Repurposing Library Spaces

Some of the reasons for repurposing Library Spaces are: Shifting collections, providing more community space, or further supporting collaboration and creation. From small changes such as adding a few select pieces of furniture to major changes such as a complete redesign, there are many options available.

Gaining space, maintaining collection

Compacting book stacks is the easiest way to gain space without eliminating collections. There are systems available that allow you, in many cases, to use your existing book stacks. They can be put on a system that allows the book stacks to move together, thereby utilizing a single aisle to access an entire set of book stacks.
There are a growing number of these systems finding their way into all types of libraries because they address the need to open up space and preserve necessary physical collections. As a general rule, you can shrink a collection to fit into half of its original space, thereby gaining desired open space or double the total number of books in the same physical foot print. This is especially useful in book archives and offsite storage areas.

Flexible solutions

Repurposing Library Spaced can also be accomplished by using shorter shelving or switch from traditional, static shelving to mobile shelving that increases storage capacity or decreases storage footprint.
There are mobile storage systems that mount book stacks and storage cabinets on wheeled carriages that travel on rails. This eliminates the need for multiple fixed aisles, freeing floor space. For a cost effective option, libraries could choose a manual mobile system instead of mechanical assist or powered system.

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