Monday, February 27, 2017

Room bookings - On the half hour

From the suggestion box:

 Sometimes people wish to meet from say 9.30 to 11:30 and we would need to book the room from 9 till 12 to make sure it is available but we can't do that because the room booking is on the hour, and we can't book more than 2hrs at a time. Also, it would be good if we could book two hours at one time, rather than going in and out of the system.

Library response:

We are aware of the issue you raise about the Meeting Room Bookings System forcing 'on the hour' bookings. We agree it is an issue and we asked the vendor to add it to their development queue prior to going live with it. They said it was on their development list, as is the ability to book sessions of variable length rather than in one hour blocks. If you are interested in why we changed the booking system read on - if not delete me now. The previous system (MRBS) was open source software running in-house on a Linux server and required a fair bit of systems knowledge to maintain, knowledge which pretty much sat in one person’s head, mine. The original developer (and the community of users) were no longer developing the system and the security risks increase over time if software isn’t constantly tweaked against new threats. We are increasingly moving our systems into the cloud to reduce costs, improve functionality and to avoid internal network issues (planned and unplanned) and getting uptime as close as we can to 100%. The new system (part of the same suite of products that brings you LibGuides and our chat reference service) has the advantage of not requiring any in-house hardware or software maintenance nor any systems admin expertise, so now we can spread responsibility for maintaining it to more library staff so that if I get hit by a bus the system won’t fall apart. It has a number of advantages over the old system and a couple of disadvantages (the chief one being what you inspired to provide us with this feedback). I will let you know when it the developers implement this improvement (or more likely you’ll discover it has suddenly appeared one day). Many thanks for your feedback, it is much appreciated,

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