Category Archives: Education

Innovative Ways to Enhance Student Spaces

Students don’t just enjoy imagination. They thrive on it. Whether it’s a kindergartner drawing pictures of nature or a college student exploring world history, imagination leads to creativity and critical thinking.

At Bradford Systems, we’re in the business of imagination. Let us transform your overburdened and underused areas into enriching spaces that foster – not force – the learning experience. Keep reading to learn about some of the creative ways we do it.

Unlocking Library Space

Long gone is the idea that a library needs to be designed around stack after stack, shelf after shelf, of textbooks. To be effective as well as popular, today’s library must focus on the patron. In your case – students.

Bradford Systems is a leading expert in repurposing library storage. From retrofitting wooden bookcases to replacing stacks with cantilevered shelving, energy efficient lighting to customized compact mobile storage, we offer a variety of library solutions fully personalized to your specific facility and needs. Start making a difference in your students’ lives today.

Burdened by Mail? We Deliver.

Sending and receiving mail is one of the most important ways for students to feel at home, even when they’re far away. Customized mail solutions for colleges, boarding schools, and military academies from Bradford Systems deliver centralized mail hubs that fully integrate into your campus. Talk to a member of our team to see how our many mail center components make securely sending, receiving, and processing envelopes and packages easier than ever before.

A Better Way to Organize Your Sports

Running out of space in the locker room? At Bradford Systems, we have decades of experience in athletic equipment and uniform storage. Lockers, modular shelving, helmet/pad storage, and workspace solutions are just a few of our many products and services designed to improve your team’s efficiency, so you and your student-athletes can focus on the game ahead. Want to see our work in action? Find out how we outfitted the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team.

Creative Spaces = Student Success

Ready to learn how to enhance existing student spaces? Let us teach you what we know about organization. Contact Bradford Systems and ask for a free, no-obligation consultation. With more than 45 years of experience and hundreds of happy clients across the country, there is no educational storage challenge that we cannot solve. Discover school storage ideas that work best for your institution right now.

School Libraries: Condensing Collections & Expanding Imagination

From kindergartens to colleges, school libraries often encounter two common dilemmas: a shortage of space and/or an unproductive space. What if there was a way to solve both problems at the same time? With Bradford Systems, a nationally recognized leader with nearly 50 years of experience in space-saving storage solutions, you can!

High-Density Mobile Storage

At Bradford Systems, one of our primary specialties is high-density mobile storage. Think of shelving like a set of dominoes. When spread out, these stacks of shelves take up a large volume of valuable floor space. Pack those shelves together, however, and you free up wasted space without eliminating important material.

That’s the idea behind high-density mobile storage, an ideal answer for a common problem among schools everywhere. Utilizing moveable carriages instead of static shelving, books and other items are easily retrievable at any time, and shelves can be condensed when not in use. Newly-freed space can then be utilized by your patrons for a variety of creative and collaborative activities.

Scalable and fully customizable to exceed the needs of businesses of all sizes, we design our educational storage solutions around your specific school. There is no “one size fits all” answer; whether your institution serves 10 or 10,000 students, we have a storage system designed just for you.

Types of High-Density Storage Systems

Depending on the size of your school and the amount of collections material on-site, Bradford Systems recommends one of our four types of high-density mobile storage:

  • Standard Storage – Our Standard storage is our most popular system, packed with features and adaptable to just about any-sized space.
  • Heavy Duty Storage – For larger and/or heavier items, we recommend Heavy Duty storage, capable of holding 7,000 to 30,000 pounds per carriage.
  • Archival Storage – Our high-bay Archival storage system for floor-to-ceiling storage.
  • Low Profile Storage – Our Low Profile storage system is perfect when relocation or expansion is in your organization’s future.

We Help You Store More in Less Space

School is all about imagination, creativity, collaboration, and learning. Bradford Systems can help your institution further promote these ideals by rethinking and enhancing your available space. Let us prove it to you. Contact our team for a free consultation and analysis of your current space arrangement.

