Holy smokes, do we have a ton of new features in LibCal to share! This release brings major improvements and updates to the Equipment and Spaces modules, plus great new features for Calendars and Events.
Room Booking -> Spaces Migration
As of this release, we’re making it possible for EVERYONE to upgrade to Spaces from the existing Room Booking module, at no cost. Spaces is really the future of Room Booking – it’s built using a more flexible framework and packed with frequently requested features from folks using the Room Booking module. This includes:
- Each reservation is a continuous block – Patrons don’t need to sign up for individual time slots anymore – each reservation is treated as a continuous block of time. Changing or cancelling a reservation is much easier now, rather than editing individual time slots.
- Availability tied to the hours module – This is big. The new Spaces module displays availability based on the hours you define in the hours module, so you no longer have to maintain information in two places!
- Reserve Equipment and Spaces at the same time – If you subscribe to the full Equipment module, patrons and admins can reserve everything they need in the same reservation – space and equipment at once.
- Full Read/Write APIs – Read/Write APIs are now available for both Equipment and Spaces. Integrate with existing room panel systems, with your mobile app, build your own front end for reservations… the possibilities are endless.
To start the migration from Room Bookings to Spaces, admins can head to Admin > Equipment and Spaces to get started. And to test drive the new Equipment module, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and a free trial!
New in Equipment Booking
- Mediated Equipment Bookings – A hugely popular request! Now, equipment reservations can be mediated in the same way as space and room reservations. Setting up mediation is a two-step process:
- First, choose who can approve mediated requests by going to Admin > Equipment and Spaces > Edit Location > Who can Mediate Bookings?
- Then, choose which item categories should be mediated by heading to Admin > Equipment and Spaces > Manage Equipment > Edit Category > Mediation and choose “Patron bookings require manual approval by nominated mediators”
- Custom Item, Space, and Category Availability – Create custom availability hours for individual equipment items, spaces, and categories throughout the Equipment Booking module. This is particularly useful if you’re managing multiple spaces or items which have different periods of availability. To customize hours, head to the relevant edit screen (edit item, edit space, or edit category) and click on “hours” to set custom hours.
- Recurring Bookings (Admins only) – New for both Equipment and Spaces – Admins can now create recurring bookings from the admin side of the system! This is great if you have an event that repeats, like a class or book club that meets every Monday night. Set up a reservation that repeats for as long as your Equipment and Spaces are available – yay for easy!
- Friendly URLs for Categories and Locations – Create friendly URLs for both equipment and space categories as well as locations! Head to the relevant edit screen (edit category or edit location) to choose your preferred friendly URL.
- Add and Check Out – Create an equipment reservation and check the item(s) out in one fell swoop. You’ll see a new button on the admin booking confirmation page to “Check Out Equipment”. This will immediately check the item(s) out, so you don’t have to look up the same reservation you just created.
- Ban a user from creating new reservations and checkout items if they have fines or overdues – If people owe too much in fines or have an item that’s overdue, prevent them from creating additional reservations and checkouts. Better yet, customize the amount of fines it will take to trigger a block. For setup, head to Admin > Equipment and Spaces > Settings > User Banning.
- Return time option for Daily Bookings > Booking extends to same hour next day – A new setting for patrons to choose what time they intend to return an item. Patrons are still restricted to booking only a certain number of days, but we’re defining the end of a “day” in a less literal way, so patrons can choose any time on the final day of the reservation to return the item. To use this setting, head to Admin > Equipment and Spaces > Edit Category > Daily Bookings.
- Booking Explorer Updates – The booking explorer now supports multiple search modes and full content export, including custom booking form responses. We’ve also added new ‘Grouping’ functionality, which shows things like how many minutes people have booked in certain time periods, or how many minutes a particular room has been booked. To check out these changes, head to Equipment/Spaces > Booking Explorer.
New in Spaces
- Space Booking Widgets – Another highly requested item! We now have customizable widgets as part of the spaces module, so patrons can reserve spaces from any webpage. To start using the new spaces widgets, head to Spaces > Widgets.
- Space Capacity – Define the capacity for each space you manage, so patrons can filter all availability views for spaces that will fit the number of people in their group! Capacity is a new setting on the edit space screen, and you’ll see capacity filters on the public spaces category and widget screens.
New in Calendars & Events
- Setup/Teardown for Events – We made it easy to create setup and teardown padding around the events you create in LibCal, so you’ll be able to reserve a space or room for the entire time the event runs. This time doesn’t display on the public side of the system, and is used solely for calculating the location/space reservation time – so internally, people know the space is busy, but patrons will only see the actual event time.
- Book a Space when creating an Event – Another awesome integration – you can now reserve a space when you create a new event! This will display as an option once you’ve fully migrated to the new Spaces module. Just head to the add/edit event screen and you’ll see all available spaces listed in the Location field.
- Create an Event from a Space Reservation – When a patron requests a space (or an admin creates a space reservation on the admin side), use that space reservation to generate a new event to display on the public calendar. This is very useful for folks scheduling instruction sessions – just have your faculty members submit a space reservation, then creating a publicly-viewable event with one click, so students know where their instruction session will be held!
- New Search API Endpoint – Perfect for integrating LibCal search results in 3rd party applications! Admins can head to Admin > API > event_search API to start using the new functionality.
- New Search Engine – We’ve also updated the underlying search engine used for LibCal events – now, standard boolean terms (and, or, not) are fully supported.
New in MyScheduler
- MyScheduler: Tie Duration categories to a Group – Have you tried our new MyScheduler Appointment Categories? We’re expanding that great new functionality so different “Groups” of MyScheduler users can offer different types of appointments. To customize appointment category assignments, admins can head to Admin > MyScheduler Settings > Manage Groups > Associate Categories.