June 4, 2018
A message from Dean Goetsch and CIO Pratt
As many of you are aware, Hale Library experienced a fire on May 22 that resulted in significant smoke and water damage to the building. As President Myers stated in his letter, Hale Library is the heart and soul of our campus. It is home to nearly 30,000 visitors each week when school is in session. They walk through our gates daily to conduct research, study, search our collections, review our rare books, hold meetings, participate in conferences, get library and IT help, scan documents, create videos, check out equipment and more.
We cannot thank the emergency response crews enough for their efforts to save our building. Because of their work, our nationally known special collections and university archives on the fifth floor are relatively unscathed except for smoke damage.
However, while the fire was contained to the roof, hundreds of thousands of gallons of water had to be pumped into the building to control the blaze. As a result, there is extensive water and smoke damage to every square inch of Hale Library.
We’ve contracted with an international disaster recovery company, Belfor. They have hundreds of individuals onsite helping us with the process of removing ceiling tiles and other debris, dehumidifying the building, and recovering collections. It is estimated that it will take more than 30 days to dry out the building. We are also in the process of drying out our data center and working with vendors to bring university IT systems back online. A major challenge is to restore electricity to Hale in the midst of significant water damage.
While the damage to the library is heartbreaking, it is the people who make Hale Library truly special. We are dedicated to serving the K-State community, and we are working on alternative ways to provide our services. We are setting up alternative service points and working to provide alternative computing labs and printing services. This will help ease the loss of more than 400 computers and printers that were available in Hale.
We are relocating over 250 library and IT staff and students who call Hale Library home to temporary spaces for at least the next few months. Departments from across campus have made room and welcomed us with open arms. We are extremely grateful.
To view frequently asked questions about library services, please visit guides.lib.k-state.edu/faq.
A disaster of this magnitude will take time to recover, but we are determined to come back even better than before. We can’t do it alone, and the members of the K-State community have already shown us that they are here to help any way they can.
We ask our university family, the Manhattan community and individuals around the world who use our services for your patience while we work to prioritize the work for the restoration company and our staff.
Lori Goetsch, Dean of K-State Libraries
Gary Pratt, Chief Information Officer