Using StackMap to Assist with Changing Needs of Students and Staff


Thanks to widespread internet access, younger generations are growing up with vastly different research skills and processes than previous generations, and navigation systems like StackMap are becoming more relevant as print collections are shrinking. We spoke with Amanda Curnow and Tim Darlington at Massey University’s Manawatü Library in Palmerston North, New Zealand about how StackMap helps facilitate these monumental changes. 

I know my library. I have been here for years, and I know where everything is, pretty much. But, because they sometimes shift stuff around, it has been handy to have StackMap for that reason.

Several years ago, we started a national-level project to remove a lot of our journals and put them in a national store, which means a lot of collections have physically shifted, moved around, and disappeared. So, its been quite good to have StackMap so that I can keep up with whats happening with the changes. It can be updated so quickly; theres no delay. For example, if I want to look for a particular journal, I can see if we dont have it anymore or if its moved from one place to the other. StackMap is great because it will tell me where it has gone. I can go to the right place rather than going off to where it used to be. 

-       Amanda Curnow, Digital Asset Management Librarian

Amanda Curnow.jpg

StackMap has made a big difference. We wanted something like this for a long time. For years, we had people coming up to the desk unable to find things, unable to find even where the correct shelves were.

We’re getting a lot more students these days who arent familiar with the idea of using a Dewey sequence to find books. I always thought Dewey was a fairly straight forward thing but the students find it a bizarre concept. They dont really know how to use a classification system to find books on the shelves. In a lot of cases, theyve never really gone looking for print library books before. A lot of them are finding that they have to use print books because they happen to be the most useful source. StackMap gets them to the right place without having to think too much about Dewey numbers. We have such a sheer volume of books that our Dewey numbers get pretty complicated. When you start getting a lot of numbers after the decimal point it can be fairly difficult to work out exactly where you are. There’d be like 15 shelves all with the same main Dewey numbers; its a lot more helpful if they have StackMap on their phone that says go to this one.

Before [StackMap], wed have to leave the desk and take people to the right place and show them. It’s definitely been a lot better for our service that we dont have to do that anymore.

-       Tim Darlington, Associate Librarian