February 2020: McGill Library launches pilot Waitz Occupancy Service & App to help students find study spaces in McLennan-Redpath Library Complex


Published: 10Feb2020

Ever been frustrated by how long it takes for you to find a seat in the Humanities and Social Sciences Library?

During the busiest times of the year we regularly hear from students regarding how challenging it can be to find a place to study in the library, and this feedback has only increased with the temporary closure of the Schulich Library. In order to help address this concern, McGill Library is working with Waitz on a pilot project to display space use information online that shows how busy the McLennan-Redpath Complex is in real time, by floor, so that students can save time.

Starting the week of Monday, February 24, 2020, you will be able to visit the Library’s web site or download the free Waitz mobile app (available for both Android and iOS devices) to know how busy McLennan-Redpath study areas are without having to travel from floor to floor.

How does it work? Is my data protected?

The app uses custom sensors plugged into outlets that detect Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals in the area. The sensors will be installed throughout the McLennan-Redpath Complex the week of February 10, 2020. The week of February 17, the sensors will collect space usage information using an algorithm. That information is then turned into occupancy data with 90 percent accuracy.

The McGill Library and Waitz are committed to protecting your privacy. The Waitz service does not collect or keep data on individual people. MAC address information is immediately hashed (cannot be decrypted) on the device and no personally-identifiable information is ever processed or stored on Waitz or McGill Library servers. Access Waitz’s privacy policy for more information.

Need more information? Visit the project page for more information on the service, FAQs and timeline of activities.

Questions? We welcome feedback on the Waitz service and app. Please email info.library [at] mcgill.ca


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