In my high school library we have always debated the best tool for scheduling our multiple checked out spaces in the library. We have yet to open, and I am still waiting to see if this school year will be back to business or closed again. In preparation for possible opening in a few weeks I’ve started researching what tools work best for scheduling library spaces. Here are the top three that I found so far. I would love suggestions as well so anyone with a great program please leave me a comment below!
- Google Sheets: Below is a screenshot of the template that we have played around with in the past. The teachers would have to e-mail the library staff and we would put the requests in for them. The downside was all that work of plugging people in and the teachers not having the access or freedom to just plug it in themselves instead of waiting for confirmation from us.
- PE Designs Scheduler: Prior to the pandemic this was the company that my district used for scheduling. It works very much the same way as Google Sheets. The downside was that it crashed…a lot. When the site would go down we couldn’t access any of the reservations and that would cause panic with teachers and students at times.
- Skedda: The other high school in my district uses Skedda for scheduling. The positive side is that you can use it in the basic version for free and teachers can put in their own request. The negative is that the times have to be altered to fit a high school bell schedule format.
Managing and scheduling library space can be a big job in any size library. These options are the best that I have found so far. The hunt will continue for better options.
Offering diverse spaces for teachers and students to work in is a great way to get patrons in our doors. Managing the time and space can be a huge task that these tools can help with.
Author: Elizabeth Libberton
Elizabeth Libberton is the library media specialist at St. Charles East High School in St. Charles Illinois. She currently writes book reviews for School Library Journal. She is a member of the ALA Awards Selection Committee. Also, she is a member of the steering committee for the AISLE Lincoln Book Award.