Rutgers University’s Robeson Library had to make room for a computer lab and store the same amount of books in the same space. Rolling high density compact shelving made it possible.
Founded in 1766, Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey is the eight-oldest university in the United States. As a university that prides itself on research and innovation, Rutgers is attentive to the needs of students and researchers – which is why the library system has grown to include 26 separate libraries. Although just over 60,000 students attend Rutgers, the libraries serve over 2 million patrons each year onsite and countless others through their digital library.
Robeson Library is the flagship facility in the heart of the Camden campus. As so many reference materials move online, the role of the campus library has evolved into more than a place to find information. It’s now a place to meet, focus, create, and sometimes even grab a snack. Because of these changes, library faculty recognized the need for more computer lab space to meet student and community needs. The problem? There was no space to put in another computer lab.
Robeson may be a campus library, but it serves purposes beyond the campus’s borders. Robeson Library is a state depository library for New Jersey and collects a large amount of government publications a great deal of relevant government publications. In addition, as the Camden County affiliate for the New Jersey State Data Center, they assume a responsibility to make on-site government information available to the public. At the time, the library was using static shelving to house books on both levels of the library. The addition of a computer lab meant all of those books now had to be condensed to one level.
The library considered building out additional storage space, but taking on the costs and inconveniences of a major construction project was less than appealing. Instead, they reached out to DSSI, hoping to explore other options for compacting their current collections. After surveying the space, DSSI suggested installing mobile library shelving. This high-density option would allow the library to compact rows to significantly increase their storage capacity.
By combining the contents of the two levels into one space, the library was able to transform the first floor into a state-of-the-art computer lab. As a bonus, they were able to use the mobile library shelving system in conjunction with their existing shelving, which meant maximizing space without the need to invest in entirely new shelving. The library can now serve as a complete resource to students and community members alike.