5 school shelving ideas that have absolutely nothing to do with library storage

Here are four examples of areas at your school that could use better shelving - and no, none of them is a library.
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Here on the Montel blog, we've talked a lot about library shelving systems. And why not? As digitization and multimedia resources change how people seek out information, libraries must adapt. They are, after all, the stewards of that information. In our minds, mobile library shelving helps librarians rise to the occasion.

But what if your library is more than just a library? What if your library is part of a school or university? If that's the case, extra space in your stacks may be but one of your many storage concerns.

Here are five examples of areas at your school that could use better shelving – and no, none of them is a library.

Stock your cafeteria with all the best foods and supplies.Stock your cafeteria with all the best foods and supplies.

1. Cafeteria

It's always better for the budget to buy food in bulk, right? Well, not if you lack the space to properly store your plus-sized groceries. Mobile storage systems in your dining hall can save your school money by allowing staff to take advantage of low-cost wholesale ingredients and keep perishable goods in a clean, controlled environment. Organization never tasted so good.

2. Arts programs

Let's face it: These days, there's little room left for arts education. No, we're not talking about space measured in square footage but rather dollars available in school budgets. Any proposed investments to arts programs, therefore, must demonstrate a great deal of value to the school board before they are approved. Does a custom mobile shelving installation make the cut? Consider the versatility of these shelving modules:

Music department
Ever tried to fit a sousaphone on prefabricated static shelving? Not many have. But thanks to our manual, mechanical-assist and powered mobile shelving units, you won't have to either. They're built with easily adjustable shelves that don't require tools or professional assistance.

Properly store expensive musical instruments.Properly store expensive musical instruments.

Theatre department
Who knows what next year's spring musical will be? Better play it safe by storing all your costumes on clothing racks and in bins available for any of our mobile storage solutions. Check out this custom mobile storage installation we made for Laval University and its theatre department. It even included shelving for the school's audiovisual equipment.

Save costumes season after season.Save costumes season after season.

Fine arts department
Student artwork deserves the same level of preservation used in museum storage. Collapsible, accordion-style mobile shelving installations can protect their masterpieces from damage – and perhaps a campus cat burglar or two.

Hang student paintings on double-sided mobile art racks.Hang student paintings on double-sided mobile art racks.

Best of all, a single custom mobile shelving installation can serve all three departments. Reach out to your nearest Authorized Montel Distributor to find out more.

Safeguard student health with organized medical supplies.Safeguard student health with organized medical supplies.

3. Nurse's office

In elementary and middle schools, nurses act as de facto pharmacists, administering doses of important medication and safeguarding emergency medical supplies. So don't these health care professionals deserve the same resources pharmacists, clinicians and doctors use to save space in their facilities? And isn't it imperative we keep potentially hazardous materials out of the hands of young students?

High-density QuadraMobile shelving, for example, won't take up much space, but it will deliver a great deal of storage power and organization. Moreover, custom locking mechanisms can prevent unauthorized access and tampering.

Mobile shelving keeps all college sports equipment organized.Organize all your college sports equipment.

4. Athletic department

Even though we've discussed sports storage on this blog about as much as we've discussed library storage, we don't mind repeating ourselves: Any school or university with an active and diverse athletic department should consider the benefits of installing space-saving mobile storage.

Montel can help your school design a one-of-a-kind mobile storage system that combines lockers, cabinets, drawers and more. We can even customize your end panels to match your school colors or proudly display your logo on each unit. If your coaches are tired of cleaning up after every game or replacing broken or lost equipment, add mobile storage systems to your locker rooms. They encourage organization and reduce your storage footprint.

Secure weapons with smart storage features.Secure weapons with smart storage features.

5. Campus security

Every student deserves a safe learning environment. That's why smart leaders overseeing large universities and college campus arm their security professionals well with guns and other equipment stored in mobile weapon storage. High-density shelving protects the integrity of security assets and restricts usage to those who are authorized to carry them.

Summer break won't last forever. Start your school year off right with mobile storage. Check out the Montel catalog for information about all our different storage modules and customizable features.

