Kansas State University (KSU), located in the beautiful Flinthills of Manhattan, Kansas, recently completed its fourth expansion project of the Hale Library, which was originally built in 1927. The latest renovation, an award-winning design reminiscent of the Romanesque style, added 400,000 square feet. It featured a new outer shell and façade that merged several past renovation projects into one cohesive design and transformed the library into a campus icon.
During the renovation, the architect researched interior paint colors and wood stains to stay true to the original period. All five floors of the public spaces were outfitted with Spacesaver cantilever shelving featuring custom wood raised end panels to match the décor and provide a warm, rich environment.
Shortly after the renovation was complete, KSU Libraries staff realized they had a storage crisis. The collection was growing more rapidly than ever and building a new facility was not an option. The space crisis had to be solved within the confines of the new building.
Jean Darbyshire, director of administrative services, along with the management team determined that high-density shelving would get them the space they needed. “The library has more funding now, thanks to university administrators, and the collection is growing at a faster rate than anticipated,” she said. “We knew that we couldn’t live in this building forever given the growth of the collection. We decided to phase in the compact shelving to add capacity as we needed it.”
As mobile carriages are installed, the existing Spacesaver shelving is incorporated and additional shelving is procured to complete the system. This phase-in process allows the library to expand at a manageable rate, while avoiding disruption to the patrons. “We calculated that we nearly double our area capacity on every system we add,” said Darbyshire. “We plan on eventually completing four out of the five floors with compact mobile shelving.”
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