Compact Shelving Renovation

Compact Shelving

Compact shelving allows entire ranges of books to be moved on tracks

Compact Shelving 2

Ranges must be completely unloaded to permit repair.

Compact 3

The books come off . . .

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. . . and the books go on.

compact 5

Moving books . . .

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... and queuing up to move books . . .

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... gives our contractors room to make repairs ...

Compact 8

. . so we can do it all over again!

Compact 2-4

. . . and the work goes on . . .

Compact 2-3

Compact 2-2

Compact 2-1

COMPACT SHELVING RENOVATION PROJECT COMPLETED
Library Reopens Closed Areas

Cowles Library – February 20, 2012 – Cowles Library is pleased to announce reopening of the closed portions of the lower level and completion of the compact shelving renovation project. Portions of the building were closed in mid-January to permit mechanical and electrical repairs to the compact shelving. The project was completed one month ahead of schedule and within budget.

Compact shelving is a high efficiency storage method which moves entire sets of shelves on tracks. Bound periodicals, housed on the shelving that was the focus of the project include journals, magazines and other publications not currently available in electronic formats and extending back into the 1800’s.


PROJECT AHEAD OF SCHEDULE
Library Anticipates Opening Closed Areas Within Two Weeks

Cowles Library – February 6, 2012 – Cowles Library is pleased to announce that the compact shelving renovation project is well ahead of schedule. Barring any unanticipated obstacles, the Library anticpates opening the closed portions of the lower level within two weeks. “The project was originally slated to run until spring break,” according to Dean Rod Henshaw, “But the dedicated work of library faculty, staff and student workers combined with some procedural changes recommended by the contractor have allowed us to move much more rapidly than expected in making the mechanical and electrical repairs.”

Compact shelving is a high efficiency storage method which moves entire sets of shelves on tracks. Portions of the compact shelving in Cowles suffered from wear-and-tear mechanical failure. The affected area of the first floor includes the study rooms, the bound periodicals collection and portions of special collections. Bound periodicals, housed on the shelving that is the focus of the project, include journals, magazines and other publications not currently available in electronic formats and extending back into the 1800’s.

Library staff, including faculty and student workers, have laboriously removed every book from the shelves to permit dissassembly and repair. Following repair of the track unit, the same books are returned to the shelves. “It’s hard, physically grueling, and very sweaty work — not the sort of thing people imagine librarians do,” observed one of the workers.

The compact shelving is being rebuilt by personnel working for OSDI (Office Systems Division), Inc., a leading provider of information storage systems to Des Moines area businesses. All materials used in the renovation meet LEED standards for environmentally responsible (“green”) construction, operation and maintenance solutions.


Work Expected to Continue through Spring Break

Cowles Library – January 9, 2012 – The west side of the lower level of the Library is closed due to work on the library’s compact (mobile) shelving.  The project will take several weeks to complete and the Library hopes to reopen the area near spring break. Compact shelving is a high efficiency storage method which moves entire shelves on tracks.  The affected area includes the study rooms, the bound periodicals collection and portions of special collections.

The Library will provide access to research materials in this area via its highly-regarded InterLibrary Loan service during the project.  The affected collections include journals, magazines and other publications not currently available in electronic formats and extending back into the 1800’s.  The collections run the gamut from the humanities through the hard sciences.

“We’d hoped to delay this work until summer when fewer students and faculty would be impacted, but the mechanical problems were just too severe to put the work off any longer,” observed Dean Rod Henshaw.  “Compact shelving is an ideal way to store a large mass of material, but — as with any mechanical system — wear and tear will inevitably lead to problems.”  The mechanical and electronic systems problems were monitored over several years and had steadily worsened.  Complete failure was finally judged to be imminent and work could no longer be deferred.

Work on steel shelving is noisy and disruptive so daytime classes scheduled in the media classroom (Room 45) were relocated to Library classroom 122.  Additionally, the individual study rooms have been closed for the duration of the project for safety reasons.

During the work phase, materials will be removed from the mobile shelves by library staff and ranges will be completely disassembled and rebuilt by personnel working for OSDI (Office Systems Division), Inc., a leading provider of information storage systems to Des Moines area businesses.    All materials used in the renovation meet LEED standards for environmentally responsible (“green”) construction, operation and maintenance solutions.