Anatomy of a library shelf


A sample of the new static library shelves arrived at our temporary library at 610 Huntington. The static shelves will be scattered throughout the main floor in the renovated library. What is so special about a library shelf? The ones we’ll have in the new library are specially designed for holding the weight of library materials, and also incorporate a design to complement the overall clean, open feel of the renovated library space.



The skeleton of the library bookshelf is a cantilever shelving system from Spacesaver that Donnegan Systems helped us configure, made of heavy-gauge steel and welded-frame construction that meets the American Library Association standards for library shelving, and is powder-coated with durable white paint that resists chipping and scuffs.

A cantilever, as many of our WIT students probably know already, is “a projection, such as a beam, which is only supported or fixed at one end, the other end is free” (Dictionary of Construction, Surveying and Civil Engineering) where the weight is carried in the post of the shelf.

Rendering of shelving in new library

The white shelving will help to create an inspiring, open and modern space. We’ll house the fiction collection, DVDs, Architecture theses and WIT yearbooks on the main level of the library in these streamlined shelves, where you can sit comfortably nearby in various seating configurations and enjoy the great views the low shelves allow.

Corian envelopes the shelving with a smooth waterfall look, envisioned by the interior designers at Perkins+Will to create sleek lines and a bright, open environment to encase the books. The Corian shelving wraps will be custom crafted by the millworkers of Fabrizio Construction in Medford, MA. We think the books are going to look great on these shelves! Come check out the sample in our temporary library at 610 Huntington and see for yourselves.