Create and manage appointment categories and durations

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 fo the category.

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

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

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

Enable appointment categories

You can choose to enable or disable appointment categories at any time.

  1. In the Categories Enabled panel, toggle the Appointment Categories option.
    • Enabled: 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 enabled.
      • Instead, these will be determined automatically based upon the duration and padding settings of your appointment categories.
    • Disabled: 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 disable appointment categories, any bookings that were made while categories were enabled will retain their category information.

Option to enable or disable Appointment Categories

Creating categories

  1. Click on the Create a New Category button
  2. Give your category a name (e.g. "General research consultation")
  3. Set the duration of your category.
  4. 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.
    • Just 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.
  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.

Create a New Category button

Example of creating a category 

Managing 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.

Options for managing appointment categories

Example of reordering categories

Associating 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 Manage 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Click the Save button.

Selecting Associate Categories from a group's Cog dropdown

The Associate Categories window 

Related Articles