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Modern libraries today use a number of different storage solutions, from simple bookshelves that can be accessed by patrons on the library floor, to storage designed to preserve valuable items.

Types of Storage

Common storage options include simple single-sided and double-sided shelves, adjustable library shelving, powered and manual shelving, and display shelving.

Single-sided shelving comes in many widths, lengths, and materials, and is usually mounted to the wall, enabling patrons to access books from one side. Double-sided shelves also come in many widths, lengths, and materials, but are a good option for the middle of the library, as they allow users to access books from both sides.

If flexibility is a consideration, adjustable library storage shelves feature glides that allow you to adjust the shelving. For example, one set of shelves can be adjusted to holder larger sized books on the top row, regular sized books on the middle rows, and CDs and smaller items on the bottom row. This type of shelving is ideal for libraries looking to safely store videos, CDs, DVDs, newspapers and periodicals, oversize materials like maps, collections of art, and archival boxes.

In situations where space is an issue, powered and manual shelving enable the library to store more items, without giving up easy access to these items. With this storage option, aisles butt up against one another, but move with a push-button or crank system to reveal aisles that need to be accessed.

When patrons visit a library, they see books and other media on display. What they don't see are the stored collections behind the scenes. Special storage shelves for archival and valuable material are designed to safely store books, maps, and works of art, and to protect them from dust, humidity, and other elements. Storage shelves can also be locked, ensuring that these materials are closely tracked, and only handled with the permission of library staff.

old books on bookshelves in a library storage room
This photo depicts old, well-worn books on bookshelves in a library storage room.
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Library Storage - Book Storage