Montel answers prayers for better storage at the Centre D’Archives Mgr-Antoine-Racine [Video]

Let's look at how Montel constructed a powered mobile shelving installation to meet the specific needs of a religious center and museum.
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At the Centre D’Archives Mgr-Antoine-Racine in Sherbrooke, Quebec, history and heritage converge. Catholics come from all across Canada to learn more about their faith, the institution of Catholicism and Monsignor Antoine Racine, the first bishop of the diocese in Sherbrooke and an influential force in the French colonization of Canada during the 19th century.

Open to the public, the archive at the Centre D’Archives Mgr-Antoine-Racine contains priceless artifacts, boxes of fragile records, paintings, books, clothing and more, as well as audio-visual equipment and contemporary media. Collection managers called on Montel to bestow them with a SafeAisle powered mobile shelving system versatile enough for their diverse storage requirements and flexible enough to blend with the sublime beauty of the institution.

Although any organization that replaces static storage units with mobile shelving enjoys half the storage footprint at twice the capacity, let’s look at how Montel constructed a powered mobile shelving installation to meet the specific needs of a religious center and museum:

Designed for silent sanctuaries

Tranquility is essential for research as well as reverence. Montel encases the motorized components of its powered mobile shelving to soften and virtually eliminate sounds made from its movement. Units slide apart quietly and slow to a resting position so as not to disturb those around the storage area.

Heavenly light at hand

Repositories in religious centers may not have the best lighting. The same is true for any other organization housed in an older facility. Powered mobile shelving from Montel includes LED-backed touch panels that perform well in dark environments. Prompts are clearly visible from the controls located on the end panels of every aisle. Even from a distance, users have a clear understanding of the status of the system, whether it’s in motion or standing still.

Guardian angels in every aisle

One-of-a-kind relics and irreplaceable records demand smart mobile shelving that protects them and the people who seek them. Aisle LED Guard technology holds aisles open while the space between units is occupied. Users cannot override the setting, so as long as there is an artifact, a container or a patron in an aisle, the units are locked firmly in place. This prevents injuries and preserves works of art and history for the next generation.

Ascetic aesthetics

The Centre D’Archives Mgr-Antoine-Racine is located in the basement of the Saint Michel Cathedral in Sherbrooke, a minor basilica in the Roman Catholic tradition. Shelving and other storage equipment must not clash with the understated beauty of the property, which is why archive managers chose muted colors for their custom installation.

Teaching people to fish (for history)

Above all else, powered mobile storage needed to be accessible for archive managers as well as visitors seeking answers. Users browsing the stacks or perusing the art will find drawers, racks and other hardware lightweight and easy to control.

Relics on racks

Montel included two art racks on either side of the installation perpendicular to the rails of the mobile shelving, a design unique to this particular installation and one unseen elsewhere in the industry.

Other features include the following:

  • Bin dividers for storing artwork.
  • Locking hinged doors for protecting priceless artifacts.
  • Horizontal rolled storage for preserving maps, charts, etc.

Montel believes mobile shelving makes excellent sense for any organization or business in search of smarter storage. Visit our blog to see our other success stories – like this one from the Boris Lurie Art Foundation in New York City – or reach out to an Authorized Montel Distributor today for more information.

Optimize or maximize? Win-wins with mobile shelving solutions

A change to mobile shelving can make a big difference to all sorts of businesses, whether they’re looking to shrink their storage footprint, expand it or simply do more with it.
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When was the last time you thought about how you shelve?

Every business, commercial or industrial, does it – but do they shelve as well as they could or should? And if not, what are they all missing out on by avoiding the problem?

A change to mobile shelving can make a big difference to all sorts of businesses, whether they're looking to shrink their storage footprint, expand it or simply do more with it.

Are you an Optimizer?

Is your storage occupying more cubic footage than you expected it to? With the wrong layout and static shelving, even businesses with minimal storage needs are susceptible to wasted space and high inventory management costs.

Mobile shelving systems optimize the area devoted to storage, freeing up new possibilities. What can businesses do with the space they save by installing customizable mobile storage solutions in their warehouse or stockroom?

