Trolley helps lighten load for librarians

An Invercargill man's business has developed an innovative back-saving device for librarians.

Malcolm Officer Sheetmetal manager Dion Clarkson said the ergonomic book trolley could help prevent back pain for people working in libraries and possibly DVD stores.

The trolley can hold a load of 130kg and responds to changing weight using a "smart spring".

Moving up and down, depending on weight, meant the book needed was always on top, at an easy-to-reach level, he said.

He said the prototype trolley would put an end to bending and stretching into deep book bins, a daily problem for librarians.

Mataura librarian Julie de Villiers approached the engineering company about the problem.

"She had heard about hydraulic-based bins in the UK libraries but could not find anything like them in New Zealand, so she came to us," Mr Clarkson said.

The trolley is now being used successfully in the Mataura library and Mr Clarkson believed he could also adjust the design to suit DVD stores.

He had absorbed the development costs and planned to make more.

However, production had been put on hold because the firm was busy with other projects and wanted to successfully market the trolley before mass production.

"There are about 400 libraries in New Zealand that we will contact. As soon as we get a minute and generate interest, we will start to produce more of the trolleys and perhaps expand," Mr Clarkson said.

With a background in design, Mr Clarkson wants the business to become more innovative, engineering devices for specific purposes.

collette.devlin@stl.co.nz

The Southland Times