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Utilising study space effectively

A space occupancy monitoring pilot is being carried out in the Main Library Lower Ground Floor - Group Study Room LG.03.

LG.03 Group Study Room
LG.03 Group Study Room

Room booking data captured by the web room booking system shows the number of times the LGF Group Study Rooms are booked and when.  However, there is no information about room occupancy which would indicate how many users are using the rooms, group sizes, and whether the rooms are used outwith the booked slots. 

Utilising our study space effectively is very important in ensuring more students get to study in their preferred environment.

The space occupancy moitoring pilot will provide Information Services Managers with a greater understanding of the usage of the Group Study Rooms.

Two space occupancy monitoring systems are being used, as part of the one-year pilot, in order to explore the potential benefits of both. Both systems involve deployment of non-personal data capturing sensors only - no personal data will be captured by these systems. An information notice is on display in room LG.03 to advise users.

Why do we need to monitor usage?

Despite increasing the number of study spaces in the Main Library by 358 in 2016, to over 2,300, the pressure on study spaces remains.  This encourages the user behaviour of reserving spaces by leaving possessions at a vacant study desk which the Library and EUSA are keen to deter.

Communicating to users where to go within the 7 floors of the building to find vacant study space is highly desirable.  Space occupancy monitoring giving real time information may prove beneficial in this respect, in addition to our existing indicators of PC availability based on PC logins. With the Main Library introducing 24/7 opening from 20 March, monitoring study space usage will also help inform management decisions, for example whether additional floors need to be opened to meet user demand for study space. 

Next steps

Once we have an initial assessment of the usage and benefits of the two space occupancy monitoring systems, we intend to deploy the technology to all reader spaces in the Lower Ground Floor.