Blubird has developed a web application for Muntpunt which is designed to provide a solution for library visitors to search and book a study place. The solution and service where scoped within the framework of the Innovative Public Procurement Programme of the Flemish Government. The brand new application ensures harmonisation within the use and bookings of study places in the library. Visitors can book a place and library staff would have a better overview of availability and use of places.
The biggest issues without the solutions was the overall organizing for library staff and the communication between visitors and staff. There was no overview of the availability and use of study places, which led to more problems during busy periods. Over recent years, The use of the public study places and the trend of studying together has increased tremendously. The library’s capacity cannot provide a solution to accommodate all its visitors during the busy exam periods.
Those study places must be accessible to every visitor and they should not be required to sign up as a library member. This makes it difficult for the desk staff to know who uses a certain place. The trend to study together on a certain location plays an important role in the demand for a technological solution to reserve and use study places. Busy periods mean that visitors had to stand outside in long queues for hours for a seat, unsure that there still be places available
“Visitors tried to claim places or reserve places for an indefinite period. Our library had become a ‘Wild Wild West’ for study places. We lacked a structural solution to implement and control guidelines for fair use.”
Muntpunt has started looking for a solution by inviting external suppliers to pitch a concept. Systems had already been put in place in similar other libraries where study places are also offered. However, it appears that these systems cannot offer the openness and flexibility that Muntpunt intends to provide its visitors.
One of the applications used was the lending model of the study places, just like the lending of books. It rapidly became clear that this would have caused a huge workload for library staff to manually process all reservations. Solutions with Beacon points or chips in a chair were also examined. This would increase the total cost of ownership with additional investments and maintenance costs.
“Blubird came up with a clear proposal that could immediately answer all questions and provide a solution to the main issues” says K.D. “All the user stories were worked out and with some mockups, we immediately had an idea of how the application would look like.” Blubird presented a solution that would eliminate the use complex hardware elements. Visitors could reserve and use spaces - both on site as well as with mobile places - by scanning a QR code or by using a kiosk computer.
Blubird has created a responsive web app where visitors can easily register and immediately reserve a place. Library staff now knows exactly who is currently occupying which study place and when there is going to be availability. The application ensures full harmonisation for the use and reservation of study places and “peace of mind” for the library staff.
“Only a few days after the launch of the application and we already had more than 400 registrations. After just one month, we counted our 4,000th reservation”
The Muntpunt reservation web app can be found on www.bookaplace.be. Looking for a similar solution? Please contact us for more information by using the contact form beneath.