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Subject: Compact shelving

Compact shelving

From: Cecily Grzywacz <cgrzywacz>
Date: Monday, December 7, 1998
Walter Henry <whenry [at] lindy__stanford__edu> writes

>This query has come up once or twice in the DistList, but no
>responses have been posted. Does anyone have any experience with the
>behaviour of compact shelving during floods, fires, or earthquakes?
>I'm especially interested in how people have handled the problem of
>getting access to the materials when the shelving fails to open
>either because of increased weight or distortion of the tracks (this
>happened to us during last winter's flood).

I asked around and here's our experience from Anne-Mieke Halbrook of
the GRI

    Yes, we had experience with the 12' compact shelving in the
    annex in the Marina and the 6' compacters in the P4 basement at
    401 Wilshire. Both shelving units held up extremely well during
    the earthquake--nothing moved or fell off the shelves, even not
    from the end units that had open shelves.  And that while all
    books were tossed off the freestanding shelf units, which also
    torqued en warped some of the metal shelves. It seems that the
    compact units have such mass, that they move as a block, rather
    than individually and also don't quite move as much as the
    freestanding shelving.

    In our new building we have installed quake bars on the open end
    units and also at regular intervals in aisles, which we open up
    when the stacks are not being actively used. I feel that our
    collections are very well protected with these units and the
    quake bars.

    We have not had any experience with floods that came up to the
    shelving. Hope this is useful.

    Anne-Mieke Halbrook

More on compact shelving at the Getty from Mary Sackett:

    ...the compact shelving units were fine in the last earthquake.
    Even the ten foot tall ones in the Marina. We noted that the
    closed sections had very little disruption because the books
    were also secured with bookends on shelves which were not full
    of books. On the end units where the books were exposed to an
    aisle, we have earthquake bars installed and with oversized
    materials which hang over the edge we had the materials secured
    with bungee cords. It is our rule that whenever a compact unit
    is not in use, it is left opened to an aisle where there are no
    books and only shelves or the shelves have the earthquake bars
    or bungee cords. We put two arrows, one on each side of the
    aisle to better identify this secured aisle and also label this
    aisle as to the being the one to leave open whenever one is
    finished using  the shelves.

Cecily M. Grzywacz
Associate Scientist
Scientific Discipline
The Getty Conservation Institute
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 700
Los Angeles, CA  90049-1684
Fax: 310-440-7711

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:50
                 Distributed: Tuesday, December 8, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-12-50-008
Received on Monday, 7 December, 1998

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