Resource Locator Maps: Pinpointing Your Library's Software Stuff
WOULDN'T IT BE NICE IF THERE WERE A SYSTEM THAT WOULD JUST TELL US WHAT SOFTWARE HAS BEEN DEPLOYED ON EACH COMPUTER? Our librarians at multiple service points needed a simple, fast tool to answer a common question: "Which computer has [pick your favorite] software?" Software packages are often expensive or require high-end machines to run, so not every software tool is available on every machine. Memorizing the location of each piece of specialized software is impractical, and written lists of software packages on each of hundreds of terminals are impractical and become rapidly outdated. The solution was to create a webpage displaying an interactive map of our computer areas along with a list of available software. Hovering over a software title highlights each computer with that software. Clicking on a computer highlights every piece of software on that computer. Behind the scenes, we accomplished this by combining a spreadsheet of computer names correlated to the software on each machine with a map of computer locations. The same methodology can be used to answer other resources questions, such as, "Which study rooms have whiteboards?" and "What are the hours and services at each branch location?"
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