We love creating tools that make (professional) lives of busy librarians a little easier, a tad more efficient, and much more pleasant. As the saying goes, time is money so if we can save you time – especially when doing mundane tasks that “just need to be done” – that’s a big win in our book.
Let’s talk about one of these types of tasks: staff scheduling for various service points and departments. It’s all about spreadsheets, post it notes, endless back-and-forth about who can work when, where, how to swap shifts when needs arise, who to staff at which desk, how to let everyone know of any changes, etc. To add complication, most academic libraries have student assistants who have limited schedule and can only work a certain number of hours, public libraries have volunteers who can commit only a certain number of hours as well, and school libraries have parents and other volunteers who’d love to help if things can work around their already-busy schedules.
“There must be a better way”, we thought. How about a simple web-based system that takes into account the availability of each staff member, their other responsibilities, the max # of hours they can work, their shift preferences… and it makes it easy to change things when needed, i.e. swap shifts, and organize everything in one place, with awesome statistics to boot. Meet LibStaffer – a web-based staff scheduling system for Academic, Public, School, and Special libraries. With LibStaffer you can:
- Define and Develop Schedules for:
- Desk staffing
- Services staffing (virtual reference, telephone support, etc.)
- Department coverage
- Student Employees
- Library Volunteers
- Get the Whole Picture
LibStaffer shows you the schedules for all your services and departments in one place, with a variety of view options (daily/weekly/monthly, Timeline-based views, etc.). Filter those views to target shifts that still need coverage, filled shifts, shifts by staff member, etc.
- Effortlessly Create Repeat Shifts
Set up shifts once, and repeat them for as long as you like! Label and color-code your shifts for clarity, set the number of staff required to fill the shift, and even add notes so people know what to do during that shift.
- Auto Schedule Shifts
Assign each staff member “Favorite” shifts to create a repeating schedule in a snap! Plug in a date range, and Auto Scheduler takes care of assigning staff to shifts. We automatically resolve things like:
- Assigning staff to preferred shifts
- Scheduling conflicts across calendars
- Time-off requests
- Weekly / Monthly maximum work hours per staff member
- Manage Time-off Requests Online
Staff can request time off using categories that you define (Vacation, Sick leave / Dr.’s appointments, Conference Travel, etc.). Admins can approve & deny these requests, and leave notes for clarification.
- Shift Swaps
Optionally allow staff to swap assigned shifts automatically, or require Admin approval.
LibStaffer is only a month or so from official release, so we’re looking for a few forward-thinking libraries to participate in our “Fast-track Beta” to help us figure out the last few details before release.
Update: Thanks to overwhelming interest, we are no longer accepting beta site applications. To sign up for LibStaffer updates and be the first to know when it’s available, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.