With Hale Library down for the count for the foreseeable future, the Manhattan Public Library hopes to step up to the plate to serve students as well as the community.
“If there’s some way we can be of service to students, we’re glad to be here,” Linda Knupp, the library’s director, said. “We won’t have the types of journals they have physically, of course, or even those online subscriptions, but we can always look at the options for helping people to get the information sources they need at this time.”
In December, Knupp said the library might open up its meeting rooms and open areas to students for “exam cram.”
Also, the library’s Creation Station offers software similar to that provided by Hale’s Media Center, which is temporarily located in the K-State Student Union. Also through the public library, users can access reference publications, current issues of The New York Times, local resources and streaming services.
“We’re open 73 hours a week, but technically we’re open 24/7 with all of those online resources,” Knupp said.
However, Knupp said a library card is “critical” for access to all the ever-expanding resources the Manhattan library has to offer.
“People still see books as our brand, for sure, and it still is an important thing,” Knupp said. “It’s probably still the number one thing. More people check out books out of all the things you can do, but that’s changing and expanding.”
Beyond software, free Wi-Fi and seating, Madison Ogle, the library’s public relations coordinator, said students can find something else at the public library: a stepping stone to the Manhattan community at large.
“As a former college student at K-State, I used Hale quite often for the late hours, but whenever you would come to Manhattan Public Library you’d be able to meet people from the community that you might not be able to see when you’re fully doused in the campus culture,” said Ogle, who graduated in December 2017 with a degree in agricultural communications and journalism. “Being able to step out of there and into the public library … it’s nice to be able to say that this can be a central point that we can connect everyone that could be at K-State, but also people that are in the community who are here all the time.”
“I think that this is going to be a good way to engage the student population that is at K-State and continue our solid relationship with Hale and make sure that we provide any support that we can in this transition,” Ogle said.