Making the most of the space you have is important in many different settings, but for a library that wants to offer a wide selection of literature and media, it becomes crucial. The main use of space in libraries is shelving, even with the growth of digital and online media. Shelving often takes up about half of a library’s space, if not more. To use this space as efficiently as possible, many libraries are turning to compact shelving for the storage of books, journals, magazines, DVDs and CDs, among the other items you might find. Here are the benefits you can expect to enjoy when you use compact shelving.
Compact shelving, as the name suggests, allows you to store more books in less space. If you’re looking to expand your library, possibly adding a café, collaboration areas, multimedia stations, study carrels or computer stations, compact shelving can help you consolidate storage and use the space you have more efficiently. Compact shelving can even go as far as doubling the amount of storage you have per square foot. You can also consider compact shelving for the areas where patrons and students store their things while spending time at your library, giving you the full benefit of efficiency.
If you’re remodeling or building a new library, utilizing compact shelving can open the door for cost-saving benefits that would otherwise be difficult or impossible. You can keep your construction costs down when building a new facility by building smaller and utilizing more efficient storage methods. Having a smaller, more efficiently used space also gives you the benefit of lower operational and energy costs.
When you reduce your space needs with compact shelving, you can reduce your usage of energy. Compact shelving can be a vital aspect of energy-saving strategies, as using less space means building a potentially smaller building, not having to expand, and heating and lighting less space.
Storing items consumes the most space in the library — premium space that you’d like to utilize. Turning to a balance of compact shelving and creative organization can help you take advantage of this space and still maintain a highly accessible library.
Read more about how Methodist University saved floor space in their library by using compact shelving.