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Before the Christmas break, I had asked for input regarding online
scheduling of high school classes using the library for research.  The
majority of responses tend to recommend against online scheduling (versus
the more traditional paper calendar and discussing with the media
specialist/librarian).  I have decided to stay away from online scheduling
for the same reasons expressed in some of the following responses:

Online scheduling reponses:

I would recommend against this. When they are scheduling, you will want to
be able to talk with the teacher, ask them what they are doing with their
students so that you can prepare.  If they are just signing themselves up,
you will have hunt them all down anyway to find out what they are doing, so
you really aren't saving any time.  Actually, you are causing yourself more

   I tried that for a while using an online calendar, and at the time,
thought it was a pretty good idea.  But very few teachers used it.  Most
preferred the desk calendar mentioned.  It also took more time to keep it up
to date with teachers changing their minds,snow days,etc.

We have both options.  The problem with online scheduling is that teachers
will schedule time online without letting me know what they plan to be
doing – i.e. they will schedule time for “research” and spend it surfing the
web because I haven’t prepared anything for them, or they will plan to use
one section of the library where an activity is already scheduled by another
group.  If you can get that little bit of planning time with them, then go
for the online approach, if not, I wouldn’t touch it!  Maybe you could add a
section for them to fill in on the online calendar as to what they expect
you to have prepared for their visit.  Good luck!

I would never switch to online scheduling. The only chance I really have to
collaborate with some teachers is to talk with them when they sign up.

This is my first year as a librarian, but in the past the library only had a
paper schedule--in the library. I knew that other schools in the district
used an "online" schedule of sorts, which I wanted to try. We use Outlook as
our school email, and it was rather easy for the district tech. director to
add an LMC sub-calendar to our school's calendar. I did not, however, allow
teachers to schedule their own times. I wanted to exercise some sort of
control there, but the school-wide access allows all to SEE the schedule,
then email me for times. I wanted to avoid someone scheduling a lesson in
the morning for that afternoon, for instance, expecially if I had no
planning time to get that lesson ready.
    Of course, not all teachers check it out, and we still play email tag
(is this time open? No? How about this time?) back and forth to set
something up. Teachers still come down to schedule which is fine. I just
thought it might save a few steps. It also allows your building
administrator to see just how busy your day really is!
    It's also nice for teachers to be able to log in to Outlook and double
check their own times without emailing me to look it up for them! Good luck.
I'm very happy with having the schedule available for others to view.

If you have Microsoft Office 2003, you could use InfoPath and put a file on
your network--or on the webpage, I guess. I use this for scheduling AV

Angela Ross, Library Media Specialist
Marist High School, Eugene, Oregon

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