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Bringing a Library Back to Life Through Storage Efficiency

Benedictine University is an inclusive academic community dedicated to teaching and learning. Located on the University’s Lisle, IL campus is the Benedictine University Library, home to thousands of pieces of text, historic literature and a variety of resources relied on by many students.

Wolter and Aurora Storage Systems created a shelving and storage solution that would secure the school’s existing standard of academic excellence.

Upon planning for the renovation, the Benedictine University Library had books spread across four floors. For better use of the space, Wolter determined that all the books should be moved to the lower levels so that the two upper floors would convert to computer access, research, and study areas for the students.

There was already high-density mobile shelving provided by a competitor on the upper floors, but their electrical system had become unreliable long ago, and the school wanted to replace it with mechanical assist.

Benedictine University called on Wolter storage expert, Ken Pahlke, to help better the space utilization in the library. Working with Benedictine and the factory, Ken determined that moving the usable parts of their ten existing mobile shelving systems and combining them into one system in the lower levels was the first course of action.

The Wolter team was able to identify and reuse the existing shelving, replace the outdated electrical system with a new mechanical assist system, remove and replace storage unit tracks, replace the carriages and add new shelving.

Additionally, they matched the color of their new materials with the existing sun-faded system so that the final look was seamless.

Next, the rare books collections were moved to a temperature-controlled room in the basement level of the library with 4-post library shelving to preserve the books for future generations.

Through collective knowledge and expertise from Wolter and Aurora, the project was completed within a summer.

Today, the lower level houses the library’s circulating books and other resources, including special collections, a quiet zone, private study areas, four new classrooms and a computer lab.The upper levels are now individual and group study spaces, research support, and computer access.

With the library’s storage remodel, Benedictine University will have the capacity to continue offering great resources and rich history for students and faculty for years to come.

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Benedictine University Library Case Study

Bringing a Library Back to Life

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