Space-Saving Storage Ideas for Libraries

Libraries provide a priceless resource for young and old minds alike. Shelves upon shelves of books, rows of computer workstations – and everything in between – give patrons a space to relax, imagine, and learn.

Speaking of space, it is often in short supply as more libraries research plans to modernize and keep pace with ever-advancing trends and technologies.

Here are three solutions for maximizing library storage space:

1. Books

One of the world’s oldest forms of information is still one of our favorites. While books are wonderful, they take up a lot of space. Some of the world’s richest libraries are also the most cluttered.

To counter this, storage solutions like the acclaimed Spacesaver system employ proven design aspects that not only maximize library space; they enhance the patron experience. Cantilever shelving and face-out end panels allow for more books to be displayed. Floor-to-ceiling lighting and soft colors invite guests to browse a bit longer. And, engineered-to-order (ETO) storage products are customized for a flawless fit in any space.

2. Other Media

Books aren’t the only items that attract patrons to the library. Newspapers, magazines, movies, music, and games are just a few of the many other features.

The answer is smart consolidation of media. High-density mobile shelving condenses materials and opens up floor space. And, static shelving that features universal slots is ETO and fully customizable to allow libraries to store more in fewer square feet.

3. Multipurpose Spaces

The library of the future is a learning center with collaboration at its core. Long, empty corridors are quickly evolving into open floor plans, study centers, children’s areas, and cafés. Making room for these inviting spaces is key!

In addition to enhanced shelving and stack solutions in areas open to the public, libraries can benefit from ETO archiving systems to securely store out-of-rotation books and other supplementary media materials.

Personalized Solutions for Your Library

Planning a redesign? Going digital? Focusing on community engagement? All of the above? Whatever the goals, Bradford Systems has personalized storage solutions to fit your library’s needs and its budget. Learn more about the products we carry and the services we offer. Find real success stories on our website, and contact us today for proven techniques to enhance the spaces you and your patrons rely on every day.

The Re-Repurposed Library

The next chapter in your library story… probably the next few.

Library /ˈlīˌbrerē/noun (plural libraries)

A building or room containing collections of books, periodicals, and sometimes films and recorded music for use or borrowing by the public or the members of an institution.
Oxford Dictionary 2012

This definition of library was taken from a recent edition of the Oxford Dictionary. While it is a true description, it lacks detail. Libraries are so much more now than before.

books_being_stackupLong gone are the days when the main purpose of a library was to store the books and media for the community to borrow, for a period of two weeks or be subjected to a small fine for a tardy return. Today, libraries are repurposing themselves to address the ever-changing needs and wants of the community. It isn’t just the nerdy kid with Buddy Holly glasses who visits the library anymore. No, it’s people seeking employment or self-improvement visiting the library. It’s teens looking for a place to hang out who go to the library. Families looking for entertainment without having to secure a second mortgage go to the library. And, yes, folks still go to the library in search of nostalgia in the form of printed books and periodicals.

Library repurposing remains a strong and increasing trend across the country. Computer labs, employment and entrepreneurial incubators, conference and workshop venues, youth centers and deliverable services are sprouting up everywhere. A few libraries have even designated space for coffee cafés, allowing patrons an upscale literary experience. Some of repurposing is reactive, but much of it is pro-active. Libraries realize that they must repurpose to maintain and grow their membership.

Wooden-Cubby-Shelving-at-St.-Louis-LibrarySteel-library-shelving-with-wood-end-panelsSt.-Louis-Central-Shelves-with-Glass-End-PanelsSt.-Louis-Central-Public-Library-Childrens-SectionSt.-Louis-Public-Library-inside-view-of-the-shelvesSt.-Louis-Library-Cantilever-Shelving-in-old-Wooden-CubbiesOrange-Acrylic-End-Panels-at-St.-Louis-Central-Public-LibrarySt.-Louis-Public-Librarys-Central-Stacks-in-Compact-Mobile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bradford Systems offers many storage solutions for any type of library repurposing project – because we simply live in this world; the world of solving space issues, and that is what repurposing a library is all about.

