By KEVIN FLAHERTY
The Morning Sun
PITTSBURG — As Pittsburg State University students begin to move back for the year, they’ll be treated to a renovated Leonard H. Axe Library, both on the inside and the outside of the building.
Paul Stewart, PSU facilities planning director, said the exterior improvements were needed to keep water, and carbon off the library’s finish.
“We’ve done a lot of preventative work over the summer,” Stewart said.
Workers took time Monday cleaning the limestone on the building’s front, re-caulking and putting a waterproof membrane over the area.
Stewart said workers also took time to put new steps in.
“The old ones were brick and were starting to shift and settle,” Stewart said. “So we actually removed the old ones and put in new concrete steps.”
Other improvements include brick tuckpointing around the building, repairing some of the planters around the side of the building.
SEAN STEFFEN/THE MORNING SUN
Jerry Rich, left, and Eloy Diaz of Mid Continental Restoration out of Fort Scott, do work above the front entrance of Axe Library on the Pittsburg State campus Monday afternoon
All of those repairs were designed to modernize, clean and weather-proof the building, Stewart said.
But the exterior isn’t the only place that will be updated. Randy Roberts, curator of special collections at Axe Library, said the special collections had been upgraded and gone more online.
Among those exhibits to go online, Roberts said he was working on a Laura Bridgman exhibit that would focus on the writings, and a knitting done by Bridgman, a blind woman who taught herself to write. Bridgman, a New Englander, corresponded with a woman in Thayer.
“So there’s our Kansas connection,” Roberts said.
He said other collections included one on 1920s coal mining, a Gordon Parks collection, one featuring aerial shots of World War II, a log book for the Pittsburg Fire Department and records from the Picher, Okla., mining museum.
Overall, the special collections area has seen heavy upgrades in the last five years or so. More than 30 years ago, special collections was housed in a tiny room on the third floor of Porter Hall. Then, it was moved to another third floor, this time at the then-new Axe Library in 1979. The collections remained there until about five years ago, when they moved down to their current home in the basement of the library, where temperature and humidity could be controlled.
Roberts said the collection would continue to expand through the future. He said there were plans to add two more photo histories to the collection by the spring, one capturing the history of the city of Pittsburg in photos, and the other a feature on Pittsburg State.
“We’re very excited about the potential and the future of our collection,” Roberts said.
SOURCE: The Morning Sun, August 19, 2008, p [A1]
Posted Aug 18, 2008 @ 10:38 PM
© 2008, The Morning Sun - Used by permission.