Did you know that the nation’s college and university libraries have about a billion books on their shelves and about 25 million more volumes are added every year? However, according to Frank Yonkof with Kent State, “the average book in an academic research library is only checked out once every 50 years, and 25 percent of the books have never been checked out”. Yokof goes on to state, “that only 6.5 percent of the books in the university library account for 93.5 percent of the total use.” Because of these circumstances, libraries are reviewing the best ways to store active books and inactive books. The good news for libraries is they know which books are active and which books are inactive. With this knowledge libraries can be more space efficient with their storage and provide needed new amenities for students, such as computer and study spaces, quiet rooms for group meetings, and comfortable sofa environments.
Two Ways to Consolidate Your Library Floor Space – The Good News
There are two very efficient ways to solve the growing consolidation trend amongst library book collections. The first, which will be expanded upon further in this section, is high density compact library book shelving. The second, which will be discussed in part two of our series, is an offsite book depository storage facility designed specifically for archival library books.
Consolidating Your Library Floor Space with High Density Compact Library Book Shelving
The ability to properly consolidate floor space starts with knowing which books are active and which books are rarely check out. With this information we can segregate book collections to save valuable floor space. An example of how this would work in a library would be to move rarely used books to a non-public access area into space saving compact book shelving. This high density book storage system could be accessed by library personnel only. Librarians would take requests for rarely used books, pull the books, and stage them in a holding area for the students to pick up on a daily basis or determine another pick up schedule.
Compact book storage shelving takes rows of your existing book shelving and places them on rolling movable carriages that move back and forth on floor tracks. Valuable floor space is reduced by eliminating inactive access aisles and replacing them with movable access aisles based on your activity levels. Compact high density book shelving can condense book storage by less than half the floor space compared to traditional stationary book shelving.
Check back next week for Part Two of our series, when we will discuss mobile high bay storage for off-site library book depository storage.