With no access to Hale, Special Collections reopens in Bluemont Hall

Due to the Hale Library fire this summer, Bluemont Hall provides a reading room where students can study and have an on-staff librarian for their research needs. (Brooke Barrett | Collegian Media Group)

Forced to close by the May 22 fire, many of the facilities and services available at Hale Library are in short supply at Kansas State this year. To make up for this, classrooms across campus are being converted into spaces to fill the missing services.

While students await the partial re-opening of Hale scheduled for 2020, the Richard L.D. and Marjorie J. Morse Department of Special Collections has taken up temporary residence in Room 116 of Bluemont Hall. The room is available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In the meantime, students can access the digital collection online and browse frequently used reference materials. Some of those items include books about K-State, commencement programs, course catalogs, directories and yearbooks.

Shannon Harkins, K-State libraries student employee, said within the first week of the room being available to the public, multiple classes have already come through.

Working in the reading room as a student assistant, Harkins said not having access to all of the materials is quite frustrating when trying to help someone.

Alex Wulfkuhle, senior in family and consumer science education, said it is hard knowing the materials people need for a particular task, but not being able to access them.

Items that are not accessible are being kept in storage leading up to the re-opening of Hale. Some materials, like the St. John’s Bible, are available for viewing.

Scanners will also available for students and faculty to utilize in Bluemont, and a microfilm reader will be available soon.