Using a visual map to display the path and the location of the required books in a library is one of most expected service for patrons. The service generally relies on the construction and maintenance of a massive number of wireless sensors in order to achieve the coverage of the indoor positioning signal in a library. However, the main concern that impedes the implementation of this service by the general population is due to the immense costs of the hardware and maintenance which is required to run such a service. Therefore, the goals of this study are to: (1) develop an editable graphically displayed book-searching system (GDBSS) that allows librarians to establish a book-searching service, which implements a graphical display and is based on an online public access catalog (OPAC) system, without using additional hardware. (2) Examine whether the established service can effectively enhance the efficiency of the users’ book-searching process. A library’s geographic information system prototype was created by incorporating an existing OPAC system in the investigated library. To complete this task a total of 40 library patrons were selected at random to participate in the service test and also to take part in a follow-up interview. The following findings were obtained from the service test: (1) the GDBSS which was built by the proposed authoring system significantly improved the efficiency of the users’ book-searching process, compared with the conventional book-searching methods which are currently in use by the library that was tested. (2) The participants’ frequency of visiting the library did not correlate significantly with the efficiency of finding the required books when using the proposed service. (3) The participants not only perceived the proposed visualization service positively, but also considered the short text description of a targeted item’s location, a feature offered by the service, to be highly useful information.
Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Humanized Computing , p.1-11