History of K-State Libraries

K-State Libraries began providing educational resources to the students and community in 1863, with the establishment of Kansas State Agricultural College. The initial collection contained a mere 2,700 volumes, but as it grew, the collected materials were relocated three times around campus in buildings such as Farm Machinery Hall, Anderson Hall and Fairchild Hall.

The first library building

In 1926, construction began on a free-standing library, the first building to house only the libraries’ collections. Completed in 1927, the library has had 3 structural additions. After the first addition in 1955, the library was named Farrell Library in honor of Francis David Farrell, K-State's eighth president. The building was added onto again in 1970 with the last addition dedicated in 1997 when it was named Hale Library in honor of the generous gift from Joe and Joyce Hale.

Today, the original portion of the library maintains the distinction of Historic Farrell Library. It includes the popular Great Room and its murals.

In addition to Hale Library, there are 4 branch libraries: Math/Physics Library, K-State Salina Library, Veterinary Medical Library and Paul Weigel Library of Architecture, Planning and Design.

Learn more about the Great Room and its murals

The Hale Library fire

On May 22, 2018 there was an accidental fire on the roof of Hale Library. The building suffered substantial damage as a result of the smoke and the large amount of water needed to extinguish the fire. A three-year recovery, restoration and renovation was completed in 2021.

View our fire recovery blog to see the renovation process