Spacesaver shelving helps a library connect with patrons of all ages.
L ocated in the northeastern part of Utah, Uintah County has grown considerably due to the oil industry. The county needed a new library to provide better access to more patrons and to accommodate its ever-growing collection.
After years of fundraising, careful budgeting, and grant-writing, the library was able to acquire the funds to build a long-awaited new facility. The new library opened in 2012 and serves more than 800 patrons a day, triple the number of visitors to the old building.
Creative storage solutions helped the library create a children’s area on the ground floor, consolidate office and program supplies, and organize the collections on configurable shelving.
It was important for the new library to have enough room for all of their books and then some because although there is an increase of digital reader or e-book use, the library collection continues to grow.
The first step in designing the new library was determining what they didn’t like about the old one. “We used to have large oak shelves that would bow under the weight of the books,” said program coordinator Melinda Barlow. “So we would constantly have to switch the shelves around to try and straighten them out.”
With only 9,000 square feet in the old library, the traditional wooden shelves contributed to the cramped and uncomfortable feeling that was prevalent there. A major part of design and planning for the new library space was determining what would work best for them — and that wasn’t traditional storage.
Their local Spacesaver consultant was able to come in during the planning process and work with the architects to create a space that could provide exactly what they needed.
Now the library has more than doubled its space with 22,000 square feet and staff serve over 800 patrons a day, which is more than triple the number they would see before. The library is open and airy, and every area has enough room to make visitors feel comfortable and welcome.
“You need to have that living space for people to feel comfortable, you need to have that feeling in a library that they can come in and find what they want. And that’s what this library does.”
~ Melinda Barlow, Program Coordinator, Uintah County Library
Using Spacesaver cantilever shelving and 4-post library shelving throughout the building allows the staff to reconfigure and change the book displays whenever they feel the need to.
A particular point of pride is the children’s area on the ground floor. Its location makes it easy for parents to bring their children in and look for books or enjoy a daily program such as story time. The shelving bins are specifically designed on the Spacesaver shelving units for children to be able to grab books and return them all by themselves, with no exact alphabetical ordering system.
The children’s area is so appealing that the library sees about 200-400 children for each major event that they host.
Library staff can reconfigure the shelving in various ways to accommodate books and other media as collections — and patron preferences — change over time.
Creative design solutions encourage community involvement and give the library room to grow.
The library was also able to install a high-density compact shelving system for their office storage needs. It stores program and office supplies and is one of the staff’s favorite features because it stores these materials in half the space of their old system. Years after the library opened, this area still has plenty of room.
The library has become a gathering place for this growing community. With the help of Spacesaver storage systems, the library can continue to grow and positively impact the community for many years to come.