For one, they can just leave it empty. After all, mobile storage modules condense the same volume of goods into an area 50 percent smaller than with static shelving. That level of spatial efficiency saves businesses immediately, especially if those businesses were planning to expand their properties, relocate or invest in off-site storage facilities because of their chronic storage issues.

Moreover, mobile shelving reduces recurring costs associated with per-square-foot refrigerated storage. According to investment management firm JLL, cold storage facilities cost triple what conventional warehouse storage cost. Mobile storage protects from overspending those who lease refrigerated storage units or who aim to invest capital in their own.

Are you a Maximizer?

On the flip side, a significant space savings of 50 percent will certainly tempt leaders to conceive of new ways to utilize areas once devoted to storage. Here are a few ways some Montel customers have used the space they saved by switching to mobile storage:

Expanded the sales floor: With a smaller storage footprint, retail businesses can grow their revenue-generating areas. Whether they choose to provide more room to mill about or a more diverse selection of goods, patrons will appreciate the improved shopping experience either way.

Added production or processing power: Industrial businesses such as manufacturing need their shop floors for far more than storing inventory and finished products. Reductions in storage open up opportunities to build a new line, for example, without overspending capital on a whole new facility.

Doubled up on storage: Warehouses are in the business of space. If they so choose, these businesses can reclaim aisles and maximize storage. Mobile shelving installations therefore give warehouses twice the capacity, twice as many vacancies to sell or utilize and twice as many SKUs to offer end users.

Whichever route you decide to take, trust that manual, mechanical-assist or powered mobile shelving solutions will propel your storage operations toward success. For more information, visit the Montel blog or reach out to your nearest Authorized Montel Distributor today.

Boris Lurie Art Foundation conserves in style with Montel art rack storage system

With so many valuable pieces of art to preserve and so little room to work with, Montel designed a space-conscious hybrid art rack and smart storage installation we hope befits a legend like Boris Lurie.
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Artist Boris Lurie was a lot of things: a Holocaust survivor, a benevolent provocateur, a stock market master, a pioneer of the NO!art movement. What he wasn't, however, was shy about his convictions.

So when he died in 2008, he left behind a handwritten will with explicit instructions. Lurie wanted his closest friends to take the $80 million fortune he had amassed in penny stocks over his lifetime and start a foundation in his name, one that recognized and financially supported underappreciated artists who embodied the heart and soul of the NO!art movement.

Today, Lurie lives on in New York City through the Boris Lurie Art Foundation and with help from Gertrude Stein – director, art collector and lifelong friend. Stein and staff curate an extensive collection of Lurie's paintings, collages and writing (more than 3,000 pieces altogether), as well as work from other NO!artists.

With so many valuable pieces of art to preserve and so little room to work with – we are talking about New York City here – Montel designed a space-conscious hybrid art rack and smart storage installation we hope befits a legend like Lurie.

What did Montel build for BLAF?

The installation consists of seven sections, which alternate between a trio of mobile art racks and static cubby-style shelving of varying dimensions.

Each double-sided mesh art rack is slightly more than 10 feet tall, 8 feet wide and runs on a track nearly 20 feet long. Panels on the static shelving are matte black with a splash of bright red along the interior. These modules also contain narrow exhibition drawers.

A sliding divider separates the storage from the rest of the room it occupies. Montel also built longer, deeper drawers and tall bookcase shelving around the outside of the installation.

As an art historian would examine and interpret a painting, let's take a closer look at the individual brushstrokes that make this smart storage solution a real masterpiece.

"Montel smart storage is not form over function."

Color theory
No conversation on art gallery storage would be complete without touching on aesthetics. The black and red coloring makes the whole installation pop. Customers can choose from a manifold palette of colors when designing the perfect storage solutions for their unique spaces.

That said, a Montel storage installation is not, however, form over function.

Another kind of art movement
Retractable art racks allow the BLAF storage space to transform at will from safe repository for priceless works to a social environment where visitors and curators can experience Lurie and other NO!artists up close.

