University Archives Tidbits – Picken Hall before the columns


This is a photo of Picken Hall in 1908 shortly after the two wings were added. This is looking at it from the southwest. Martin Allen Hall, which was the gymnasium at the time, is seen in the background. 

An auditorium was in the south wing of the Academic or Administration Building, as it was called at that time. The library had been in the north wing for a short amount of time before moving over to the gymnasium after Sheridan Coliseum was built. The Administration Building was named Picken Hall in 1909 after faculty voted to recommend the name change to the Board of Regents. The Board approved and on May 28, 1909, a bronze plaque with the new name and date was placed in a corridor of the first floor. 

Information from “A History of Fort Hays Kansas State College 1902-1961” written by Lyman Dwight Wooster, President Emeritus.


Welcome (Back) Our New Library Director

August 11, 2014 marks a new beginning for Forsyth Library with Mrs. Deborah Ludwig becoming our new director. Her title is Dean of Forsyth Library and she will report to the Provost, as well as serve on the President’s Cabinet. The library staff is very pleased to have her here, and we are looking forward to working with her.

While this may be a new position for Deb, she has a familiarity with Forsyth Library and FHSU because of her job here in 1988-1990. She was hired as a Catalog Librarian for a grant-funded project to finish up the implementation for NOTIS. Locally, the system was called TOPCAT, and it was the first automated online catalog system in the library. When she left FHSU, she went to work at the Kansas City, Kansas Public Library where they were implementing a similar automation project. A few years later, she worked at Johnson County Community College, and then went to the University of Kansas where she worked for over 12 years. The following is from a news release from KU Libraries dated Friday, July 18: Lorraine J. Haricombe, dean of KU Libraries – “During her tenure, Deb exhibited strong leadership and vision, launching the Center for Digital Scholarship and blazing a trail that ensured our strong position in this area today. She was instrumental in establishing the Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities, an ever-evolving partnership with KU’s Hall Center for the Humanities and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.” The last year Deb was at KU, she was the Assistant Dean of Innovation & Strategy.

Libraries are evolving to include more physical study spaces and provide opportunities to create virtual spaces. As Dean of Forsyth Library, Deb is wanting to explore what we can do to help students and faculty be successful throughout their time here at FHSU. She wants the library to be a space that is inviting and makes you want to stay awhile as you use its facilities for research and study.

When asked what kind of changes she has seen here at FHSU since 1990, Deb stated that the expansion of the Virtual College was one of the biggest changes. Another change is obviously the technology that FHSU has instituted through the years within the classrooms, meeting spaces, and the library.

The job of Catalog Librarian at FHSU was Deb’s first job after receiving her Master’s Degree in Library Science. She says that she feels like she has come back home and that her career has come full circle. Welcome back, Mrs. Ludwig!