In 1985 a local county library moved into their new permanent residence. In the decades that followed, the needs of library patrons significantly evolved, as did the need to expand and renovate the space. To modernize the new library building and make it a more open, inviting space, the facility manager reached out to the local Spacesaver® representative for a shelving solution. Cantilever shelving was used that increased collection storage capacity, opened up the library for other functions, and highlighted the community’s local history.
New Library Envisioned to Bring the Community Together
The library’s old building only had 2,500 sq. ft. of space that wasn’t set up to function like a modern library. There was almost no space for computers, which have become an important part of library services over the years. Also, the shelving was very old and extended up to 90 inches. This created a cramped and claustrophobic feeling when patrons browsed the aisles.
When the library received a government grant to construct a new building, they wanted to ensure that modern elements were incorporated along with new services. Through its design, the library hoped to revitalize the community.
Creating the right look for the cantilever shelving was paramount to the new design, and having worked with Spacesaver before, the library knew they would get everything they envisioned. Another benefit to using Spacesaver cantilever shelving is that it’s on state and GSA contracts, which made the procurement process very easy.
Unique Cantilever Shelving Creates Dramatic Look
Working with 4 other local vendors, the Spacesaver representative was able to design extraordinary cantilever shelving unlike anything else the library had ever seen. Historic photos, some over eighty years old, were chosen by the local community and printed onto 3Form acrylic panels, which were then mounted onto specially designed laminate end panels. Mounting the translucent 3Form sheets with custom imagery onto the laminate end panels was done to ensure that they were clearly visible, instead of viewing metal shelving through the translucent material.
An additional acrylic panel was installed on top of the cantilever shelving to allow more light to flow through the space. It also prevents patrons from feeling cramped. Overall, the cantilever shelving with the photo end panels and the top acrylic panels create a very dramatic effect.
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Benefits of the New Library for the Community
The new library is now 5,200 sq. ft., which is more than double the size of the old space. The cantilever shelving extends 60 inches high so that it’s easier for patrons to access stored collection materials and lets more light flow through the building. The shelving in the children’s section was intentionally installed along the perimeter of the wall to leave the central area open and airy.
The new library also has a classroom-style room for computer access and help with job services. Laptops and iPads are now available for patrons to check out and use in the library. There is even an outdoor garden with benches and wi-fi access.
The custom cantilever shelving is a truly unique element that brings a sense of community and togetherness to the library. Patrons have responded very positively to the historical images. Pictures of World War II fighter planes and a local national park are just some of the images that are featured throughout the library.
Contact Us for Help with Storage in Your Library
Thanks in part to the Spacesaver cantilever shelving, this local library has now become a center of community pride and accommodates the needs and wants of modern-day library patrons.
Southwest Solutions Group® designs and installs all types of Spacesaver storage solutions, including cantilever shelving for libraries. To learn more about how cantilever shelving can be used to modernize your library, give us a call at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message.