WebClarity recently launched a new product called PeopleWhere, which allows libraries to manage all aspects of personnel scheduling. Designed specifically for the requirements of libraries, PeopleWhere provides a Web-based system for managing work schedules and for assigning employees to various service points in a library. According to Allison Standen, co-founder for WebClarity, the company saw an opportunity to create a library-specific personnel scheduling solution. Early versions of the product were available in 2009; following the success of the product by early adopters, WebClarity has met the milestones necessary to launch PeopleWhere and to begin active marketing of the product in Canada, the United States and internationally.
PeopleWhere: library-specific personnel management
WebClarity developed PeopleWhere to fill a niche that was not well-managed by other scheduling and reservations products designed for general use or for other sectors. Libraries, especially larger ones, face many complications in staffing their service points. Itís common to have both full and part-time employees, as well as volunteers that work in and across different branches or locations.
Some broad areas of functionality include: building an inventory of the assets represented among library personnel, including special skills like foreign languages, subject specializations, and supervisory qualifications; tracking accumulations of leave according to library-defined categories; approval of leave requests, and creation of service point schedules. The PeopleWhere portal includes internal messaging for communication of scheduling issues and interoperates with applications supporting iCalendar, such as Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook. It includes a variety of reports that can be viewed on the Web, printed, or downloaded to Excel. Most importantly for libraries, PeopleWhere ensures that personnel are assigned to essential service points during specified operating hours, alerting managers should there be a gap in the schedule that needs attention.
When such a gap occurs, the manager is able to view the qualified staff members available, make the necessary assignments, and communicate changes to any staff members involved.
PeopleWhere has been available for about a year, finding use in several libraries as beta sites and early adopters. Some of the libraries currently using PeopleWhere include the Hartford Public Library in Connecticut, the Daniel Boone Regional Library in Missouri, the Cornwall Public Library in Ontario, and the Newark Public Library in New York. Many organizations would find it important to integrate a personnel management portal product such as PeopleWhere into other enterprise business Applications.
WebClarity offers PeopleWhere through a hosted Web-based subscription model, or it can be purchased for local installation. It is available from WebClarity directly and through a variety of other distribution channels, including its parent organization Convergent Library Technologies, and partners in Canada, the United States, and other international regions.