We are roughly in the same scenario as Tom (no RFID).

We home-rolled an interface that takes the Item Type, home location, and call number and draws a rectangle based on the range starting call numbers and back-end maintained shelf status. It's not as sophisticated or responsive as Tom's design but seems to solve the same problem.

After pulling up an item in the catalog (e.g.:, the user can click "Find it: ..." if the item can be found on the shelf (or can be found via a request from the circulation desk, archives, etc.).
Resultant page:

If an item is currently checked out, an electronic-type material, or not something that has been mapped no link is displayed.

The maps, Item Types, and beginning call number ranges are all maintained by Access Services staff for the various areas that do shelving and shifting -- and does take some training time.

It's not perfect software, but if you can provide the maps, call number ranges, staff to keep it updated, and create links passing Item Type, home location, and call number then you may be in business!

The software accommodates an East or West wing on a given floor (or single floor view). It allows for multiple Item Types to overlap in the same ranges (i.e. GEN_BOOK and GEN_NON). It allows for shifting areas to appear as "unstable" to the end user before shifting begins.
It enables mapping in sequential rows (front-to-back, front-to-back...) or stacks that wrap around (front-to-front then back-to-back).
Overrides down to individual items is also possible but not encouraged.

1) Stack Locator/Ball State University (custom)
2) Time to implement: unknown. Depends how many customizations you would need to make to accommodate your materials. A week for creating and testing your first area at least.
3) How can you put a cost on something like this? :-) Depends mostly on time your staff commit to it, I would imagine and time commitment is rather hard to say.
4) Hardware / Software was a MySQL server and a webserver that runs PHP. If you want the administrative side to be secure, you'll need to tie the application into your LDAP protocol or build your own user / password management.
5) Located via links out of our discovery tool (there is a search page but who wants to type in call numbers?)
6) Yes; closed stacks items are directed to the circulation area that serves those items. If it was in a non-mappable area, you may want to consider temporarily redirecting them to the front desk for assistance.
7) Having written it, I am biased :-) but I would love for someone else to be able to use it. I think it is great -- albeit in need of an upgrade.

Drop me an email to discuss further.

Victor Replogle
University Libraries...A destination for research, learning, and friends
Library Technologies Support Analyst
University Libraries                765.285.8032
Ball State University              765.285.2008 (fax)
Muncie, IN 47306                   [log in to unmask]

The University Libraries provides services that support student pursuits for 
academic success and faculty endeavors for knowledge creation and classroom

-----Original Message-----
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Cramer
Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2014 14:03
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Is Anyone Doing RFID Book Location or Stack Mapping?

We don't use RFID, but we do use a tool called StackMap to give a sense of the general location of books in our main library.  

For an example of the patron UX, click on the "map" link in a sample catalog record, such as (Center column, in the "At the Library" panel.)

The back end system (where Access Services updates call number range locations) is, IMO, very nice and easy to use. 

Technical implementation time was quite short on our end (a few weeks?), but took longer on the specification, training and set up on StackMap / Access Services' side. 


- Tom

On Aug 28, 2014, at 10:15 AM, Jarrell, Mark wrote:

> Are there any libraries out there that are making use of RFID hardware/software to help patrons know the precise location of books/items on the shelves? Or is anyone use other stack mapping software to help patrons know the general location of items on the shelf? If so, I have a few questions for you. Please feel free to message me directly and I can compile the results into an anonymous set to share with the group.
>  1.  Name of software & vendor
>  2.  Approximate time to implement
>  3.  Approximate cost to implement
>  4.  What types of hardware/software is involved in the process that wasn't used previously?
>  5.  How does the customer locate the item on the shelf (e.g. Via 
> handheld tool, map linked to catalog record, etc.)  6.  Is there a way for the patron to find out the location of items that are shelved in non-public areas (if a library branch is undergoing renovations)?
>  7.  Would you recommend this software/hardware method to other libraries? Why or why not?
> [cid:B062E8AC-43B8-4564-9851-3B3E64D2EDF1]
> Mark W. Jarrell
> Online Applications Developer | Richland Library
> 1431 Assembly St.  | Columbia, SC 29201
> (p) 803.553.9818 | (GTalk, Skype) mark.jarrell Access Freely at 
> Interested in helping to shape Join an advisory group<>.
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