How busy is my favorite study spot in the Library?

You asked. We listened and delivered.

For fall finals 2023, the Library has launched occupancy monitoring in both Library buildings (Crosland Tower and Price Gilbert) and the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons.

This means students, faculty and staff will have real-time data showing the most crowded areas of the Library and Clough, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To view the live data in its pilot stage, click here.

“We’re proud to bring this new technology to campus,” said Library Dean Dr. Leslie Sharp. “It is a direct result of the in-person interviews we conducted last year. We heard over and over that people wanted to know where the crowds were in the Library and Clough so they could find an open space and maximize their study time.

“Using a core group of student volunteers, we were able to find a technology in use in universities throughout the United States and Canada. It had the highest focus on safety and security and didn’t include cameras, permanent collection of data, or costly infrastructure.”

Here’s how it works: Occupancy monitoring sensors plugged directly into power outlets throughout the buildings count Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals anonymously. Those counts are continuously monitored against the maximum occupancy of defined spaces – for instance, the first floor Price Gilbert Reading Room – to give a real-time view of how many people are in Library and Clough.

Those counts are expressed simply and visually through the pilot web site. Further plans include flowing the data directly into the existing wayfinding and floor maps in the Library and Clough. This service will also be available at other facilities such as the Campus Recreation Center.

Similar sensors are currently in use at Columbia, Baylor and UCLA, among others.

Please note: The sensors monitor only the open study areas of the Library and Clough. Breakout, study and classrooms are monitored through booking and BuzzCard swipes.

To learn more about how these sensors ensure your privacy while monitoring your device, click here.