January 19, 2022

Australia: “Unstacked” is a Time-Based Visualisation of Materials People are Accessing From the State Library of New South Wales Collection

The following recently launched data visualization comes from the DX Lab at the State Library of New South Wales.

From a DX Lab Blog Post by the Developers of Unstacked, Elisa Lee & Adam Hinshaw:

Unstacked reflects the pulse of the library’s users. Sometimes there is a flurry of movement as multiple items appear in succession, at other times a contemplative pause. It a living, breathing representation of the library’s clients and their interaction with the collection.


[Emphasis Ours] Due to timing issues with the library migrating their backend systems, a decision was made to work with four months of cached access log data from January – April 2016. When possible, the project will be switched over to a real-time feed.


Unstacked runs on the same time as the State Library, Australian Eastern Standard Time. So, if someone from New York looks at Unstacked at 5pm, they will be seeing what is going on in the library at 7am the next day. We are faithful to what is happening in the State Library of NSW right now, no matter where you are or what time it happens to be in your location.


We are looking forward to flicking the switch to the live data feed when the time comes and to see the work in a form of public display within the State Library. Additionally we plan to finalise Unstacked: Microfiche Reader, which will enable exploration of the visualisation via an “enchanted”, digitally enhanced, and tactile microfiche reader.

Read the Complete Blog Post (Examples, Background, Tech Info)

Direct to Unstacked

See Also: Data Visualization: View, In-Real Time, What’s Being Searched For on the Toronto Public Library Website, Catalog (July 21, 2016)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.