Group study rooms booking system for Makerere University Library
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The purpose of the project was to design a Group Study Rooms Booking System for Makerere University Library to efficiently and effectively manage the Group Study Rooms. The objectives of the study were to; examine the information needs of group study rooms users, establish how group study rooms are booked, establish challenges faced by group study rooms users, examine the requirements needed and design a group study rooms booking system for Makerere University Library. The researcher applied a case study research design while adopting both qualitative and quantitative research approaches. Interviews, questionnaires and observation were used to collect the data from the library users and staff who were conveniently and purposively selected respectively. The study established that the current system used in the booking of the group study rooms is manual which requires library users to identify the available group study rooms and register the details in the counter book. The library has a total of seven (7) group study rooms which can be booked for a maximum of 2 hours. Library users register in the counter book to book the rooms which involves wastage of time. The study also established the information needs of the group study rooms users at Makerere University Library and these included; discussions, presentations, private lectures and meetings. Despite of the fact that these rooms must booked and used by a group of 15 members and above, some library users sit in the rooms alone or some are fewer than the recommended number. The different challenges in booking of the GSRs were Misuse of Study Rooms, Delays in vacating the group study rooms, Tiresome process, No updates for the booked rooms, long queues at the reception in the morning when the students are booking for the group study rooms, time wastage when vacating and entering the group study rooms, inadequate staff to monitor the usage of the group study rooms, collision whereby two or more groups book a room at the same time, and the few study rooms. The study also established the different requirements for designing a group study booking system and these included; Cheap in terms of maintenance, User friendly, Compatibility with the available computers in the library and Easy to Use. When these are met in the process of designing the booking system, it would be of an advantage to all the library users. The study concluded that Makerere University library is faced with a number challenges in their booking of the group study rooms which hinders utilization of these rooms by the library users which justifies the need to design an online Group Study Room Booking System to support the management of group study rooms for Makerere University Library. The study recommended generating other group study rooms in the library, adopting strict rules in booking of the group study rooms, sensitization of the library users, employing skilled personnel to run the system, purchase of more computers in the library, developing a group study room policy to promote the use and management of the group study rooms at MULIB.