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Add and manage space booking categories

Getting there

To manage your space categories, go to Admin > Spaces & Equipment and click on the link in the Spaces column for your location.

Example of navigating to a location's spaces

Adding a new space category to a location

Categories allow you to organize a location's spaces by type. For example, you could create separate categories for study rooms, classrooms, media labs, maker spaces, etc. Each category has its own booking durations and limits, which will apply to each space in that category.

Before you can begin adding individual rooms and spaces, you must first create at least one category.

  1. Click on the Add New Category button.

Screenshot highlighting the Add New Category button

  1. Give your category a name
  2. Click the Save & Continue button. This will take you to the Edit Category page so you can configure the booking limits for your new category. See the next section for information about each option.

Example of adding a new category

General category options

  1. Category Name: this is the name of the category as it appears throughout LibCal.
  2. Category Type: this will be set to Space Bookings since it is used for spaces.
  3. Access: this allows you to control the availability of your category.
    • Public: this will be displayed on your location's booking page.
    • Private: this category can only be viewed by those who know its URL. It will not be displayed alongside your location's public categories.
    • Admin Only: this category will not be accessible via your public booking page. Bookings can only be made via the Spaces > Availability page.
  4. Friendly URL: giving your category a friendly URL can make it easier to link directly to its booking page. This will replace the default URL, which typically consists of ID numbers which will be more difficult to remember and advertise.
  5. Description: you can give your category a description to share more info about its spaces or booking procedures. Info you add here will display above the availability table on the public booking page.
  6. Terms & Conditions: if this category has its own terms & conditions which are different from your location's, you can add them here. When you add terms & conditions to a category, they will be displayed in addition to your location's terms & conditions.
  7. Custom Booking Form Questions: if you have a custom booking form you'd like to use for spaces in this category, you can select it here. The questions from the selected form will be combined with those of your location's booking form.
  8. Seat/Space Check Out Survey: if you have enabled the Space/Seat Booking Check In/Out option in your location's settings, you can choose to have a survey link displayed on check out confirmation page -- allowing you to get patron feedback on your space and seat reservations/use process.
  9. Mediation: you can choose whether or not to mediate new booking requests. When enabled, designated staff must first approve a booking request before it can be confirmed.
  10. Who can Mediate Bookings: when mediation is enabled for this category, you can select which users can mediate bookings just for this category.
    • The users you select here will receive email notifications when bookings are pending approval.
    • These users will not be able to mediate bookings in other categories, unless you have selected them as mediators in your location's settings.
    • If this is left empty, then any regular or admin user can mediate room bookings for this location. No users will receive email notifications when bookings are pending approval.
  11. LibAuth Group Rule: if you have enabled LibAuth in your location's settings and your authentication method supports group permissions (such as CAS or SAML), you can select a group permission to apply to this category. For example, this could be used to restrict bookings in this category to faculty and staff.
  12. Public Nicknames: this gives your patrons the opportunity to give their bookings a public nickname (e.g. Biology Study Group). These display publicly on your space bookings page, allowing patrons to locate specific bookings.
  13. Public Nickname Label: when public nicknames are enabled, you can customize the label for the public nickname text field that appears on the booking form.
    • To make the public nickname a required field, select the Required checkbox.

