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Old Cambridge Public Library stacks

Before the Cambridge Public library was renovated it had a multistory section that housed the stacks. After the renovation part of this space been repurposed as the Young Adult section. When I first started using the library in the 60s it was a closed stack; you'd look up stuff in the card catalogue and then fill out a request slip and someone would get your books. Later they made it open which was much more useful because you could browse, but some people did not like the potentially treacherous stairs and floors (especially not good for high heels).

It had a really neat system of flooring and shelving.

view of stacks

after the library was emptied of contents.

empty stacks

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Thanks for the walk down memory lane; I was thinking not so long ago that I rather missed those shelves, and wished I had photos of them.

When I first went to the University of Western Ontario, in London, in 1975, the science library had a section like that -- not quite as old (no nifty columns as in your first image), but stacks and walkways -- the supports to the stacks were structural to the floors - which were essentially shelves that went all the way over to the next stack. The ceilings were low, maybe 7'. While the floors were not steel grid, they were just plates, and wobbled when someone walked by, or was further down your aisle. The most unnerving thing was looking down below the bottom shelf and realising that you were looking through to the next floor down.

On another note, Happy Birthday! :)

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