Thursday, 10 December 2009


[A story that could so easily be true...]

Several weeks ago, I thought I might go to a UL training session on "Known unknowns: discovering articles on your topic", which was to be held in the Morison Room, apparently (the location of many other of the Library's training events, I think...)

Looking on the library online floorplan to locate the room wasn't that much help:

nor were the floorplans that are distributed around the Library, although the name of the Morison Room was listed (just not mapped...)

I thought that maybe the University's centralised map search might help? It does claim to list lecture rooms, after all...

Hmmm, maybe not... So online was no help (nothing even in principle scrapeable for a quick mobile app to draw on...)

There is some useful signage, though, and once I'd managed to find a sign to get me started at the top of the main stairs, I could find my way; asking at the help desk also resulted in a set of workable directions (although the help was provided by showing me where to go on a map that didn't explicitly show the location of the room... down the stairs by the tea room, to a floor that does not appear on the Library floorplan...)

Being late when I started to look for the room, I was even more late when I found it... so when the door didn't easily open (it was locked: wrong entrance, maybe?), I gave up...

A couple of days later, having a vague memory that I'd seen the Morison Room signposted on my way in to the Library through the main entrance hall, I went in search of that sign; and it was quite prominent, to the right of the issues desk, pointing in the same direction as the Exhibition Room... which was lined with doors - some saying private, some signposting toilets, and some unmarked. No hint of which was the Morison Room... though maybe a day or two earlier it had been signposted as the venue of the "Known unknowns" training session...?

1 comment:

Owen said...

At Middlemash (and after) I played around with using Google Maps as an interface to library floorplans. I've blogged some of this at, and also posted another example at

However - what I've done so far doesn't solve your problem - if the thing isn't marked on the map (or the floorplan is confusing) you can't use it.

However, by using a standards 'maps' interface like Google maps I hope we open up the possibility of being able to enhance the map - either by library staff or by users - being able to drop markers into the map would open up possibilities like 'course study group is here', marking training rooms (and routes to them?)

As these are implemented as 'layers' in the mapping interface they can be turned on and off as required - meaning you can have a basic 'unbusy' map, and then various layers over the top that only appear as needed - not cluttering up the map all the time.

How would you like your own personal library map, your common items locations marked, the ability to add your own markers etc?