Program for Scheduling Library Resources?
August 16, 2005 9:49 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone have a suggestion for a good freeware (or cheapware) program which teachers can use to schedule computer time in a high school library?

My wife was an English teacher for 10 years and went back to school and became a library media specialist. Her library has an adjacent computer lab and she is responsible for making sure the available resources are scheduled appropriately. During the last school year she had a sign-up sheet but the teachers (not the students!) would get into all sorts of scrapping about who has what time and they would erase each others names and basically get up to no end of hijinks related to this simple procedure.

My wife would like to get a computer program that she can use to schedule time in the pc lab. This program would allow the teachers to grab available blocks of time but they would have NO ability do delete each others blocks. Only my wife could do this if the situation called for it. I guess she would need to have admin level rights and the guest users (the teachers) could have read and limited write ability.

Are there any library personnel who have found a good solution to this problem? Even if you aren't a library person do you know of any program which might the bill?

Since the budgets are tight she will probably have to finance this herself so we are mostly interested in freeware/cheapware solutions but if you had a really good solution that cost a little money she could try and get it funded. So please recommend any good program regardless of the price!!!
posted by dgeiser13 to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
Do you want to actually restrict access to the machines, or just generate a time table?

If you want to restrict access to the machines, so for instance only Professor Lobachevsky's students can log on during his reserved time block, there are many commercial applications for this (Pharos is what my local library uses). If you just want to have a list, look into open-source shared calendar systems.
posted by phrontist at 9:57 AM on August 16, 2005

Response by poster: phrontist: At this time I don't believe she wants to control access to any of the machines. She just wants to control the teacher's access to the scheduling calendar.

What would be really awesome if she could have a web-based calendar which would provide the functionality and permission levels I describe above so that way people could just use the web to do the scheduling.

I'll took a look at those "shared calendar systems" you point to. Thanks for the link!
posted by dgeiser13 at 2:10 PM on August 16, 2005

If the school is using Exchange you can set up a calendar in Outlook for any resource independent of email functions. The room(s) calendar could be setup to allow teachers to add bookings and edit their own bookings but not edit other users bookings. I'm going to guess that Notes and openoffice (which is free) have a similar feature as every office suite worthy of the name I've ever worked with back to PROFS on a mainframe has allowed for this.
posted by Mitheral at 2:57 PM on August 16, 2005

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