This paper presents the design procedure of two ultra-high-frequency radio frequency identification reader antennas used in searching tagged items. They consist of microstrip arrays with alternating orthogonal dipoles, which are fed in series by a pair of microstrip lines. The dipoles are designed properly to provide the required bandwidth. The inter-element distance is adjusted to the center frequency, where the elements provide in-phase excitation and create two orthogonal electric-field components that give beams with direction diversity. Simulated results show that the return loss bandwidth (RL > 13 dB) of the first antenna design covers the required frequency band of ETSI (865–868 MHz) standard. In addition, simulated and measured results of the second antenna design indicate that the return loss bandwidth covers both the frequency bands of european telecommunications standards institute (ETSI) and federal communications commission (FCC) (865–928 MHz) standards. Regarding the coverage volume in the vicinity of the antenna, it was deduced that both antennas can read tagged items in a semi-cylindrical volume that extends to a radius of more than 50 cm. Finally, a case study of reading tagged books in front of a library cabinet with six shelves has been presented.