Space available: A new room booking system for the Dal community

- November 17, 2015

For the first time, Dal's new Campus Bookings site lets student book select common pool rooms for meetings or study space. (File photo: Danny Abriel)
For the first time, Dal's new Campus Bookings site lets student book select common pool rooms for meetings or study space. (File photo: Danny Abriel)

Whether it’s for a Dal event, a class tutorial or even a group study session, booking space on campus has become a whole lot easier.

Last month, Dalhousie launched a revitalized Campus Bookings website, featuring an improved way for faculty, staff and students to make requests for common pool space on campus.

There are approximately 190 “common pool” spaces and classrooms on campus — rooms that are centrally administered (as opposed to being administered by individual offices) and are equally available to all departments/units to use. In addition to classes, these spaces often host university events, class tutorials or exams, and various other activities.

The Campus Bookings site, that can be accessed under "Quick Links" on the main page of myDal, makes it easy to request a particular type of common pool space, see what rooms are available at a particular time, and review the features and capacity of those rooms.

“Users can track their requests and bookings online, at the touch of a button,” explains Katheryn Minty, logistics supervisor with Dal Facilities Management.

Better bookings

The Campus Bookings site combines two different types of bookings that faculty and staff used to have to make separately and through various methods: bookings for events, and bookings for class-related activities (midterms, extra tutorials and reviews outside of class time, for example).

Now, faculty and staff can use the one Campus Bookings system to make both kinds of bookings, with the request automatically being submitted to the appropriate office (Facilities Management or Registrar’s Office) for approval. What’s more, you can quickly review the room’s features: if you need to know if a room has a whiteboard, for example, or an LCD projector with speakers, you’ll know before you request your booking.

“We feel the new functionality of the Campus Bookings site will be an improved service for faculty, staff, and students as they will now have a central location to request all of their common pool bookings,” says Katheryn Minty, Logistics Supervisor, Facilities Management. “Also, the service will continue to improve as additional space — including departmentally managed rooms and external spaces — is included.

Campus Bookings is for available for internal Dalhousie bookings. External organizations looking to book spaces will continue to do so through Conference Services.

Students can now book study space

One of the most notable changes with the new system is that students can now book select common pool rooms for group meetings or study sessions.

A number of rooms on campus holding 25 or fewer individuals are available for bookings by students “on demand,” in a manner similar to how study rooms are booked in Dalhousie’s libraries. That means rooms can be booked for two hours or less, within five days of the booking, and are automatically approved provided those requirements are met.

“Instead of having to organize these requests through an administrator, the new system opens it up and everyone can put in and track their own requests,” says Minty.

Students looking to book rooms for a society event still do so through through their Ratified Society Executive, following the DSU space booking procedures. As part of Dal’s efforts to improve this service, the Ratified Society booking process is currently being reviewed.

Learn more

The Campus Bookings site marks a key milestone in Dalhousie’s efforts to modernize its academic and space scheduling.

A major capital project, sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic, is currently underway that aims to improve class schedules, reduce course conflicts, modernize the academic scheduling process for departments and Faculties (moving away from paper) and optimize available campus space, among other goals. Faculty, staff and students interested in learning more about the project can visit its website.

If you’re interested in learning more about the new Campus Bookings system, please feel free to attend a drop-in session or contact Katheryn Minty to arrange a time directly.


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