General category settings 

Booking limit options

  1. Booking Start times available every X mins: for space bookings (which are hourly), this determines whether booking times begin every 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or only on the hour.
    • For example, if you select 15 minutes, a user could book a room starting at 9:00am, 9:15am, 9:30am, etc.
    • If you select 1 hour, then a user could only book a room starting at 9:00am, 10:00am, etc.
  2. Booking Maximum Duration: this sets the maximum possible duration of each booking in minutes (e.g. if a space can be booked 4 hours at a time, enter 240 minutes). This value must be divisible by the Booking start times available every X mins value.
  3. Booking Minimum Duration: this sets the minimum possible duration for each booking in minutes (e.g. if you want a space to be booked for no less than 1 hour, enter 60 minutes). This value must be divisible by the Booking start times available every X mins value.
  4. ‚ÄčBooking Default Duration: when a patron is placing a booking, this allows you to choose the default end time for the booking. For example, even if your maximum duration is 4 hours, you could present a user with an end time of 60 minutes by default. The patron could then increase or decrease it between the maximum and minimum durations.
  5. Booking Lead Time: this option determines how far in advance of the booking's start time a user must book a space. 
  6. Padding Before and After Booking: this allows you to add gaps between bookings, which can be helpful if you need time to inspect or clean up a room before it can be booked again.
    • For example, if you select a padding of 30 minutes, a space booked until 3pm would not be available again until 3:30pm.
  7. Single booking multiple rooms: choose whether or not patrons should be allowed to book multiple rooms for this category in a single booking request.
  8. Single booking same room multiple times: choose whether or not patrons should be allowed to book the same room multiple times on a single day.
  9. User must cancel by: you can limit how far in advance a user can cancel a booking. For example, if you select "1 Hour Prior", then users will only be able to cancel their booking up to 1 hour before the start time.
  10. Duration Limit: if you'd like, you can limit the total amount of time someone can book spaces per day, week, month, year, or at one time.
    • If you do not wish to set a limit, simply enter 0.
    • You can choose to apply this limit to spaces only in this category, in this one location, or system-wide.
  11. Frequency Limit: you can also limit the maximum number of spaces that can be booked per day, week, month, year, or at one time.
    • If you do not wish to set a limit, simply enter 0.
    • You can choose to apply this limit to spaces only in this category, in this one location, or system-wide.
  12. Back to Back Booking Limit: you can specify how many hours must elapse between the end of one booking and the start of another.
    • For example, if you enter a value of 4 and a patron's booking ends at 1pm, their next booking could start no earlier than 5pm that day.
    • If you do not wish to set a limit, simply enter 0.
    • You can choose to apply this limit to spaces only in this category, in this one location, or system-wide.
  13. Window Limit: this allows you to define how many days in advance users can book spaces in this category.

Booking Limits settings 

Partial email templates

Each category has a set of email templates that allow you to customize the email notifications sent for spaces in that category. These are partial templates that can be included in your location's full email templates using the {{{CATEGORY}}} tag. Wherever that tag is inserted in your location's email template, the partial template for your category will be displayed.

One way you can use this is if your category has special instructions. For example, if you need to remind patrons to stop by the circulation desk to check out a key for your recording studios, you could add that to your category. That way, it's only included in email notifications when a person books a recording studio.

  1. Under your category's Email Templates tab, click on the partial template you want to edit.
  2. Enter your text into the template. Remember: this will be inserted into your location's full email template -- it won't replace it -- so you don't need to recreate the entire email message here.
  3. Save your changes.

Email Templates settings

  1. To control the placement of your category's partial template, edit the corresponding email template in your location's settings, and insert/move the {{{CATEGORY}}} tag accordingly. Where that tag is placed, your partial template will appear.

Example of inserting the category tag into a template 

Google Calendar Sync

Google Calendar sync can be enabled separately in each space category's settings. That gives you the option to only sync specific categories of spaces, and/or sync each category to a separate Google Calendar.

Before you begin, you must first set up a Google Service account and give it permission to manage events in your Google Calendar. See the Links & Files section below for more information.

  1. Select Edit Category from the cog () button in the category's heading for the category you'd like to sync.

Clicking the Edit Category button

  1. Click on the Google Calendar Sync tab.
  2. In the Email Address field, enter the email address for your Google Service Account (aka your Google Service Account ID).
  3. In the Google Calendar ID field, enter your Google Calendar address (aka your Calendar ID).
  4. For the JSON Key File, click on the Select file button and upload your saved JSON key file.
  5. Click the Save & Test Settings button.
    • If the test is successful, a confirmation message will appear. This means all new bookings will now sync to your calendar!
    • Otherwise, an error message will appear providing more information. Correct your settings and try again.

Setting up Google Calendar sync 

Managing categories

Click the cog () button in the category's heading for the category you'd like to manage. From here you can:

  1. Click on Edit Category to modify the category's settings.
  2. Click on View Public Page button to view that category's spaces on the public bookings page.
  3. Click on Move Category button to move the category (and its spaces) to another location.
  4. Click on Delete Category button to permanently delete the category. 
    • NOTE: this will delete all spaces, bookings, and statistics in this category, as well. 

Example of options for managing a category

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