Quinsigamond Community College

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College library creates space-efficient storage and comfortable, inviting study space

Quinsigamond Community College, a higher education facility serving more than 13,000 students and offering more than 70 associate degree and certificate programs in the Humanities and Liberal Arts, relocated their library to a new facility. The move allowed the college to maximize storage and accommodate their collection of books and periodicals; as well as provide study space to meet the needs of the student body. Systematics analyzed the library’s new facility and provided space-efficient, practical and aesthetically appealing storage solutions, resulting in a comfortable and inviting library environment with ample seating and functional study areas.

CHALLENGE : Quinsigamond Community College Library was located in a converted gymnasium that provided inadequate storage of the library’s 40,000 books, periodicals and reference materials, allowing only a portion of the collection to be accessible to students. In addition, the prior facility offered limited study space, providing only three small tutoring areas. Space was limited and uninviting, forcing students to use campus hallways and gathering areas to study. Plans were made to move the library into a new 56,000 square foot building to provide improved storage of its complete book and periodical inventory, while creating sufficient seating and academic study space.

SOLUTION : With a goal of creating an aesthetically pleasing environment with ample and comfortable seating and study areas, Tom Carmody of Systematics worked closely with the project architect on space planning and the design of a visually appealing book and periodical storage solution.

Durable cantilever shelving with cherry wood end panels and black inlay tops were designed for the main stacks to house the library’s projected inventory of 62,000 books, while creating an elegant, warm environment. Shelving units were planned for growth to hold additional volumes, if needed.

Customized computer stations were designed for the ends of several cantilever shelving ranges to provide a convenient place to access the library’s Online Public Access Center. Stationary shelving was also installed below the computer stations as a staging area for books needing to be re-shelved.

In the reference section, half-height shelving stores encyclopedias, almanacs, atlases, and other reference materials. The wood-encased, shorter shelving provides a comfortable reference-height surface for students to conveniently access and review materials.

Systematics also provided aesthetically appealing and functional periodical display shelves for storage of publications and newspapers. Periodical storage units feature a retractable shelf that displays the latest issues which, when slid back, reveals back-dated materials.

“Systematics provided their expertise and support during a very stressful time, and they successfully met our storage and space management needs while creating a beautiful, inviting environment for our students,” says Ann Pound, assistant dean for library and academic support services.