Do you need more space and a capital campaign to build a new wing is not realistic?
Consider a mobile storage solution and storing infrequently accessed materials off-site (or onsite in an area you didn’t think you could use). You will be able to decrease your storage footprint by at least 50% and provide the area for new library services.

Thinking of adding a new or making over an existing reading room?
How about using 4-post and cantilever shelving, or perhaps some custom modular casework to add some pizazz to the new space? With this type of storage and organization, you’ll be able to showcase a variety of media, making it a more inviting space for your patrons.

Is an area for teens to hang out or a computer lab is on your To Do list?
Try 4-post and case type shelving available with an endless palette of color choices and end panel, workspace and counter top materials such as granite, marble and wood laminate and frosted acrylic. Glass movable walls or inter-changeable desk/table areas can also add a inviting “hang-out” aura. It’ll make the new space pop, will be extremely durable and won’t break your budget.

Check out all the ways Bradford can help with your library storage and repurposing quandaries here.

St. Louis Central Public Library: A Library Repurposing Showcase!

When a library as famous and well visited as the St. Louis Central Library (St Louis, MO) undergoes a massive renovation, great care and consideration must go into the planning process. The iconic building was constructed in 1912 based on the Italian Renaissance style and was frequently visited by people from all over the world. But the historic majesty of the structure could not make up for the lack of modern amenities necessary for a library to thrive in the 21st century.

There were several challenges that needed to be addressed as the planning began. There was an absence of technology integration in the building, as well as a lack of communal spaces for patrons to use for study and collaboration. Areas that have become essential to a library’s success as a community resource, like computer labs, ten spaces and even meeting rooms, were missing from St. Louis Central.

stlouis_central_library_sideview

With so many challenges to overcome, the St. Louis Central Library integrated many different shelving solutions into their renovation project in order to open up space for repurposing and create a sleek, modern appearance in the historic building.

Static Spacesaver cantilever shelving was used throughout the public access areas of the library for easy browsing by patrons. Cantilever shelving is the most common system used in libraries, due to the on-site reconfigurability, but several custom features were also integrated into the final design of the various shelving units throughout the main library.

LED lighting was installed onto the Spacesaver cantilever-shelving units throughout many areas of the library, including the fine arts, science and technology and rare books rooms. This required a special base for the cantilever units onto which the vertical lighting fixtures could be affixed. These fixtures not only look like a part of the shelving (painted in the same finish) but are used to light the aisles, in lieu of adding any additional room lighting that might detract from the historic chandeliers and ornate ceilings. The LED lighting is also extremely energy efficient, and lower in cost to operate than traditional florescent bulbs.

inside_stlouis_central library

Custom glass end panels were used in the areas with LED lighting integrated into the shelving. The glass panels are subsequently illuminated – making the stacks look almost like works of art themselves, and create a design feature unique to the St. Louis Central Library.

Special red, acrylic end panels were used on the cantilever-shelving units in the showcase space on the main level of the library called “the center for the reader.”

Glass end panels were also installed on the cantilever shelving used in the media room. Because these cantilever shelves were designed with pullout drawers to store disks and other media like DVDs, no lighting was integrated.

bookshelve_carts_stlouis_library

In the children’s area, cantilever shelving was outfitted with a custom base, wrapped in solid surface and then placed on heavy-duty casters so that the area is completely reconfigurable on the fly by the library staff.

The use of Spacesaver mechanical assist high-density mobile shelving enabled the library to consolidate the collection from their seven-tiered central system onto just three interior mezzanine-like floors, plus the basement level of the library. Not only does the new stack space meet fire and seismic codes, it is brighter and easier to navigate.

high_density_mobile_storage_stlous_library

The high-density mobile storage used throughout the library also helped open up existing spaces for new functions. There is now a teen room, which incorporates study areas, lounge seating, and even a small theater-like TV viewing area. The library also added a café, a book club meeting room, and a studio for movie, music and video game access.

Download the St. Louis Public Library Case Study here to learn more!

Download the St. Louis Public Library Project Lookbook here to see more areas of this beautiful library!