chapter  8
8 Pages

The Manufacture and Marketing of Library Furniture and Equipment

WithWilliam S. Pierce

The library furniture industry is not large, nor does it have a large dollar volume. It is not a wonderfully stable industry, and with the exception of a very few long-established companies, firms enter and leave the industry with some frequency. Library Bureau was the first firm to meet specifically the supply, equipment, and furniture needs of libraries. The company was established in 1876 by a group of librarians who were unable to purchase "library fittings," such as catalog cards and cabinets to hold them. Interestingly, one of the early products developed by Library Bureau was the vertical filing cabinet, which was quickly adapted by nonlibrary buyers. The firm has continued in business to this day, and is still known as Library Bureau. Estey, a manufacturer of steel bookstacks, also has a long history of manufacturing shelving for libraries.