Ramblings, citations and "brainwaves" of a college librarian in Toronto. 475 square feet refers to the size of my home, not the size of my office or library.

Library Floorplans 2.0

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Okay, I want the future now!

"Thom Cox works for Tufts University as the Technical Project Manager for the Tisch Library. Space, and the management of it, is a challenge that every library faces. How do you avoid the unintentional transfer from library to labyrinth? They have an Access 2003 Database at their library that manages the stacks (where they are, what’s on them) and that helps managing shifting. They also have a facilities room database showing the square footage of each room, its use, and occupant. They also have a hardware and software database that the IT department uses to keep track of all of the equipment and software, versions, etc. How could they connect all of these databases, enhance it with GIS coding, and use it to make spatial decisions? L-SIMS is their new database of geo-encoded uniquely identified objects like floors, rooms, stacks, computers, wireless access points, and more. What purposes does this database serve? It helps to facilitate analysis and optimization of existing space within the library. It serves as a real-time high quality map generator. It provides access to the square footage of any room in the library and helps assist librarians direct students to library resources. It is a completely searchable query engine that shows what software is on any individual computer in the library. They have also found it to be a critical component of disaster planning. GIS, if you’re unfamiliar with it, is a system of computer software, hardware, data, and personnel intended to help store, manipulate, analyze, and present information that is tied to a spatial location. Much like multi-layered maps in Google, they have multi-layered maps too (floor layer, room layer, computer layer, etc.). They imported CAD drawings of floor maps into ArcGIS. In the new database, by clicking on the room you get significant metadata about it including occupant, square footage, etc. If you click on a stack you find out the stack number, type, material type, floor location, and call number ranges. Clicking on a computer shows drives, RAM, software, monitor type, etc. The design and data integration, including quality control, was pretty intensive during the initial planning process. Their future goals are to make the applications Flash-based so the users can access and use them too. They also want to train others how to create the maps. Their hope is to basically have a materials browse that helps them find materials by type/subject with an on-the-fly generated map with exactly where it would be."

Librarian in Black

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