Computer Availability Mapping
We recently implemented StackMap’s Computer Availability Maps, which we call Find a Computer, and it has been such a great solution for us.We’re a commuter school on a small campus with limited resources. I thought Find a Computer would be most helpful for commuters who could look up if computers were being used before coming to campus. When I talked to the librarians about this they anticipated a problem—that because computer availability displays in real time, commuters might see an available computer, drive to campus and find it’s no longer free. So I included a disclaimer on the Find a Computer website that points out that it’s a real time live system, and it hasn’t been a problem. It’s much more information than people had before. Commuters can make a good guess that if there are 20 available computers the chances are good they’ll still be available when they arrive, and if there are 2, this might not be the case.
How StackMap has proved really handy is for people who are in the dorm or are just getting out of class and want to know if they can get into the library to print something quickly and go. So not only does Find a Computer serve people who are 50 miles away, it serves people who are 5 feet away. We thought we were doing this service for the remote patrons but really it’s for both. Everyone just wants to see the information now and they want to see it on their device.
I’m really happy with the product, and I think it’s really affordable. In fact, I’m on three different listservs and I see people asking about StackMap all the time. They are usually asking how hard it is to use and get up and running and everyone always says, Yes I’ve done it and Yes I love it and Yes, it’s really easy to use.
- Judy Drescher, Molloy Library
Check out Molloy's Computer Availability Maps here: https://www.molloy.edu/academics/jet-library/library-facilities/computer-availability#james_main