SCALA held its second library tour of the fall semester on November 20, 2015. We were able to take ten members on a tour of libraries and museums in the Manhattan area. We started off the tour at 9:30am at the Manhattan Public Library. The public library gave us a tour of their facilities, starting off in the reference section, winding throughout the building, and ending in the children’s section. We learned about some of the new programs they are doing at MPL and received an explanation of their technology lab and services. MPL offers technology and training on equipment and software for those with disabilities, including vision impairment and learning disabilities. We were also able to see their processing department and learn more about how they build and maintain their collection
The North Central Kansas Library System occupies the basement. Our group was able to spend time learning more about how the regional library systems operate, the challenges they face and the advantages they give to the many libraries in the system whether large or small. We were able to see the 3D Printer they take to some of the smaller libraries and the many different learning kits they loan out, offering those libraries services they would not be able to afford for themselves.
After lunch, we visited the Riley County History Museum where we learned more about the challenges and rewards that archives and museums face. They have done a great job with a small space, but there is always more work yet to do than there are people and time to do it. They had a wealth of documents and information and we were able to see some of how they organized and preserved it. We also learned more about their exhibits.
Our final stop was at the Hale Library in Kansas State University. We were given a tour of the entire library and spent time in break-out sessions with some of the librarians working there. We were given the opportunity to spend time talking in small groups before heading back to Emporia. We learned a lot about some of the specifics of working in an academic library in some of the various departments before heading back to Emporia.
The group pictured at Hale Library on KSU campus.