Staff Scheduling and Workstation Allocation at UBC Libraries
Yixin Guo | March 2003
Two projects that have been carried out for the UBC Libraries are the UBC Library Human Resource Project and the UBC Library Workstation Project. The UBC Libraries provide multiple services such as reference desk, circulation desk, computer and photocopiers to satisfy needs of UBC students and faculties. It was noted that utilization of the reference desks in some of the libraries was extremely variable. There was the belief that the current staffing rules were inadequate for the variation in demand that the branches experience. The UBC Library Human Resource Project was conducted at the Koerner Library, the Woodward Biomedical Library, and the David Lam Library. This project was undertaken to determine a set of rules to help the libraries to schedule the staff at the reference desks in these three libraries. A regression model, a queuing model, and a simulation model were built to analyze the demand for reference desks and derive corresponding staffing levels to achieve certain service level.
In recent years, investments in computers and new technologies have been increasing at the UBC libraries. The UBC Library Workstation Project was conducted at eleven libraries of UBC to analyze the usage of the workstations in the computer labs and different areas. Utilization analysis was carried out to determine the minimum number of workstations needed in each library to achieve certain utilization performance level. A queuing model was developed to derive the minimum number of workstations required in busy computer labs to satisfy certain waiting time service level. These rules will be used to support libraries' decision-making in workstations allocation and updating.