Newcastle University library service required the relocation of 8,000 linear metres of books and journals from its central library to an offsite store. With its existing storage facility filled to capacity, the only practical long-term option was to establish a new off-site Library Research Reserve with some 24,000 linear metres of shelving for its 200,000+ books and journals. Newcastle University is one of the UK’s top educational institutions offering around 200 undergraduate degrees, and 300 postgraduate programmes and research degrees. Its libraries include The Robinson Library, which is the main campus library, The Walton Medical and Dental Library, and the Law Library.
The solution New premises were found in nearby Gateshead. The library considered various options to achieve its required capacity, such as installing a mezzanine floor, but even then static shelving could not provide enough storage. A block of high-rise mobile shelving was initially installed in 2010, which quickly proved its worth by simultaneously increasing capacity and optimising floor space, while maintaining 100 per cent accessibility. Following the trial, a competitive tender to design, supply and install a complete shelving solution was issued. The library selected an 11-level high-rise Compactus® mobile shelving system. In addition to the shelving for books and journals, Bruynzeel also installed mobile carriages fitted with 4m high mesh Picture Racking for the framed paintings belonging to the University. To minimise disruption to the day-to-day operation of the library, Bruynzeel phased its installation with the Library’s move management schedule. The new shelving was installed on a rolling programme to allow the library to empty and dismantle the static shelving – to create the space – just ahead of the build programme of the mobile systems. Running in parallel was the re-fit of the library that increased study space to 300 workstations with new desks, furniture and computer systems.