During a random survey of 34 students in 2010, Polk Library asked the question "What can the library do to help you with your courses?" The majority of the students wanted an easy way to find other students studying the same subject. After the survey, Polk Library decided to do a smaller, secondary survey on this particular student request. The feedback from the secondary survey confirmed students really wanted this service.
During the Summer 2010 Polk Library created GroupFinder, which was modeled after the successful NCSU GroupFinder. GroupFinder allows students to schedule and find study groups through the Polk Library website. Students either book rooms through the library's website or ask library staff to reserve the room for them. GroupFinder started with the ability to reserve both rooms and tables around the library. Since GroupFinder was launched in 2010 there have been over 3,000 room bookings (with usage increasing), and Polk Library doubled its number group study rooms to meet the demand.
The GroupFinder application is a Plone CMS addon which allows students to schedule and find study groups in the library. GroupFinder uses Google Calendar to restrict the scheduling based on the buildings hours of operation. The application comes with two privacy modes: students who want others to join them in studying can make their groups public, while a private option is available for students who need the room for closed group or project work.
Thanks to NCSU Libraries for the design model.
- Production Website - GroupFinder