Design and Implementation of a Study Room Reservation System: Lessons from a Pilot Program Using Google Calendar

Shira Atkinson, Kirsten Lee

Abstract

Collaborative work spaces within academic library settings are becoming increasingly important as libraries consider their roles in the twenty-first century. This paper considers the value of implementing a room reservation effort as part of the larger drive toward creating viable collaborative work spaces and discusses how to effectively manage a room reservation system. This paper presents a pilot study of the effectiveness of Google Calendar appointment slots as a room reservation system in a library setting at Fordham University, a major university in New York City. In a one-semester study, staff tracked usage trends among different user types and evaluated the efficiency of their selected room reservation system. Through this evaluation, staff determined that Google Calendars is technically equipped to provide a free but very basic room reservation system for academic libraries but that it requires considerably more upkeep and management by staff than more costly or open source options. Results of this study can be used to guide future decisions regarding room reservation policies and system requirements.

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