarship. The media collection found a new home on third floor, between the government documents section and stacks shelving. Shortly after finals, library faculty, staff and student employees joined together during "Staff Helps Week" to accomplish many of the moves in short order and with as little disruption to patrons as possible.
Finally, the entire second floor received new carpeting, as the wear and tear from some 10 million visitors since Hale opened was all too apparent. The new carpet is made of recycled materials and its modular design will make it easier to replace small areas that become worn or stained. Contrasting carpet patterns also are being used to help library patrons find their way to the IT Help Desk and other frequently visited areas.
All of the changes this summer were part of the K-State Libraries' five-year strategic plan and are designed to help meet the goal of fostering a flexible, adaptable and creative environment.