New system for study room reservations at the Alvin Sherman Library

The Alvin Sherman Library introduced a new online study room reservation system on Jan. 7. Rather than waiting in line at the circulation desk, students can now log onto to reserve a room up to two weeks in advance.

The old, in-person, reservation policy allowed rooms to be checked out for three hours at a time. Under this new system, students are allotted a maximum of two time slots per day, for a total of 4 hours. This new system aims to increase efficiency and study room turnaround, as requested by students, faculty and staff in a recent survey conducted by the library.

Dinos Andreou, director of circulation, said, “The former procedure we had in place was not efficient, and the increasing demand for private study space in the library urged us to look into a new approach.”

Reservations can be made from a computer or smartphone anywhere on or off campus, which appeals to students like Davy Karkason, who are always on the go and do not have time to physically go to the library to check for available rooms.

Karkason, junior political science major, said, “It makes it much easier because you don’t have to guess if there are rooms available. You now have access to this information from anywhere.”

According to Andreou, the new system’s use of technology will attract more users.

“It is a service that is transparent to everyone and eliminates a lot of misunderstandings between the users and staff,” she said. “The ‘first come, first serve’ process we had in the past was very outdated, to say the least, and was not conducive with today’s users.”

Since the debut of the beta version of the system on Dec. 17, there has been high traffic on the site. Michael Schofield, web services librarian, worked on all of the “front-end” parts of the project, which includes HTML, CSS and Javascript. He has been observing the increasing rate of reservations, and is glad that all of the work that went into the system is paying off.

Schofield said, “Because the Room Reservation is responsive, even though it won’t be totally mobile-optimized for another few weeks, it looks like there is significant traffic from all sorts of phones and tablets. So that makes me happy.”

According to Schofield, students have responded in a generally positive way, and are even making suggestions for improvements on the site. The study room reservation web page currently features a chart for each study room in the library, listing the rooms’ maximum capacity and availabilities by time slots.

To reserve a room, NSU students, faculty and staff need only visit the website to enter their Shark ID number and password. Broward County patrons should use their last name and library card number. University School students can use their student login and password, and alumni can use their last name and NSU or HPD ID. Reservations can no longer be made by phone or in person, but a computer at the circulation desk is now available for visitors to login and make a reservation.

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