Hale of a Time gala raises money for library renovations

Hale of a Time fundraiser gala inside Hale Library in Manhattan, Kan. on Oct. 3, 2017. (Photo by Erwin Chege | Collegian Media Group)

Hale Library hosted Hale of a Time, a brand new fundraising gala, on Friday night to raise money for upcoming library renovations. Friends of the K-State Libraries collaborated with Kansas State to bring alumni from across the country together for food, wine and jazz entertainment in celebration of Farrell Library’s 90th anniversary and Hale’s 20th anniversary.

“We’re here to raise money for needs that go beyond what the state and the university can provide for Hale,” said Katie Philp, president of the Friends of the K-State Libraries board. “Secondly, we’re here to celebrate two special anniversaries tonight: the 20th anniversary of when Hale opened up, and the 90th anniversary of the historic Farrell Library.”

Friends of the K-State Libraries is a group of alumni, faculty and Manhattan community members dedicated to the preservation and enrichment of the libraries on campus.

Lori Goetsch, dean of libraries, said Hale of a Time is the first event of its kind to take place in Hale.

“This is Hale’s first attempt to do something where we have people moving through the building and giving them a chance to see different parts of the library that we don’t normally see,” Goetsch said.

Hale of a Time celebrated the past, present and future of the libraries on K-State’s campus.

The fifth floor of Hale was set up as a callback to the 1920s, with a cocktail lounge and a live pianist. The construction of Farrell Library finished during this decade.

The Dow Center for Multicultural and Community Studies on the fourth floor featured K-State as it is today. Guests learned about the university’s growth and different cultures on campus.

On the third floor of Hale, guests enjoyed entertainment from a live jazz band and ice cream from Call Hall.

Activities on the first floor gave attendees a glimpse into the future of Hale through a virtual reality demonstration of Hale’s upcoming first floor renovations.

Money raised by the event will fund these renovations, which will include new study rooms, a merging of Einstein Bros. Bagels with the rest of the first floor and a new entrance.

Roberta Johnson, director of information technology services for K-State Libraries, said the goal of Hale of a Time was to raise $6.5 million dollars for the renovations as enrollment decreases limited the university’s income.

“In the past, the cuts have been because of lack of funding from the state legislature,” Johnson said. “This last cut is because we were down by over 900 students, and when you budget to have so much incoming tuition and you lose that, you’ve got to learn to do more with less.”

The lead donors for the renovations, Dave and Ellie Everitt, attended the event. The Everitts, both K-State alumni now living in Florida, donated $3 million dollars to the renovation project in August.

“We’re fascinated by the proposed layout they’ve put together here,” the Everitts said. “Knowledge today is not done by an individual working in a cubicle, it’s done by people working together and sharing knowledge and building upon that. This format has the capability of facilitating that, and we’re really excited about that.”

The Everitts said this collaborative format mirrors modern business trends.

“Business is becoming more and more collaborative,” the Everitts said. “People are finding ways to work together, and this new layout helps facilitate that in students.”

Beyond changes in business, the renovations aim to reflect advances in technology.

“Hale Library was established at the beginning of the internet age, so this library wasn’t built with the idea that students [would] be so connected to the internet,” Goetsch said. “We’ve started to think differently about how we use our space in relation to student learning.”

Goetsch also said the renovations may extend the range of the Wi-Fi in the library.

Darchelle Martin, public information officer at Hale, detailed the effort that went into planning Hale of a Time.

“We started talking about the event over a year and a half ago, and we spent a lot of time talking about how we’d make the event different from other fundraisers,” Martin said. “We brought in Wayne Goins, a prominent jazz musician in town who’s worked with us before, and set the price of entry at $50 to try and bring in as many people as possible.”

The event ended with closing remarks from the Everitts, Goetsch and Philp.