FAQ content

Appointments: Create and manage appointment categories and durations

In this article

Appointment categories allow you to create different types of appointments that last for different amounts of time. For example, you could create categories for:

  • General research questions that last 30 minutes long
  • Citation reviews that last 45 minutes long
  • In-depth research questions that last 60 minutes long
  • Technology assistance that lasts 15 minutes long

When a patron books an appointment, they will select from the available categories to begin the booking process. Once they select a date, time, and librarian, the booking request that they submit will be for the duration for the category.

For example, if Suzy Student scheduled a general research question with Lucy Librarian at 10 am, and general research appointments are 30 minutes long, Suzy's appointment will last from 10-10:30 am.

But, if Sammy Student scheduled an in-depth research question with Lucy Librarian at 2 pm, and in-depth research appointments are 60 minutes long, Sammy's appointment will last from 2-3 pm.

Getting there

To manage your appointment categories, go to Admin > Appointments and click on the Appointment Categories & Durations tab.

Navigating to the Appointment Categories & Durations admin settings

Activate appointment categories

You can turn appointment categories on or off at any time.

  1. In the Categories panel, toggle the Appointment Categories option.
    • Active: users will be prompted to select an available category when booking an appointment.
      • Please note: staff members will not be able to manage their own appointment durations or padding when appointment categories are activated.
      • Instead, these will be determined automatically based upon the duration and padding settings of your appointment categories.
    • Inactive: users will not be prompted to select a category when booking an appointment.
      • Appointment times and padding will be determined based upon each staff user's individual appointments settings.
      • Please note: when you turn off appointment categories, any bookings that were made while categories were activated will retain their category information.
Option to inactivate or activate Appointment Categories

Create categories

  1. Click on the Create a New Category button. This will display the Add Category modal window.
Create a New Category button
  1. Give your category a name (e.g. "General research consultation").
  2. Set the duration of your category.
  3. If you'd like to include padding, select the amount of padding to add.
    • This is helpful if you have back-to-back appointments and need to ensure that you have time to switch locations or prep.
    • Keep in mind that the amount of padding you select is deducted from the duration. Because all time slots must have the same duration, the padding cannot be added to the end of the appointment slot. Otherwise, you'd have uneven time slots. 
      • For example, if you have a duration of 30 minutes and a padding of 10 minutes, then the patron will be presented with a 20-minute appointment duration on the public booking page.
      • However, the librarian will still see this as a 30-minute appointment slot on their Appointments. It's just that the last 10 minutes of that slot will be reserved for the padding.
  4. If you would like to use a specific booking form for all appointments made in this category, you can select it from the Booking Form drop down.
    • To use the booking form of the group the patron is booking within, select the Use Group Booking Form option.
    • Each user can customize their appointments settings to use a different booking form for a location, group, or category. This will override the form you select here.
  5. If you would like this to be the default appointment category on the public booking page, select the Set this as the Default/Preselected for the user checkbox.
  6. Save your changes.
the Add Category modal window

Manage categories

Options for managing appointment categories
  1. To edit a category, click its Edit icon in the Action column.
  2. To delete a category, click its Delete icon in the Action column. 
  3. To change the display order of your categories on the public booking page, click on the Re-order Categories button. This will launch a window where you can drag & drop the categories into a new order.
Example of reordering categories

Associate categories with groups

If you are using Locations and Groups, you can actually limit which types of categories are available within each group. This allows you to hide categories that are not used by a particular group, while also giving you the ability to create categories that are unique to a specific group.

  1. Click on the Locations tab.
  2. Locate the group you want to edit and click on the cog () button in its heading.
  3. Select Associate Categories from the dropdown menu.
Selecting Associate Categories from a group's Cog dropdown


  1. In the Associate Categories window, use the Select Categories checkboxes to choose which categories are available for that group.
    • When a checkbox is selected, that means the category will be available for that group.
  2. Click the Save button.
The Associate Categories window