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Education, Libraries

Social Distancing on Campus

Make Space for Safety When Students Return: 3 strategies to create space and reduce high-touch surfaces at campus libraries.

June 5th, 2020 - less than a minute read

Campus libraries are changing to ensure that students, faculty, and staff can feel safe and focus on learning during the COVID crisis. Spacesaver can help free up space for social distancing while still preserving collections and promoting convenient access, and we can also help reduce high-touch surfaces to create a cleaner interior environment.

Here are 3 strategies to promote social distancing and disease prevention in campus libraries.

Strategy 1

Off-Site Storage

Move collections to an off-site library facility to free up space in on-campus libraries.

Consolidating printed materials, artwork, archives, and other collections in off-site library shelving facilities allows institutions to repurpose valuable space on campus. In the short term, this opens up enough space to enforce social distancing guidelines. In the longer term, these flexible spaces can be reconfigured to offer new technology and collaborative work areas.

product presentation highbay offsite storage systems

Virtual Off-site Storage Product Presentation

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Featured Project

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Like many campus libraries, the 42 libraries on the UW-Madison campus have become more dynamic over the past few decades. As many of them were transforming to provide more collaborative spaces and access to advanced technology, campus leadership recognized the need for a comprehensive approach to shelving and storage for the libraries’ collections. They decided to build an off-site facility filled with high-bay shelving to optimize the space.

campus off-site storage systems
“I often refer to shelving as a lynchpin, because we’re doing other things with the space that the print once occupied. We’re completely rethinking how we’re using the spaces in our libraries today.”

-Ed Van Gemert, Former UW-Madison Vice Provost for Libraries

Working closely with architects and library faculty and staff, Spacesaver’s sales team, project managers, and engineers designed an XTend® High-Bay Archival Shelving System with an estimated capacity of more than 1.2 million volumes. The system has the potential to free up 30,000 square feet on campus while still providing convenient access to materials.

Learn more about UW-Madison’s high-bay facility and how the engineering school transformed the educational experience.

Strategy 2

Compact Storage On-Site

Reduce the stacks’ footprint with high-density mobile shelving.

Spacesaver’s high-density mobile shelving systems allow libraries to keep materials on-site in about half the space of static (non-moving) shelving. To reduce high-touch surfaces, consider powered mobile systems that allow users to open and close aisles from their personal mobile devices instead of using touchscreens.

Featured Project

Montclair State University

To offer students more hands-on experience with cutting-edge technology, Montclair State University’s graphic design department needed more space for design labs. They wanted to relocate to the basement of the main campus library, but the entire floor was filled with book shelving and map cabinets. Wanting to keep those materials on-site, the library’s dean called on the nearby Spacesaver consultant to design a high-density mobile system that would consolidate the library’s existing shelving and cabinets into a smaller footprint.

powered moveable library shelving systems
powered moveable library shelving systems

The project freed up space for a classroom, a design studio, and an office to house large-format printers while also maintaining convenient access to collections. The university saved money on the project by avoiding an expensive addition and by repurposing their existing shelving and cabinets onto mobile Spacesaver carriages.

Want to learn more?

Read the case study!

Strategy 3

Convert Existing Mobile Systems

Reduce high-touch surfaces with app-controlled systems.

Eliminating high-touch surfaces is one of the best ways to prevent disease transmission. The TUSC® Control app allows users to open and close aisles, browse and search for stored items, and view the system’s safety status, all without touching the system’s control pads.

moveable library shelves mobile app controlled
tusc powered system

Clients with mechanical-assist Spacesaver systems can have their systems converted to powered operation to enable the app. Cut costs by mounting your existing shelving and cabinets on Spacesaver mobile systems.

The TUSC® Control app allows users to open and close aisles, browse and search for stored items, and view the system’s safety status, all without touching the system’s control pads. Learn more about TUSC

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