Hello my fellow students (and maybe library staff…):
I guess I’m writing this for you today because finals are rolling around, and I know that final projects are also coming up. This probably means that study rooms need to be booked, and many a headaches are to be had. I figure that you guys (Of the UW LJ group) are probably smart, and know how to do everything already, but maybe this will be helpful. A lot of people I've talked to seem to find the system a pain to navigate, so here we have a tutorial for the enjoyment of you and me...
I just have to say, this is totally off of the record; I’m not writing this as a student worker, but just as a fellow student, so the libraries have no responsibility over what I’m about to say! I just figured a student to student perspective would be easier/more straight forward than from staff to students…SO:
BOOKING A STUDY ROOM
TIP1: BOOK IN ADVANCE. (At least a day ahead). When there aren’t tests and such, the rooms might be more readily available to book on the fly, but they’re usually PACKED from about the third or fourth week of the quarter until finals.
TIP2: BOOK. IN. ADVANCE.
Special Note: The desk staff will not do this for you at the desk, nor are they ALLOWED to. Booking items for patrons at the desk holds up the line, and thus it’s against the rules. So when you go up to the desk and ask the workers to book rooms for you, you’re asking them to break the rules and basically get in trouble with whoever is above them in the chain of command.
How to book the room:
Step 1: Go to http://lib.washington.edu
Step 2: Click on the “reserve a study room” link on the left of the screen (as shown in the screen cap below):
(For the REALLY tech savvy, you guys can bypass these two steps and go straight to http://lib.washington.edu/services/facilities/studyRooms/)
Step 3: Look under the subheading of Odegaard, and click on the appropriate link for what you’re looking for. (Suzzallo and other library kids…this isn’t the tutorial for those. Haha.) The run down of what each link is:
1) Study Rooms and Reservations: This will lead you to a page for …yes, study rooms. Just average, run of the mill Study Rooms, that are nothing but desks, chairs, and plugs (and possibly a VCR/DVD…but we’ll get to that later).
2) Digital Audio Workstation: This is for the musically talented bunch who want to mix tapes, or make CDs or whatever it is creative, musical kids do. It’s like a mini recording studio.
3) Digital Presentation Studio: This is a studio where you can essentially record yourself doing a presentation. This page (http://catalyst.washington.edu/learning_spaces/digital_presentation_studio.html) explains it better than I can.
4) Finally, the collaboration studios are the rooms in the back on the second floor, with the giant screen. Again, (http://catalyst.washington.edu/learning_spaces/collaboration_studio.html) says it better than I can.
Now then, most people usually want the normal study rooms. So click on the first link, “Study rooms and reservations”.
Step 4: At this point, you can sort of narrow down what sort of room you’re looking for. If you have more than four people, you’ll want to look in the 6 and 8 seaters; if you need a VCR/DVD player, you’ll click on that link. Otherwise, just hit the first link (Study Rooms Ougl) which is just all of the study rooms.
Step 5: Now this part drives everyone completely insane because …it’s so misleading in so many ways.
Firstly, on the right, where it says “AVAILABLE”? It’s lying to you. You don’t actually know if that room is available or not. All that means is that the key is not checked out, and it’s currently sitting behind the information desk on the first floor. It DOESN’T mean that there isn’t a reservation on it in ten or twenty minutes.
Secondly: The links on the left that say “Key at Odegaard Info Desk”…well, those aren’t links to the reservation page. The link to the reservations page is actually up above the room listings, labeled “Make a Reservation”:
Tricky. I know.
So at that point, you just click on that button. “Make a Reservation” (you hope).
Step 6: You’ll be asked to sign in using your UW NETID. Please do so.
TIP 3: If you AREN’T asked to do so, and you’re on a public computer, this is the part where you want to close out of the window and start again, because someone else was signed in before you. If you continue as you are, you’ll make a reservation for Library Patron Number 78, and not you, Patron Number 79.
Step 7: This page is pretty self explanatory. Until that is…you get a message saying, “There are no rooms available at this time”. Bastards! This is the point where most people will stomp over to the info desk and demand an explanation, “IT SAID AVAILABLE!”…But not you guys. No, you guys read these directions, and you saw up at Step 5 that clearly, AVAILABLE to you means jacksquat. I’m proud of you guys.
(If you don’t get the “not available message, skip to Step 9)
But what to do? It won’t even give you what times ARE available! Well, there’s a trick here. The system doesn’t have a “show me all the times it’s reserved!” feature, so you have to play mind games with the system.
Go up to the Beginning time and date selection, and change the day to some day far, far in the future. Usually about a week is good.
Hit submit. This will take you to a page that pulls up all of the rooms and all the times that are already booked. It does this because most likely, the day you picked, a week in advance, isn’t completely booked up. The page it takes you to is a page of ACTUALLY available (at that time) rooms and the times, so you can safely pick the end time without having a big fat error.
So the page looks something like this:
Notice all the times and days it lists. Those are the times that other people have that item reserved. So, someone has room 222, which can hold up to 4 people, booked from 12:50am to 1:20 am, so you couldn’t book it at that time. (The system also has taken this opportunity to cheekily tell us that the key is at the info desk – OK, WE GOT IT. WE KNOW.)
Look through these, and find a room that isn’t reserved during the time you want it, on the day you want. This is pretty easy.
Step 8: Hit Back Space, and set that beginning day back to the day you want the room (today, tomorrow, etc).
Step 9: Since the room was free at that time, it should bring up the room for you on the next page.
At this point, select the room you want by clicking the bubble (or if it’s the only option, it’ll just be assumed that that’s the choice.) NOW, HERE IS A HUGE, IMPORTANT PART.
A lot of people screw this part up, and end up having to make the reservation over again.
That date and time above the room selections? (Refer to last screenshot) That’s the END TIME. It looks EXACTLY the same as the beginning time, so people usually just ignore it. DO NOT IGNORE IT.
It defaults to end half an hour after you start the reservation. Change the end time unless you only want it for half an hour. You can have a max of 2 hours in the room, or less depending on when the next reservation is. You can also have a max of 2 reservations at a time, so you could technically have the room for 4 hours (just with two 2 hour reservations back to back.) So set the new end time, and hit submit.
TIP 4: All reservations need a 10 minute period between them. So let’s say you see a reservation ending at 12:50am, and then another one starting at 3:00am, you’ll need to start the reservation at or after 1:00am, and before or at 2:50am. So if you ask for the room AT 12:50, it still won’t bring it up for you to complete Step 9. So you need to set it to later.
TIP 5: EVEN IF YOU HAVE THE ROOM BACK TO BACK, you need to bring it BACK DOWN to the front desk at the end of the first two hours, and RECHECK IT BACK OUT. You don’t have to turn the key in and wait for 10 minutes or anything; you just need to check it in and back out.
Annnnd you’re done! It’ll take you to a new screen saying something like, “The room has been booked for ___YOU TIME______.” And a big button that has a green check mark in it.
Now just show up on time (your booking will be cancelled 15 minutes after the start time if you don’t show up) and have your husky card, or a picture ID in the case that you lost your husky card or some horrible tragedy like that.
Hope this helps a little bit for the people who didn’t know.
DON’T ASK THE PEOPLE AT THE FRONT DESK TO BOOK THE ROOM FOR YOU. For those of you who have tried to pull the “I don’t know how, can you show me?” trick in the hopes we’ll just do it…well, you’ll be shown how, and then sent over to a computer to do it yourself anyway. =/ SO. BE RESPONSIBLE. Don’t drink and drive, and er, stay in school. And don’t ask the front desk to book rooms.
But the front desk will always be happy to answer any questions, or help trouble shoot for you. :)