Matthew Reidsma

Work Notes

Updates from the GVSU Libraries’ Web Team.
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Laptop and iPad Availability

The IT Help Desk is now set up with laptops and iPads for check out, and the records have been updated in Sierra. That means that the laptop and iPad availability page is now accurate (it said Mary I had 0 laptops for a while).

Tech Availability Page

We’re looking into ways to display this on our touchscreens, and I’ve started recording public computer, iPad, and laptop availability by location by hour, so we can start seeing usage patterns in the near future. (If you want to get nerdy, here is the code that runs that recording).

If you’re curious how this availability page works, and why it takes a second to load, I’ll let you behind the curtain. Since we don’t currently have an easy way to access the data stored in our ILS, I’ve resorted to “screen scraping,” literally loading the web page in the OPAC that shows all of the laptops and iPads and copying the numbers off of them. It’s slow and it breaks when Sierra changes things, but it’s the only option we have right now.

(If you’re still feeling nerdy, you can see the code that powers the laptop and iPad availability tool. It uses a PHP library called “Simple HTML DOM Parser,” which makes grabbing text off the page a cinch.)