Library software and mobile app developer Capira Technologies this week announced an integration with StackMap, a bookshelf visualization platform that helps guide patrons directly to the location of books and other materials in the library. Using the app, patrons will be able to search for and discover items in a library’s catalog, and with one click, view a detailed map of their library’s floor plan that highlights the shelf location of their selected item. The integration is currently being tested by Hampton Library in Bridgehampton, NY, and is expected to be widely available as a Capira service option for Apple iOS devices by July 1, and for Android devices by July 30.
Hampton Library Director Kelly Harris told LJ that she views the mapping function as a way to help patrons who prefer self service, and would rather not ask library staff for assistance.
“I’m always looking for ways to reach out to people who want to use the library, who would use the library, but want to do it themselves,” Harris explained. “For a student, or a busy younger mom, or a college-age kid, yes, they want to use the library and grab what they need, but they don’t necessarily want to ask ‘where is this book?’ There’s a feeling that ‘I should be able to do this myself.’”
People like busy moms, she said, “just want to come in, grab their item, check themselves out, and leave. You see it in supermarkets. They don’t want to stand in line.”
The self-service capability enabled by StackMap also ensures privacy, Harris added. Even patrons who are otherwise comfortable with library staff may not want to ask for help finding materials on sensitive subjects, such as coping with depression, or helping a loved one who has a serious illness or a drug use problem, for example.
“That might not be a resource that they want to ask a librarian about or take up to the circulation desk to check out, especially in a small library,” she explained.
StackMap is integrated into the catalogs of several universities and large public libraries, including Florida’s Orange County Public Library system, enabling patrons to access the maps via the library’s OPAC. Lex Cooke, CEO and and co-founder of StackMap noted in an announcement that integrating with Capira will further simplify the mapping experience for users by offering one-click access to the maps on a handheld device.
“We are particularly excited to be working with Capira on mobile because it will enable StackMap to provide that much more value to a library patron, by giving that patron the ability to carry the digital map with them while they attempt to navigate the physical space of the library,” Cooke said.