When we first released the LibCal Equipment Booking Add-On Module, we saw a need to integrate room bookings with the equipment reservation process. Wouldn’t it be neat if a patron could reserve a room and related equipment in the exact same reservation?
And also, wouldn’t it be great if we could revamp the way Room Bookings calculates availability by connecting it to the LibCal Hours module?
And while we’re at it, what if we could extend Room Bookings availability to go past midnight?
We had so many ideas and suggestions from all you loyal Springy users on ways to improve the Room Bookings tool. And what better way to ensure that we’re able to do everything than to code up a brand-new tool? Hence, Spaces was born.
What’s LibCal Spaces and How Does It Work?
LibCal Spaces is a replacement to the existing LibCal Room Bookings tool. It has a ton of extra features that LibCal Room Bookings doesn’t contain, more on that below, and it fully integrates with the Equipment Booking Add-on Module.
What Can LibCal Spaces Do?
This blog post would get very long, very quickly, if we outlined all the extra features you get with LibCal Spaces. But, here’s a quick list of the top features:
- Accessibility & Mobile-Friendliness – We conducted a robust accessibility and usability review of Spaces to ensure that LibCal Spaces works for all users.
- Customizable Availability Grid – Does the red/green availability grid not work for your color-blind users? You can now easily change those colors with our point-and-click color picker.
- Availability Governed by the Hours Module – Connect your Spaces to the LibCal hours module to determine when rooms are available for reservation. This means, no more managing availability on a periodic basis.
- Reservations Can Go Past Midnight – If your library is open till the wee hours of the morning and your rooms are available for reservation till 1am, 2am, or even 3am – patrons can reserve a room past midnight on one single reservation.
- Connected to Equipment Module – Patrons can reserve a room and related equipment in a single reservation.
- Read/Write APIs – Push reservations and cancellations into LibCal Spaces using the robust API.
- Granular Booking Forms – Apply a unique booking form at either the entire Location-level or at the category-level.
- Group Authentication Integration – Should only faculty be able to reserve the conference room? Should only business school students be able to book the Bloomberg Computers? If you have groups defined in your authentication tool (SAML, Shibboleth, ADFS, CAS) you can connect those groups to specific rooms to restrict reservation.
- Patron Booking as a Block of Time – Users can pick their own start time on the availability grid and then select an end time in the drop-down according to your max & min time settings. Basically, no more clicking a bunch of static time-slots!
- Easier to Update Reoccurring Bookings – In Spaces, all instances of a reoccurring bookings are listed in a single booking request. This makes it much easier to view, manage, and cancel reoccurring bookings.
- Create LibCal Events from a Spaces Booking Request – If a faculty member books a library instruction session via Spaces, you can easily create a public LibCal event from that booking.
- …and more!
How Do I Move from Room Bookings to Spaces?
- First things first, migrating from Room Bookings to Spaces is completely free.
- You’ll receive the same number of rooms in Spaces as you currently subscribe to in Room Bookings.
- The migration process is an automated process you can control right from within your LibCal system. Go to Admin > Equipment & Spaces > Start Spaces Migration. Plus, we have this handy-dandy migration help guide to walk you through the entire process.
- You do *not* need to contact Springy support to assist you with migration.
Will I Still Have Access to Room Bookings Once I Go Live With Spaces?
No, you can only use either Room Bookings or Spaces but not both. Once you’re live with Spaces, the Room Bookings menu option will disappear from the Admin Orange Command Bar.
Can I Migrate to Spaces if I Have Upcoming Reservations in Room Bookings?
Yes. Here’s how the migration works:
- We’ll migrate your existing room groups into Spaces as ‘categories’.
- We’ll migrate the individual rooms in each group, including room names, descriptions, images, and terms & conditions.
- We’ll migrate all future bookings for each room.
What Happens to My Previous Room Booking Stats & Data?
You’ll still have access to historical Room Booking stats via Stats > Room Bookings.
Do I Have to Move to Spaces or Can I Continue to Use Room Bookings?
Yes. At some point, we will sunset Room Bookings completely. In addition, we’re focusing all new features, accessibility updates, and authentication integration on Spaces. But, have no fear – you can migrate to Spaces whenever you feel most comfortable or doing a slow-period like a holiday break. Take your time and do it on your schedule.
Does Spaces Have the Exact Same Feature Set as Room Bookings?
In our upcoming October, 2017 Spaces update – we’ll be close to full parity between the feature set of Room Bookings and Spaces. All the major and even minor features of Room Bookings will exist in Spaces. If you notice something missing, please contact our support team. Bottom-line, you won’t lose any major or minor functionality by migrating from Room Bookings to Spaces. Plus, you’ll win out on a ton of extra cool new features plus full integration with the Equipment Booking Add-on Module.
Is LibCal Spaces Setup for HTTPs?
Yes! And in conjunction with a Google Chrome update that will give a warning to users when they land on a non-https webpage, you’ll want to setup your LibCal system and Spaces to go through https.
We have careful step-by-step instructions below, please follow them to the T to ensure that your https/security certificate is set up properly.
- Managing https if your LibCal URL ends in libcal.com
- Managing https if your LibCal domain ends in anything other than libcal.com
Where Can I Go to Get Help with LibCal Spaces?
In true Springy fashion, we have a ton of help documentation and training sessions to help you!