Millikin University Library Upgrades to Spacesaver High-density Shelving
Client: Millikin University Departments: Library Main Stacks Completion: 8/03/2017
Millikin University was building a new library as a part of their University Commons facility, opening for the 2017 fall semester. They wanted to update their collection using powered high-density storage to allow for more shelf space in less square footage.
Sure, you’ve got your local library, and maybe you’ve visited it often enough to realize it’s real value to your local community. We’ve talked about the re-purposing of these public spaces enough to know they evolve and change to accommodate the needs of their patrons.
But what about the presidential library? Turns out, the idea of the Presidential Library began with President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939: when he not only donated an estate to house the various documents and records of his administration – but also set a precedence later followed by Truman and other Presidents through the years that those important records, which in many ways shaped this country, be kept and cared for in a library setting.
So now the question is: how do you build a library that contains so much valuable history, while controlling the investment needed to build it as well as the way the library can function for the public… AND then accommodate the planned growth of it’s archives in the future?
Turns out even the folks at the The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois knew: Use the most innovative storage products available in a way that continually allows for growth and public use.
By utilizing High-Density Mobile Storage in archival, non-public areas and as well; incorporating custom micro-film storage, art storage and smaller High-Density systems into working, processing and high-access storage areas – the library is able to provide ample room for public access, display and working spaces. see for yourself:
The future of the library is evolving, and capacity is always an issue – these products and innovations make it possible for our Presidential Libraries to grow in the future and provide to the public as intended for generations to come.
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.
Long 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Studyhere to learn more!
Download the St. Louis Public Library Project Lookbookhere to see more areas of this beautiful library!