Visitors to lib.iastate.edu will see Parks Library hours and capacity information front and center below the Quick Search bar. Shown as a range of (1-5) shaded people to represent an average of 0-20% (1), 20%-40% (2), 40%-60% (3) occupied and in busier times 60%-80% (4) or 80%-100% (5) occupied, visitors will get a more accurate idea of how likely they are to find a seat in the building. The new capacity alert on the homepage lets users see hours and how busy Parks Library is before deciding to make their way to the building to study. The drop-down menu allows for site visitors to see the hours of other library service areas, too.
Thanks to input from users, library administration, and staff, changes to the capacity alert were made to give a more accurate and specific indication for how full the building is during open hours. This is important so visitors can make informed decisions about coming to the library. Library website development and IT staff accomplished this by using a service called Density.io. The flow of individuals in and out of the library is tracked by sensors, not cameras, so no faces are recorded, which is important for privacy. Anytime someone enters or leaves the library, the system sends the information to the library website, and the alert responds accordingly.
Ben Rearick, web content strategist, 1-515-294-8063