Todays library shelving is not the same welded frame of the 60’s and 70’s. It is cleaner looking, sturdier and provides more flexibility than a library can handle. Products like M J industries System 30 which J. P. Jay sells is the product design that libraries should be thinking about going to if they need new book stack. I hope to enlighten you as to why but ultimately the option will be for you the director to make. When compared to welded frame the benefits are overwhelming. Some of the key features that make this product so inviting is a narrower foot print which yields wider aisle space, on taller shelving there is no need to floor fasten or over head strut the shelving, a thicker shelf prevents delection and this product can grow and be reduced in height relatively easy.
Because M J Industries builds this product with a footed upright in 14 gauge steel it is structurally stronger than the traditional welded frame which is supported by a bracket and base shelf. This means that even on 90 inch high shelving you do not have to have a wider base shelf with M J Industries System 30.
Many of the welded frame shelves out there have a 3/4 inch profile in the front. Since the steel is less thick in gauge it tends to let the shelving bend and bow under the weight of the books. With the System 30 design you have a thicker front thus preventing the shelf deflection.
A welded frame system is just that welded. Unfortunately welding tends to lead to permanancy and with the every libraries collections changing, permanent is not a good thing. The System 30 uses individual uprights with snap together cross bars that will allow the shelving to be broken down and cut should it need be or with the use an extender be raised up to 2 shelves without a single book having to come off the existing shelving.
What else does the System 30 have to offer that has not been mentioned here. The steel gauge used is much thicker and we can do up to 66″H shelving at 10 inches deep on caster and we can use this shelving system to create curves.
What else does M J Industries System 30 have to offer a library ? Well if what has been discussed up until now is not going to convince you that this is the library furniture of today then perhaps the hundreds of different ways this product will allow a library to shelve and store items will convince you. See the image below for just some of the ways this is accomplished.
This article is not about saying welded frame systems are bad because they are not. They have been around since the 60’s and 70’s after all. My suggestion though to many libraries that have the welded frame system in place is if they are not going to switch to the M J Industries System 30 then do not buy any new shelving at all. Why spend money on shelving that is the exact same as you already have. Invest the money in new or fancier end panels and just reuse the shelving. For a more technical aspect and difference between this product and its welded frame counter parts, the ALA has done archived articles on both designs in its technology reports.