A year after the reopening of Manchester Central Library following a massive renovation project, the City Council's ICT Community Applications and Library Customer Service managers discuss how they worked with Lorensbergs throughout the project. They also cover how netloan PC booking supports their management of public computer access across all district library sites.Read more
PC booking and session management
With the netloan computer booking system, you’re able to optimise PC usage and increase accessibility for all library users. Netloan comes with powerful session management functionality, so you’re able to configure and control access exactly as needed.
Supporting public and academic libraries
When it comes to efficient computer management, different kinds of libraries have very different needs. The netloan portfolio has been developed to meet the diverse requirements of public and academic libraries, for a perfectly tailored solution every time.netloan public netloan education
For public libraries
With multiple locations and varied community needs to support, public library PC booking has to be highly flexible. With netloan public, you get the session management control you need together with print integration and highly developed online admin functionality.Find out how netloan supports PC access in public libraries
For academic libraries
Managing PC access is a critical part of running a successful LRC operation. Netloan education empowers students to manage their computer sessions, while staff remain in control of all resources and communication.Find out how netloan supports PC access in academic libraries
Authentication and session control
Length and number of PC sessions available to users are controllable by booking rules and permissions. Netloan is highly flexible in how these can be applied, allowing you to optimise usage.
- Netloan authenticates each user against an external database such as a LMS or Active Directory, so it understands which user group permissions to apply. Connectivity is possible to all of the main LMS systems.
- Booking rules are highly configurable, not only by user or user group, but also by group of PCs. So you have perfect control of who can use what, when and for how long.
What’s more authentication allows you to identify and track all PC usage, and it also gives you the ability to suspend users where necessary.
There are several different ways to allow library users to secure and access the PC time needed:
- walk up access, with each computer clearly displaying the amount of time available
- advance booking by the web interface
- booking onsite via the kiosk screen, self-service payment kiosk or staff member
- a virtual queue, which users can join via the kiosk
- as part of a group booking, using a special login
Netloan automates communication to ensure PC users are kept well informed at the essential moments! Before a user logs into a PC, they will know the length of the session time available until the next booked session or closing time.
At any time during the session, the countdown clock is clearly visible, and can be moved to where suits the user best. The user will also be kept clearly informed as they approach the end time of their reservation.
Staff can also use netloan to communicate additional information to the user. You can customise messages that appear upon login by user group, site or individual user, e.g. to promote library events or to remind them about outstanding fines. You can also message users during their session.
With netloan, staff are empowered to support and assist their users outside the standard booking allowances. It also allows staff to accomplish tasks that would need ICT support in other systems:
- staff can override booking rules to allow longer or more sessions
- using netloan webstat, administrators can alter web filtering for an individual or user group
- individual sessions can be terminated remotely by staff
- Groups of PCs can be configured for staff booking only
Netloan administrators and staff users can access netloan settings and usage reporting from any web browser. Secure login credentials allow them to access all authorised functionality in the web-based interface. For example, available session times of PCs can be reconfigured for any or all sites from a single point of web access – netloan really takes the legwork out of managing PCs across your library sites!
Broken PC management
Library operations run more smoothly when it’s clear which PCs are out of action. Once a PC is known to be broken, staff can activate a special screen display to prevent users from attempting to login.
Netloan also allows you to record and report on the broken PC reason. This helps to target repairs and maintenance. Usage reports will also reflect downtime in their stats.
Case Studies and Research
Luton were looking to replace their existing PC booking solution with one that was more flexible and offered more control over bookings.Read more