What is Compactus Shelving and How Does it Work in a Library?

Compactus shelving is an excellent storage solution for the office, libraries, and even at home.

Compactus shelving, or more commonly referred to as mobile storage, is a storage system that is ideal for anyone needing to store large volumes of materials in a smaller than ideal space. This brilliant organizational tool was created over 50 years ago and have presented an elegant solution to many organizational issues.

Contemporarily, there are two main types of compactus shelving: manual and electronic.

Manual Compactus Units

Manual systems are comprised of shelving units that are set upon wheels. Tracks are imbedded in the floor and the wheels attached to the shelving units are set into those tracks. The tracks are carefully levelled to reduce the effort necessary to move the massive units. Tracks can be countersunk into newly laid floor, or integrated into raised flooring. Each shelving unit has two faces of storage space. Movement along the tracks opens up the desired face, creating an aisle. This can be achieved by simple handles (hand operated compactus) that can be used to push or pull the shelving units into their desired positions, or by the use of a hand crank (mechanical compactus), where the clockwise/counter clockwise spin of the crank will propel the compactus shelving unit either forward or backward.

Tracks can also be laid on top of existing floors, as a compactus base mobile shelving, should the desired area not be capable of having new floors placed, or having racks imbedded in existing floors. With the many options available for manual compactus units, there is a format that will best fit any library or space, new or old.

Electronic Compactus Units

Electronic compactus units are an elegant solution for public spaces that have some advantages over manual units. Electronic compactus units have similar track and wheel systems to manual units, but a small motor is hidden in the base that are used to move the unit. These motors are activated by pushing a button. These compactus solutions allow unfettered access for people with limited mobility. They also are a much safer choice for public spaces as they can have safety and security features installed as well- restricting access to certain shelf faces, or keeping someone from getting hurt accidentally.

Compactus Units in Libraries

Many high end public spaces, such as university libraries, are turning toward electronic compactus systems that are integrated into automated systems such as RFID, archiving systems, and even automated open and close mechanisms that allow for easy retrieval of any necessary material. Allowing the public, or your customers, to easily access what they are looking for. Making the space not only user friendly, and easily accessible, but safe, well organized, and visually stunning. The compactus unit allows even smaller libraries with limited space and funds an affordable way to make the most out of the room they have available, without having to compromise materials.

Compactus units are not just for books anymore

While compactus units have traditionally been used for file storage and books, digitization has reduced the need of paper filing systems. The compactus shelving systems are no longer relegated to physical archival materials. Compactus units are now being used to store a range of different items and utilities. Small companies can find them useful for storing extra stock as well as archives, allowing more of the available space to be utilized solely for retail purposes. Another great way to utilize your compactus storage system is to use it to store individual office spaces. Such as a place to store coats and personal items away from the public’s eye. Or even an area for breakroom appliances. Compactus units are capable of storing any thing from flat screens to art supplies. Many units can even have custom lighting solutions installed. The only limit is your available space and ingenuity. This becomes a very attractive solution for anyone who wants to save money on floor space while not sacrificing functionality and aesthetics.

Small space, big storage with compactus systems

Compactus storage systems can increase usable floor space by 50% when used in place of more traditional methods. With available options that make it possible to purchase units that are mobile or semi-temporary, you won’t end up paying a bunch of money to completely renovate a space. They are an ideal storage solution for any office, small business, or public space, but they can also be easily integrated into home decor as well, ensuring that you can make the most of whatever space you have.