LibCal v2.4.6.1 – Equipment and Spaces Updates Now Live!

Have you heard about our all new Equipment and Spaces Module? It makes reserving spaces and equipment a breeze, and brings a new level of reservation flexibility along with a beautiful, tile-based public interface. “Spaces” are our all new upgrade to the Room Booking module. They offer more flexible reservations and the ability to book spaces and equipment in a single reservation.

With this update, we’re bringing you several updates to the Equipment and Spaces module. We’ve made some adjustments to the public side of the system to give “Spaces” a look and feel that’s more similar to the previous Room Booking module, and we’ve made lots of adjustments on the admin side of the system to help separate these elements out a bit. Not to worry though, you’ll still be able to book Spaces and Equipment in the same reservation! We’ve also added lots of nice to have elements to Equipment and Spaces, including iCal feeds, QR code support, and several key bug fixes. Read on for the deets!

New Public Interface for Spaces

After hearing lots of feedback from several early adopters of the Equipment and Spaces module, we heard your feedback that the first iteration of reserving Spaces wasn’t quite in keeping with what your users had become accustomed to in the old Room Booking module. To help with this, we’ve updated the look and feel for Spaces – check it out:

NewSpacesUI

The big emphasis for the new design is to reduce the number of clicks that a user has to execute to create a new booking – rather than starting out with a catalog-type interface (where the user has to start off by making a selection before seeing any availability), users will now jump straight to current availability. We also wanted to ensure that the new design is mobile-friendly right out of the box (check!). And of course, we also made sure that Spaces and Equipment can still be reserved as part of a single reservation – once a patron reserves a room, they’ll then see the option to Add Equipment to that reservation.

Good to Know: Now that Spaces and Equipment both have their own landing pages, if you’re linking to these from your LibCal homepage, you’ll need to make a quick adjustment to provide a link to the new Spaces page. Admins can head to Admin > Look and Feel > Homepage Editor > Add Item > Equipment Book Space to add this link to the homepage.

Updated Space and Equipment Admin Settings

Now that we’ve separated out elements of the public Equipment and Spaces UI, we also wanted to tease out some of the settings for this module on the Admin side of the system. We’ve separated “Equipment” and “Spaces” into their own upcoming bookings and booking explorer pages, so you can view each of these with ease. We’ve also adjusted some of the Admin settings for these modules to make things a bit easier to navigate – you’ll now find separate tabs within each Location to manage “Equipment” and “Spaces” within that location.

We’ve also added a frequently requested feature to the Equipment and Spaces explorers – you’ll now see a “View All” option on these pages, so you’ll no longer need to browse through separate categories in order to view past and upcoming reservations.

And last, we’ve added another highly requested feature to the admin settings – now, when you upload an image for a piece of equipment, those images will be adjusted to a standardized size, so your catalog pages will display in a more uniform manner. Sometimes it’s the little things in life that make the biggest difference!

New Method for Selecting Return Time

In keeping with our drive to simplify the booking pages for patrons, we’ve also redesigned the method used for selecting the end-time for a reservation. This impacts both Equipment reservations as well as Space reservations – now, instead of displaying a list of possible return times, patrons will see a simple date and time picker. This makes it easy for patrons to select the date and time they’d like to return an item, and is especially helpful when the list of possible return times would have been exceptionally long (ex. for hourly loans that span multiple days, where the list of possible return times could grow into hundreds of possible choices).

iCal Feeds and QR Codes

QRCodesWe’ve added support for iCal feeds and QR codes for both Equipment and Spaces! The new iCal feeds will make it that much easier to integrate your upcoming Equipment and Space reservations with a third party calendar system (like Outlook or Google Calendar) – you can now subscribe to your Equipment or Space reservation feed from within any 3rd party calendar application, so information on upcoming reservations will flow to that calendar with ease.

Plus, we’ve also added QR code support for Equipment and Spaces. This is a fantastic way to share information on how to reserve a space or piece of equipment with patrons at point of need. Just post the QR code next to the available resource, and when patrons scan that code, they’ll go right to the public item reservation screen – no remembering or typing in URLs required! To start using QR codes and iCal feeds, head to Spaces/Equipment > Availability.

Bug Fixes

  • We’ve fixed an issue with the public and admin-side availability grid display – now these will always go straight to the current day’s availability when the page is initially loaded.
  • We’ve also fixed an issue with daily reservations where, in certain circumstances, a patron could select an end date that wasn’t allowed (usually because the library was closed on that day), which generated an error message. We’ve adjusted things so patrons can no longer select a return date that isn’t allowed.

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