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Flexible Shelving for an Illinois Library | Case Study

Flexible Shelving for Illinois Library

A Commitment to Learning

On most campuses, the library is a lively hub of learning and collaboration. But students and faculty at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois, found that working in the old library was more about endurance than enjoyment. The aging building hadn’t been remodeled in more than 20 years, and it was dark, overcrowded, and noisy. Perhaps most importantly, the building’s labyrinthine layout made it difficult for students to find their way around.

harper college shelving periodicals
“We needed to find a better place for them to learn.” – Njambi Kamoche, Dean | Resources for Learning

Sleek Shelving for an Open Learning Layout

The library’s main level is bright, open, and busy. The planning team wanted to provide casual collaboration spaces on this level, along with access to popular periodicals, digital media, best sellers, popular reading, graphic novels, and other materials. Counter-height cantilever shelving contributes to the open feel, allowing natural light from large windows to fill the space. A-frame shelving and carts provide storage and display for DVDs and other media. The flexible shelving is fitted with casters that allow staff to move them when they want to repurpose the space.

The third floor is dedicated to independent research and quiet study. Tall flexible shelving units house the majority of the library’s collection, and study carrels offer privacy. Throughout the library, Spacesaver shelving was fitted with custom end panels that integrate with the rest of the building’s interior design. The result is a sleek, clean look that unifies the facility while also providing convenient access to the library’s collection.

harper college a frame shelves
A-Frame casters allow for more flexibility, whenever needed

Secure Archives with Preservation in Mind

The Spacesaver design team also worked with Bradford Systems to design a secure area to house the college’s archives and special collections. They chose 4-Post shelving mounted on a high-density mobile system to store archival boxes and printed materials. The archives were designed with room to grow. Some of the high-density storage shelves are currently empty, awaiting future acquisitions, which gave Harper College peace of mind for future collection storage. The cabinet trays can be raised or lowered without special tools, allowing staff to adjust tray spacing to maximize space and accommodate objects of different heights. Additional trays can also be added as the collection grows in the future. All in all, the success of this project was a great accomplishment for all parties involved.

Harper College Archives Storage
Archive Storage for More Flexibility and Ease of Browsing

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If you want to learn how you can get more out of your existing library space, contact us online today or call us at 1-800-696-3453.