An Emerging Model For High bay library design

High-bay library shelving facilities can seem more like warehouses than academic institutions. The buildings are typically windowless to minimize stored materials’ exposure to harmful UV rays, and the rows of books can extend up to around five stories tall.

While these features are necessary to store and maintain millions of volumes in the best possible preservation environment, a new model is emerging. Modern high-bay facilities are being designed to welcome visitors and encourage more interaction with the university campuses they serve, and they offer spacious reading rooms for visiting researchers and pleasant work areas for archivists, conservators, and other staff.

How did we make a difference?

The University of Calgary has embraced this new model by expanding its off-site library shelving facility to better integrate with on-campus services, as well as create more jobs with more workspace. The new buildings feature Spacesaver’s high-bay shelving in large, climate-controlled storage areas, along with staff work areas, a comfortable reading room for visitors, and a multi-purpose room to host training events and field trips.

“We wanted as much long-term capacity as possible, given the size constraints of the site. We sought the best pricing and the best capacity.”

- Tom Hickerson, University of Calgary, Vice Provost for Libraries and Cultural Resources




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