Both the fronts and the backs of each rack has its own hanging plane. Paintings and hardware hung from one side, therefore, do not take up space on the opposite side, which protects art from damage and doubles capacity. Each art rack track-and-wheel system is engineered for stability and smooth operation, no matter the size or weight of the paintings it holds.

It's really all about what isn't there
Is Montel's installation at BLAF merely a system of shelves and racks? Or is it an experiment in utility of negative space?

All available vacancies throughout the module serve a primary mission: to reclaim as many cubic feet as possible in the name of smarter storage. BLAF employees now have dozens of long horizontal and vertical rectangular cubbies of varied dimensions at their disposal. Regardless of how they choose to organize the collection, they can do so with unprecedented spatial efficiency and respect for the pieces therein, thus preserving it all for another generation.

Are you interested in commissioning an art storage solution all your own? Contact your local Authorized Montel Distributor today for more information or check out another instillation Montel built at the Clyfford Still Museum.

Introducing HI-BAY MOBILE high-density solutions for off-site storage

If traditional static shelving options leave you desiring more, imagine what your off-site storage would be capable of with HI-BAY MOBILE from Montel.
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Do you have an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality about your off-site storage?

Storing goods away from your main facilities doesn’t make those things any less important or less susceptible to inefficiency. If traditional static shelving options leave you desiring more, imagine what your off-site storage would be capable of with HI-BAY MOBILE from Montel.

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History Colorado brings the past into the future with state-of-the-art museum storage installation

See for yourself how Montel helped History Colorado completely reinvent its museum and anthropological storage with SmartShelf 4-Post hybrid shelving and a Mobilex mobile shelving system.
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History Colorado provides the Denver community with a link to the past through expansive collections of archived documents, photographs and sundry artifacts. It is a commitment the organization has upheld for nearly 150 years.

But with such a varied catalog of sensitive items to curate and protect, the popular historical society, museum and educative center needed more from its storage area. See for yourself how Montel helped History Colorado completely reinvent its museum and anthropological storage with SmartShelf 4-Post hybrid shelving and a Mobilex mobile shelving system.

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Moving pictures: Montel’s vibration-free sliding art racks for the Clyfford Still Museum

Come see how Montel's vibration-free sliding art racks brought art to life at the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver, Colorado.
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Montel recently finished work on two sliding art rack storage systems for the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver, Colorado, an institution honoring and preserving the work of the eponymous American painter who stood at the forefront of the abstract expressionist movement in the late 1940s.

With more than 800 paintings in need of innovative racking – as well as letters, sketchbooks and other materials belonging to the artist – Montel designed and installed custom storage solutions that achieve a perfect balance between efficiency, usefulness and conservation.

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Introducing SafeCrank mobile shelving technology from Montel

How does mechanical-assist mobile shelving keep users protected at your place of business?
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Safety should always be a chief concern among business leaders.

Protecting employees from accidents in the workplace is not only the right thing to do morally, it’s one of the most cost-effective commitments an employer can make. According to research from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, American businesses spend an estimated $1 billion every week on workers’ compensation payments alone. Yikes! That can’t be good for the company checkbook or a brand’s reputation.

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SmartShelf® vs. L&T Shelving: Which packs the biggest punch?

How does Montel's SmartShelf® Hybrid 4-Post boltless shelving system stack up against a traditional L&T commodity shelving unit?
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How does Montel’s SmartShelf® Hybrid 4-Post shelving system stack up against a traditional L&T shelving unit?

Frankly, we don’t think it’s a fair fight at all, especially when it comes to customization and spatial efficiency. Boltless shelving like SmartShelf® wins round after round.

We’ll walk you through a standard shelf adjustment step by step, compare the two shelving options and demonstrate exactly what we mean.

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7 oddities Montel successfully stored

Every once in a while clients ask our specialists to devise shelving solutions for some exceptionally strange things conventional shelving couldn't possibly accommodate.
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Throughout Montel’s long and storied history as a premier high-density shelving provider, we’ve never backed down from a challenge.

That said, every once in a while clients ask our specialists to devise shelving solutions for some exceptionally strange things conventional shelving couldn’t possibly accommodate. Take a look:

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