In today’s modern library, print media is no longer king. If it still holds a privileged position, print shares the throne with other multimedia offerings like films and music, as well as other space-intensive campus amenities like meeting rooms and study areas. A 21st-century library simply can’t justify keeping every single paperback or reference collection, right?

The Severn Library book depository at the University of Maryland proves real innovation lies in preserving the past for generations to come. With help from authorized Montel distributor Storage Systems USA, UMD not only retained nearly half of its valuable print collection, but gave all the books therein a proper home in a state-of-the-art HI-BAY high-density static shelving system.

The scope of the project

Severn serves as both overflow storage space for UMD’s McKeldin Library and other libraries on campus, as well as safe haven for delicate, archived materials. Each of the 405 static shelving modules stands at 36 feet, and thanks to the system’s high-density design, the entire facility provides of 10.5 miles of shelves and 21 miles of usable print media storage.

That’s quite a capacity! But even with 1.4 million books in storage, Severn still has a lot of space left over to expand print possibilities down the road.

All the benefits

 Beyond being somewhere to store extra books, Severn Library’s new HI-BAY static storage system also offers a number of opportunities standard book depositories couldn’t.

Organization in an off-site library storage facility is crucial, especially when handling so many unique materials. The same organizational considerations librarians and media specialists use in-house must be carried over into the depository: books must secured against loss and easily accessible to students, faculty and other campus researchers. Thanks to the storage system’s user-friendly and intuitive design, Severn staff can both assist library patrons with book orders, as well as keep a better record of how print materials move between libraries.

Over time, older texts can physically depreciate because of too much contact with browsing researchers. The more these books continue being handled unnecessarily, the shorter their life is. In a controlled repository like Severn Library, staff can restrict usage to fragile printed media to only those who really need it.

There’s no stopping the march of time, but as evidenced by Severn Library’s HI-BAY high-density static shelving system, you don’t have to erase the past to make room for the future. All you need is high-density storage, a love of literature and a little imagination.

Founded in 1924, Montel is a company specialized in the design and manufacture of high-density mobile storage systems for a multitude of markets, including libraries, museums, industrial warehousing, education, healthcare, public safety, military, sports and indoor vertical farming.

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