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What to Look Out for in Quality Used Library Shelves

As much as the world of digital technology continues to expand and entrench itself in our daily lives, books, it would seem, remain defiant. In the opinions of many, this is entirely justified. The feel of a book in one’s hands, the comfort with which it can be held, the time and effort that goes into its production, and the reliability of a physical object, all combine to contribute to the fact that books will, despite the digital revolution, be around for a long time yet.

Naturally, this also means that those hallowed halls of knowledge and imagination, libraries, will still be around for a good while, too. In turn, library owners and administrators will be buying and selling new and used library shelving to meet their on-going needs for bookshelves.

With universities, schools, training centres, and commercial concerns all facing the prospect of ever-tightening budget constraints, it’s used library shelving that’s most likely going to face an increase in demand. Fortunately, we can confidently assert that “used library shelving” certainly doesn’t equate to “inferior quality” or a substandard product. Indeed, by many measures, the opposite may be closer to the truth.

Used library shelves that have been taken care of properly during their first ownership, and that have been satisfactorily inspected by a knowledgeable dealer, can offer a potential buyer incredible value for money.

Cosmetic touch-ups necessitated by the slight injuries caused by moving shelves, setting them up or taking them apart are rarely a problem. When it comes to pre-owned shelving, the major focus should be on the shelves’ structural integrity, usability/versatility, and projected future lifespan.

This is to say that all library shelves – and not just used library shelving – need to be robust and durable. Shelves in an active library face a membership that continually takes and replaces items from the shelves, thereby causing shuffles in weight. These variations may be more than one expects: the books themselves add and subtract weight, of course, but humans tend to increase that weight significantly by leaning on the shelves when taking, replacing, or moving books.

Library shelves also need to provide an administrator with a certain degree of versatility. Changes in a library’s inventory or spatial organisation will require that shelves be moved. Over a period of years, this could happen several times. Modular used library shelves will ensure that the shelving can evolve and adapt to changing conditions.

In addition to versatility is variety. Modern libraries contain newspapers, magazines and periodicals, display shelves, books that vary markedly in their dimensions, mixed media items, etc.; suitable shelving should make proper provision for all the latter.

To aid in the project of versatility, good used library shelving will also have the ability to be installed quickly. This means that disruptions to normal functioning will be minimised. In an environment requiring quiet and minimal interference with concentration, this is an important consideration.

Backed by over 50 years of experience in the shelving and racking industry, a highly sought-after ISO 9001-2000 certification, and a SABS mark for exceptional quality, USE can help guide you on your used shelving and racking needs. Pre-owned products can offer buyers excellence, reliability, and a prosperous working life at outstanding prices. Get in touch today.