Our primary goal when we looked into StackMap was to help guests be more self sufficient. And it’s working—one way we know guests are using the product is that we see the maps left up on the catalogue by those who have searched for something and then walked away.
ROI was one of things that I considered when purchasing StackMap. I pull the stack data and see how many uses of StackMap we have monthly, then figure out how many uses per day that was. The total number of uses-to-date compared to our annual cost lets me calculate the cost per use.
Last week I had a staff member do a run through of how long it would take her to help someone find a book. We were conservative in our estimate. I told her, “I’m going to ask for a book whose location you already know so you don’t have to look it up.” The time it took for her to hear my question, get the book and walk back to her desk was 30 seconds.
We started using StackMap December 1st; the number of uses of StackMap since then brings our cost-per-use to 19 cents. And that is essentially the cost for 30 seconds of staff time. So I can demonstrate that staff time saved is at least at a break even point.
We have space constraints. We’re a single location library with 50 thousand square feet serving 168,000 people. Frisco is one of the fastest growing cities in the US, so the cost of construction is high right now and we’re probably a couple of years away from getting additional space. I use the maps to run capacity studies and look into where we can move shelves to take advantage of our space. It’s very helpful particularly when discussing ideas because everyone can see exactly what we’re talking about and how our collections can fit better.
When we are talking about different ideas like this, I’ll print out a StackMap map and annotate it so staff can see exactly what we’re planning to do. If you are trying to make changes in your building StackMap’s a great way to show it.
StackMap makes it easier for me to calculate where collections will fit and for everyone to see proposed ideas clearly without ambiguity. We save ourselves a lot of time clarifying which space and stacks we’re talking about by looking at a map with common reference points.
—Elizabeth Chase, Frisco Public Library