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Preview of LabMaps now available

By Kee Choi on October 28, 2009 8:05 PM | Permalink
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What is "LabMaps" you say?  LabMaps is a part of the LabStats Suite of products by Computer Lab Solutions.  The LabMaps software provides a visual layout of the computers in the library and it's status in real-time.  Basically, our patrons will be able to locate available computers on all five floors from one computer/kiosk in the library.

Preview Link- Only accessible within the library.

Systems, Media and Computer Services, and WDS all collaborated on the LabMaps project.  Providing a dedicated LabMaps display in the public area is currently up for discussion.

OIT has already implemented LabMaps for a couple of their labs and I'm told that they are planning to expand to include more labs on campus.

Comments

Submitted by lnelson on
This is a nice feature. Any way to get a display that just lists the open machines and what floor they are on rather than having to go floor by floor? I'd suspect patrons looking for a machine are less likely to care what floor its on than if its available. Maybe something like: 22 available 5 on first (see locations) 7 on second (see locations) 5 on third (see locations) 4 on fourth (see locations) 1 on fifth (see locations)
Submitted by pmcmillen on
Yeah! We did this at my previous workplace and it DID reduce a lot of the frustration and milling about. We used a big display screen over the table where our printers were located (we only had computers on one floor). This looks like the perfect kind of material to put on a kiosk near the entrances to the library. One suggestion about the category labels--I think "in service" is confusing since to me that sounds like the computer is available, when I suspect you mean that it is "out of service" and unavailable.
Submitted by dmillett on
I think this is the greatest thing ever. (well, almost) My question is about using the term "in service" when the PC is actually "out of service" because it is "being serviced." "In service" sounds like it is available. I would say "out of service."
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Great service for our patrons! I agree with Laralee about a summary list - saves time, which is what this new service is all about. I don't believe there is enough of a color contrast between the blue "available" computers and brown "table tops". Is it possible to change the colors? A brighter color, like a bright yellow, would be easier to see.
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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
OK; I mis-read the key and I see now that its the gray computer symbols that denote available computers, which reinforces my belief that available computers should be a brighter color. Otherwise what stands out is what is what is not available.
Submitted by began on
Laralee - Thanks for the suggestion! That's something we've thought about and are probably going to explore creating (LabMaps doesn't do that by default from what I've seen). I think it would be the most concise way to display the information people really need, especially when we start putting this on kiosks or monitors. Paula & Debbie - Haha, yeah that was a pretty bad call on my part for the "Out of service" label. I've updated it on the web pages to use the terminology used by the LabMaps program itself (something we can't change), "Offline." That should be clearer and more consistent. Fran - I feel your pain! We have no control over the look of the computer icons, unfortunately. I tried a few different colors for the background before deciding on brown. The gray just doesn't stand out much in comparison to the brighter colors. Thanks for the great suggestions thus far!
Submitted by piannuzzi on
This is very cool! Just a few comments and questions - don't I always? --when on a page for a floor - maybe provide links to the other floors so that you don't have to use the back option and select another floor -- but have the links for all the floors available on each one --I was on the first floor and it said there were 7 available but I only saw 1 -- I scrolled up and across -- is everything on the screen? --On floor 2 - the icons for available computers look very similar to what I suspect are icons for microform machines -- maybe do something to the microform icon to make it less like a computer??? But this is a terrific application. thank you
Submitted by began on
Thanks for the suggestions, Patty! I've updated the pages to include links to the other floors, which should hopefully make for easier navigation. I also double-checked the map to confirm that we are displaying all available computers and that none are hidden. We've had some suggestions that the icons aren't easy to see and should be updated (unfortunately something we can't control), which may have made it harder to see the available computers. Finally, I'm not sure how best to represent the microform machines. I had originally left them out entirely, but it was requested they be put back in because a lot of students use them for regular computing. If I make the icons look a lot like microform machines, I don't know 1) if the icon will make sense to anyone other than librarians, and 2) if patrons will understand that the microform machines can be used for regular computing as well. If I leave them as is, students could confuse the microform machines with the other computers. Overall, a tough spot. I'll stew on this one and see if I can come up with something that works a bit better. Thanks again for all the suggestions! Brian
Submitted by kcostello on
Is there any way to modify the 1st floor map to include the Media desk and/or banquette seating? I had to really look at the map for a while to orient myself because it looks like some computers are against the wall on the 1st floor? How about linking to the WebOPAC entry to the laptops too? I.e., "Don't forget that there are laptops available at the Media Services Desk. Click here (http://webpac.library.unlv.edu/search~S1?/.b2340475/.b2340475/1,1,1,B/holdings~2340475&FF=&1,0,) to see if any are available."

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