How do I set up parent / child spaces?

If you have a large room that can be divided into smaller spaces, you can allow patrons to book either the entire room, or one or more of those smaller spaces. This can be done by linking one or more child/partial spaces to a single parent space.

For example, imagine you have a large meeting space that can be divided into three smaller spaces:

  • You would start by creating a new space for the entire meeting room. This is the parent space.
  • You would then create three additional spaces, one for each divided space inside this room. These will be the child/partial spaces.
    • In the settings for the divided spaces, you would set the Is Child/Partial Space option to Yes.
    • You would then select the large meeting room as the Parent.
  • Once these spaces are linked, patrons will be able to book one of the divided spaces, two of the divided spaces, or the entire large meeting room.

How do parent/child space bookings work?

When patrons book a child or parent space, LibCal will update the availability of the other spaces accordingly.

  • If a patron books the parent space, all child/partial spaces will be listed as unavailable during those times.
  • If a patron books a child/partial space, the parent space will be listed as unavailable during those times. However, all other child/partial spaces will still be available.

The table below illustrates how this would work for a parent space with three child/partial spaces.

Scenario Parent Space Child Space 1 Child Space 2 Child Space 3
Patron books the Parent Space Booked Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable
Patron books Child Space 1 Unavailable Booked Still Available Still Available
Patron books Child Space 1 and Child Space 2 Unavailable Booked Booked Still Available

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How do I link a child/partial space to a parent space?

When creating or editing a space you'd like to use a child/partial space, look for the Is Child/Partial Space dropdown under the space's General tab.

  1. By default, the Is Child/Partial Space dropdown will be set to "No". Change this to "Yes" to make it a child/partial space.
  2. The Parent Space dropdown will appear below it. Select the space to use as its parent from the dropdown.
    • You can select a space from any category in your location.
    • However, consider keeping the parent and its linked child/partial spaces in the same category. This will allow you to see the availability of the linked spaces on a single page, making it easier to manage their bookings.
  3. Click the Save Settings button at the bottom of the page.

The Is Child/Partial Space option under the General tab 

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What if my spaces have existing bookings? Can I still link them?

Yes! If you are linking existing spaces together, their bookings will remain in tact.

  • If your parent space has existing bookings, the linked child/partial spaces will automatically become unavailable during those times.
  • If a child/partial space has existing bookings, the parent space will automatically become unavailable during those times.

Once rooms are linked together, you will be unable to book a parent and one of its child/partial spaces at the same time. However, when you are first linking spaces together, please keep in mind that LibCal does not check their existing bookings for conflicting times. For example:

  • You have two existing spaces: Future Parent Room and Future Child Room:
    • Future Parent Room has an existing booking on May 1 from 8am-12pm.
    • Future Child Room has an existing booking on May 1 from 11am-1pm.
  • If you link those two spaces together, those bookings will create a conflict from 11am-12pm.
  • As a result, you'll need to edit or cancel one of those bookings so they don't overlap.

If you are creating a brand new space to use as the parent space, then this will not be an issue for you. However, if you choose to use an existing space as the parent, we recommend going to Equipment > Availability and reviewing your newly-linked spaces for any conflicting bookings.

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Will the availability grid look different when spaces are linked?

You and your patrons won't see any changes to the availability grid on the public booking page. If a parent space is booked, then you'll just see those same times listed as unavailable for its child/partial spaces (and vice versa) -- just like if they were all booked individually.

Staff users, however, will see some differences on the Spaces > Availability page. That's because the parent space will mirror the booking times of the child/partial spaces, with each booking displaying on its own line (rather than one combined "Confirmed" booking). For example:

  • The parent space ("Full meeting room") has three child spaces: "Divided space A", "Divided space B", and "Divided space C".
  • "Divided space A" is booked from 10am to 2pm.
  • "Divided space B" is booked from 12pm to 4pm.

Instead of showing a single confirmed booking from 10am to 4pm, the parent space ("Full meeting room") will show each booked time on separate rows, as seen in the screen shot below:

Availability grid showing how a parent space displays overlapping child space bookings

The parent space is still unavailable from 10am to 4pm -- it's just that you'll see this represented by two bookings instead of one. On the public booking page, however, patrons will still only see one row of unavailable times:

The public booking page showing a single row of unavailable times for the parent space

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Can I unlink a child/partial space from a parent space?

Absolutely. If you ever want to unlink a child/partial space from a parent space, simply return to the space's General settings, set the Is Partial Space dropdown to "No", and save. Once unlinked from the parent space:

  • Any bookings made in the child space will remain. No changes will be made to those.
  • The child space will no longer be shown as unavailable during the times the parent space was booked.
  • The parent space will no longer be shown as unavailable during the times the child space was booked.

You can link and unlink spaces at any time.

Setting the Is Partial Space dropdown to No

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