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I’m really excited to let you know about the launch of a project I’ve been working on with UCL that will let you quickly locate free study spaces around campus through the UCL library services website.
 

One of the very first projects that I got involved with when I started as Education Officer was the, not very glamorously named, ‘space availability project’. But despite the name, it’s a development that I believe will have a lasting, positive impact. We have been feeding back to the university for some time that there was a problem with finding study spaces on campus.
 

The technology making this possible are small devices that have been placed under all of the desks in the libraries that uses infra-red to detect whether a space is in use or not. The equipment also takes into account break times with a 30 minute window, which means you can get away for that all-important coffee break, without the desk showing as available.
 

Being involved with this new development has been extremely rewarding and I can see how this will really benefit students. We all know how draining it can be during the busy exam period to find a free space in the library, walking up countless flights of stairs to locate a space. It’s not only tiresome, but also takes up valuable revision time. Now you can see in real time where to find a free study space.
 

Soon the UCL Go app will be used to integrate this technology to make it effortless for students to locate a space using a mobile device, very similar to the PC availability task currently on the app. To make sure we are getting this right, we want to hear your feedback on the space availability tool; whether you’ve used it, what you would expect from the app e.g. would floor plans of library levels be useful? etc. Email me at e.officer@ucl.ac.uk to get in touch and let us know what you think!