With many academic environments now getting quieter as students depart for the summer vacation, we’re focusing on how University of Miami is already preparing for their return in a few months’ time. The University’s aim is to realize new efficiencies and a more professional approach to their equipment lending services which we are delighted to say involves roll out of the connect2 resource reservation system.
We’ve taken the opportunity to catch up with Gabriel Brackman at the University’s School of Communication to hear how they’re preparing to launch connect2 to students. We look at what’s involved in re-organizing their inventory for the new online catalog, and what connect2 features staff are most excited about.
The School had been relying on a custom-built system for equipment lending, but their faculty and staff had been requesting a more capable and manageable system for quite some time. Particularly, they wanted to present services in a more modern light with a system that remains up to date so students continue to find it attractive and intuitive to use.
The University’s inventory includes video production equipment for journalism and film classes, as well as photography equipment for those studying advertising and public relations. The system will enable access to resources for each student based on the classes registered for. They also have a lot of other generic categories of equipment such as iPads and webcams which around 500 students can borrow. This amounts to an inventory of approximately 5,000 items.
It’s a straightforward operation to get the items set up in the new system. Firstly, the connect2 upload tool is a big help in speeding up the process. And we’re working closely with our new customer so they get the benefit of our experience – over 15 years in total partnering with colleges and universities. The aim is to present equipment in categories that work well for searching and filtering in the online reservation interface, and so help students to find and book what they need, while making inventory easy to maintain and keep updated behind the scenes.
The team is very enthusiastic about the changes coming with connect2. They can see that managing the equipment room is about to get a whole lot easier. As Gabriel says:
“Connect2 is enabling us to rebrand our equipment room website. We’ll be leaving our old clunky software behind and it will be easier for students to reserve resources. It will be a better process for our staff to checkout equipment and administer all the processes around it.”
To read more about the changes at University of Miami as they introduce connect2, read the case study available here.