In the digital age, will library shelving become obsolete?

While we will always have plenty of uses for book shelves, will their original purpose become obsolete? Traditionally, library shelving is used to keep books organised and readily available for easy reference. However, in this digital age, many classrooms are relying on the school’s computers to hold the vast array of information that once could only be found inside a book. Many textbooks are now in digital format and students carry a laptop around, rather than a huge backpack full of books.

We at Herok liken the phenomenom to when video rental stores became widespread in the UK and people thought that the cinema would soon meet its demise. In fact, after a temporary dip in cinema audience numbers, cinema goers soon climbed again, year on year.

The consumer will decide. Books are tangible, feel substantial and have their own beauty. A book can instil a passion that a cold digital file would struggle to do. They can also be heavy and require organisation and storage. In this digital age, information skills paired with literacy skills are vital. On the whole, we love having books around, and a modern library space needs both traditional book storage, along with study areas with access to up to date technology to be successful.

At Herok we have not found a declining trend in the library shelving market. On the contrary, the trend is currently for forward facing book shelving, which has the benefit of displaying book titles in a very accessible way, but can require more shelving units in place to display the same quantity of books.

We believe in the traditional need of book displays for educational purposes, especially for nursery and primary schools. A child needs to flip the pages of a book to develop the love for reading. You just can’t get that from a computer. There is also something very warm and home-like about having a piece of wooden furniture in a class to make kids feel comfortable. Our experience tells us that library shelving and book displays are here to stay for some considerable time.

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Herok library shelving 2014