Double-Booking: The One Type of “Book” Libraries Should Avoid
People likely visit your library for much more than just access to books, technology, and research support. According to the Pew Research Center, the number of library users in the U.S. attending classes, programs, or lectures saw a 10-point increase between 2015 and 2016. In addition to robust programming, many libraries are expanding their community engagement strategies even more by offering their meeting spaces up for use by patrons and community organizations. But with the increased demand — both internally and externally — for library spaces, there’s one thing libraries must be careful to avoid: double-booking a space.
Imagine a community group arriving at the library to use a space they had booked in advance, only to find a library event taking place in the very space they had reserved. The negative implications are both immediate and far reaching. The community group would obviously be displeased, perhaps so much so that they (and any others that hear of the debacle) would not look to the library for future space needs. Even if the mistake is caught in advance, the library would need to work with the group to reschedule their event for a time and space that worked for all involved — a scheduling nightmare that would not bode well for the library’s reputation.
Save the Day with Scheduling Tools
The good news is that this sort of situation can easily be avoided with software that automatically prevents double-booking of library spaces. SignUp and Spaces, Demco Software’s event registration and room reservation tools, are great solutions. When used together, they completely eliminate the possibility for double-booking a space. Rooms and times booked for library events in SignUp are automatically blocked off in the Spaces calendar, and when a room booking request is confirmed in Spaces, it automatically blocks that time in the SignUp application.
There are many benefits to using software to avoid double-booking your library’s rooms, including the following:
- Libraries can host internal events and share their spaces with the community, while having the peace of mind that comes from always having the most up-to-date schedule at hand.
- Staff time previously spent managing room reservations can be spent on other important tasks, not only because software reduces the need for staff oversight, but also because solutions such as these empower patrons to find and reserve spaces that meet their needs on their own, without librarian intervention.
- Most importantly, libraries can ensure a consistently positive patron experience, making patrons more likely to recommend the library as a reservable space to their friend, which re-enforces the reputation of the library as a community hub rather than just a place for content and research.
Ready to learn more about how SignUp and Spaces can help reduce headaches for your staff and frustration for your patrons? Schedule a demo today, or read about how Schreiner Memorial Library saved thousands of dollars and increased library engagement with Spaces in this case study.