This week’s message is dedicated to the new room reservation system for the 2nd floor study rooms at Countway. Over the past week, Scott Lapinski, Len, Ashley, Luciana, Yasmina, and myself have been working on finding a new solution to the room reservation system. We have had many issues with people not being able to remotely reserve the study rooms, and we have noticed that the iPads outside the rooms frequently have technological hindrances from what should be a seamless act to reserve one of the rooms.
Ashley Thomas summarizes the new scheduling system this way:
Taking what we learned when we were doing our slow reopen/pandemic seating, we realized we can make a much more reliable and functional reservation system for the study rooms on the second floor. Each room has its own URL and description (primarily just where it’s located and how many people can fit in the room).
Students are allotted two hours each day for a reservation – however they want to break it up. Reservations can be as short as 30 minutes or extended to the 120-minute daily maximum. Student reservations are tied to their HarvardKey, so the system will be able to keep track of when someone has reached their daily limit.
One big feature is that we will be able to include a widget on the website so users can book a study room online – no more having to come to the library and reserve a room using the pad in front of the study room door. Students will be able to see what study rooms are available and when, make or cancel reservations before even arriving on campus. This will be so much more convenient and easier for students.
Right now, we are just doing a sort of silent rollout – we are putting up signage with a QR code that will direct users to the reservation webpage. This will give us an opportunity to make any changes or fix any bugs as the students start to utilize the system.
We will hopefully also get some good data on when the rooms are being used and for how often, as we can track all that through LibCal.
Staff are welcome to test out the scheduling and provide feedback, but if you do reserve a room, please cancel it so the room will become available for students. Scan the QR Code from the image below or visit Space Availability - Countway Study Rooms.
Yasmina and Scott put QR codes over the Crestron boxes in the "Active Study Area", and thus "obscured" the Crestron devices outside of those rooms. Scott’s team will monitor the activity over the weekend and see how it goes. The goal is to migrate away from the Crestrons for now and go with a system that we can make available via Countway’s webpage. Above are photos of what they currently look like outside room 236 and the reservation tool via smartphone for room 237.
Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or suggestions. A special thanks to Ashley Thomas and Scott Lapinski who set this new system up over the past two weeks. Have a nice weekend.