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33 Linear Miles of Library Shleving at Central Michigan University

When the Central Michigan University Charles V. Park library underwent a four-floor renovation and addition, over 33 linear miles of high-density mobile shelving was used to house 95-percent of the library’s collection – 1.1 million volumes.

To house the combined collections, which were consolidated from several campus locations, would have required 75,000 square feet if stationary library shelving were used. By utilizing high-density mobile shelving, the university was able to reduce the space needs to 45,000 square feet, which contributed to a six-million dollar savings in construction costs.

“The suggestion of mobile shelving came from our architects as a part of our design process in order to save space,” states Gerry Edgar, manager of library business services for Central Michigan University. “It was a trade off. If you have less space devoted to shelving, you have more building for other things – for seating, for circulation, and all of the other necessary functions.”

The renovation of the original library building, which was not structurally engineered to support the weight load resulting from the mobile system, was planned to accommodate all of the support services, study rooms, and management spaces. The new addition was dedicated to house all of the stacks needed to store the entire collection, allowing ample open space so that the library could be designed with a much simpler, aesthetic look. The resulting structure includes a beautiful multi-floor atrium with an abundance of natural light throughout the stacks.

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