In 2006, C2AE was challenged with incorporating the entire State Law Library (SLL) collection and staff into the already “full” Library of Michigan (LOM). In order to accommodate the SLL’s 25,000 lf (lineal feet; 250,000+ volumes) of books, historical furniture collection and staff, a complete study and assessment was performed of the entire LOM space. The LOM occupies the west five (5) floors of the Michigan Historical and Library Center, encompassing over 175,000 sq. ft. The entire LOM was studied to determine what and where existing collections could be compressed and relocated in order to vacate the entire north 3rd floor for the SLL move.
The building assessment determined that the south 4th floor was designed for higher than average library floor loading, the plan became clear that a compact shelving system could accept both the current south 4th floor and the moving north 3rd floor collections in the same space. C2AE’s structural engineers carefully verified that the structure was indeed built to support these loads.
With a tight budget, a majority of the money was spent on the motorized shelving system with the remainder utilized for staff reorganization in various areas of the library. Throughout the process and move, the LOM experienced minimal inconvenience and shut-down.
The process included many meetings with the LOM and SLL staff, as well as the Michigan Department of Management and Budget (MDMB) and the facilities staff of the Michigan Historical and Library Center. The coordination of the many department’s schedules and materials needed to be well understood to ensure the project ran smoothly. Ultimately, the project was very successful with all the departments involved extremely pleased with the process and the outcome.
The end result was the accommodation of the entire north 3rd floors collection in half the required space to allow enough room for the SLL’s new home. Of the 175,000 sq. ft. LOM, only 44,000 sq. ft. was reorganized or remodeled.
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