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Material, expandability and height are important factors to consider when comparing library shelving units. Wood, steel or a combination of the two are the most common materials used for shelving units. While both are adequate for book shelving units, steel is lighter and therefore easier to relocate if necessary. Steel shelving units are also typically less expensive than wooden units.
It is also important to consider expandability when comparing library shelving units, since not all of them can be expanded. A library which expects to grow in the near future should keep that factor in mind.
The height of library shelving units can vary considerably. Typical units range in height from 30 inches to 84 inches but other heights outside this range are also available. Taller shelving units may be worthwhile for areas of the library utilized by older students while shorter units are ideal for use in the children's section of the library.