The modern library’s shelving system must meet today’s challenges. Today, library shelving systems are being called on to do more than ever. They must be sturdy enough to withstand typical use, aesthetically pleasing, and flexible to support changing environments without additional cost.
Types of Shelving Systems
Shelving systems come in many different sizes and materials, including wood, steel, and laminate. Because library needs change so rapidly, modular shelving systems that are rugged and sturdy are very popular, and meet today’s need for flexibility. Modular systems typically have a selection of standard components, which can be arranged in several different ways to suit library functions.
Many libraries want their shelving systems to do double-duty as display and storage units. In situations where storage is a challenge, libraries now can choose shelving units that do double-duty as display and storage areas, and can be changed for maximum flexibility.
Other types of shelving enable libraries to add shelving bays to the system as needed, using sections and shelves for rearrangement, expansion, and add-ons. Manufacturers are making these systems so that sections can be easily added — or removed — without disassembling the other bays.
Shelving systems frequently have a range of accessories available to choose from, including lighting, cabinetry, and privacy panels.
Choosing Your Shelving System
The library shelving system you choose should suit your library’s needs for years to come. When choosing your library shelving system, choose sturdy pieces that complement your design aesthetic, but that have enough flexibility to change with the needs of your library.