FLEXIBLE SHELVING
FOR A CAMPUS LIBRARY

Case Study - Harper College | Palatine, Illinois

The planning committee wanted more flexible spaces and

a brighter,more open feel.

The aging building hadn’t been remodeled in more than 20 years.

A commitment to learning

On most campuses, the library is a lively hub of learning and collaboration. But students and faculty at Harper College
in Palatine, Illinois, found that working in the old library was more about endurance than enjoyment. The aging building
hadn’t been remodeled in more than 20 years, and it was dark, overcrowded, and noisy. Perhaps most importantly, the
building’s labyrinthine layout made it difficult for students to find their way around.

“ We needed to find a better place for them to learn.”
Njambi Kamoche | Dean, Resources for Learning

An open, flexible concept

When the campus acquired funds to renovate the library, faculty and staff knew exactly what they wanted: flexible, student-centered spaces that would take advantage of natural light and expansive views. They also wanted a space to secure the college’s archives, which were growing steadily every year.
The planning committee worked with the Chicago-based Spacesaver distributorship to design shelving that not only stored books and other printed materials, but that also coordinated with the team’s design goals.

“ We observed how the students used the spaces. The movable shelving allowed us to reconfigure
several areas on the second floor to reduce group seating and mitigate loud conversation,
while still promoting collaboration.”

Njambi Kamoche | Dean

Resources for Learning

Sleek shelving

The library’s main level is bright, open, and busy. The planning team wanted to provide casual collaboration spaces on this level, along with access to popular periodicals, digital media, best sellers, popular reading, graphic novels, and other materials. Counter-height cantilever shelving contributes to the open feel, allowing natural light from large windows to fill the space. A-frame carts provide storage and display for DVDs and other media. The shelving is fitted with casters
that allow staff to move them when they want to repurpose the space.
The third floor is dedicated to independent research and quiet study. Tall cantilever shelving units house the majority of the library’s collection, and study carrels offer privacy.
Throughout the library, Spacesaver shelving was fitted with custom end panels that integrate with the rest of the building’s interior design. The result is a sleek, clean look that unifies the facility while also providing convenient access to the library’s collection.

Throughout the library, Spacesaver

shelving was fitted with custom end panels

that integrate with the rest of the building’s interior design.

A secure space for archives

The design team also worked with the local Spacesaver
consultant to design a secure area to house the college’s
archives and special collections. They chose 4-Post
shelving mounted on a high-density mobile system to
store archival boxes and printed materials.
The archivist also needed to store odd-sized items
including plaques, dinnerware, and other objects
associated with the institution’s history. Due to budget
considerations, and because the objects didn’t need the
more extensive protection offered by museum cabinets,
the planning committee chose Spacesaver’s 4-Post
shelving units fitted with doors and museum trays. The trays fully extend, allowing researchers to view objects
without disturbing them, and the doors have keyed locks to provide an additional layer of security.
The archives were designed with room to grow. Some of the high-density storage shelves are currently empty, awaiting future acquisitions. The cabinet trays can be raised or lowered without special tools, allowing staff to adjust tray spacing to maximize space and accommodate objects of different heights. Additional trays can be added as the collection grows in the future.

‘ CARTS’ FOR ANY SETTING
Movable library shelving can look and function much like a library cart, or the casters can be concealed for a more
streamlined appearance.

The archives included a place to store odd-sized items like historic dinnerware.

The secure archives area was designed with room to grow.

Enduring Solutions for Campus Libraries

At Spacesaver, we understand that planning a new building or a major renovation is a once-in-a-career opportunity for many library professionals. It’s a daunting task, but we work on library projects every day and we can help make sure you understand all your options.
Contact us to connect with your local Spacesaver consultant, who can coordinate with our in-house engineers, project managers, and manufacturing professionals to design, build, and install enduring storage solutions that will stand the test of time.

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