Changes adopted as of today, November 21, 2005 : Keyless reservations and passes.
Over the last few years, the locked study rooms have caused a variety of problems, not only for the library but also to other users. Keys have been lost, misplaced, or returned days later. Sensitive or confidential information has been left in locked rooms long after the reservation for the room has expired, creating anxiety on the part of new users as well as an unwarranted expectation of privacy by the current keyholders. These are only some of the problems that have been encountered and which can be solved by keyless reservation. A keyless reservation system will also be necessary for the electronic study room reservation system we eventually hope to adopt.
Issuing passes will serve two functions. First, it will confirm to the requestor his/her reservation time, date and room. Second, in the case of a room dispute, it serves as clear authority for the priority of use.
Both of these measures are intended to improve the overall study room experience, though we realize that they will affect some side benefits. Users will no longer be able to lock their materials as they go to make photocopies or check out a wireless card. However, considering that these new procedures more effectively facilitate the assignment of study rooms for their primary purpose --- to provide a place where groups (ideally) can study without disturbing other patrons --- the change seems necessary.
As always, please feel free to leave comments!
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat