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Room Bookings: Why upgrade to Spaces?

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Why migrate to Spaces?

You can use the Spaces module to manage your room bookings across multiple locations, such as labs, meeting spaces, and study rooms. This allows you to take advantage of some helpful improvements to the booking process compared to the Room Bookings module, including:

  • Availability times are now determined by a location's operating hours and the booking duration for each room.
    • You don't have to add, edit, or delete individual availability times for each of your rooms!
      • Additionally, you can connect a location's hours (or an individual category or space) to a library from the Hours module to make managing hours across modules a breeze!
    • This also means that patrons can book rooms that go past midnight in a single booking! Now when a patron wants to book a room from 11 pm-1 am, they don't have to submit multiple booking forms!
    • If you have different hours for a group of spaces (or individual spaces) in a location, you can define custom hours at the category or space-level to override the hours set for the entire location.
    • Plus, if you ever need to update your availability times, you no longer have to bulk delete existing time slots and add new ones. You can just increase or decrease the maximum booking duration for each room category, or adjust the operating hours as needed.
  • Patrons can now book rooms by defining a start time and an end time -- they no longer have to select multiple availability times.
    • This makes it much easier to manage bookings: if a patron reserved a room for three hours, you no longer have to manage/cancel three individual slots.
    • Instead, you just need to cancel the one booking or change its start and end times.
    • This also gives you a much more accurate count of the total bookings in your spaces. 
    • Locations can also be set up to use fixed, period-based bookings when you want to allow users to book spaces for exact time periods.
  • Space categories can be set up to support hourly or daily bookings.
    • Hourly bookings can be reserved for X number of hours or minutes, and the public booking grid will show one day at a time, divided into hours.
    • Daily bookings can be reserved for X number of days, and the public booking grid will show 28 days at a time, divided into days.
  • Organize your spaces into Zones.
    • Zones allow you to organize your spaces and seats by where they are physically situated within a location (e.g. floors or wings of the library).
    • The zones that you create for your location(s) can be used to track the utilization of your spaces, and to give your patrons an opportunity to select a space based on the zone that it is located in from the New Reservation booking page. 
  • Customizable booking forms at the location, category, and space-level
    • If you have question responses that are only needed for certain spaces (or even an individual space), you can configure the booking forms to show those questions at the proper level(s).
    • Utilize Answer Rules to trigger follow-up questions to show based on a user's response to a question.
  • Recurring bookings are now easier than ever to manage!
    • In the Room Bookings module, recurring room bookings are not linked together. If you need to change or remove a booking from the series, you had to modify each booking separately.
    • But with Spaces, all instances of a recurring booking are listed in a single booking request. This makes it easy to view, manage, and cancel recurring bookings.
  • Sync your spaces with Google Calendar or Outlook/Exchange.
    • Google Calendar sync can be activated for an entire space category or for individual spaces. When active, all of the bookings for the category or space will be added, updated, and/or removed from the connected Google Calendar in real-time with a 1-way sync, or alternatively, you can opt for a 2-way sync that will also make times unavailable for the space when there is an event in the Google Calendar for that time. 
    • With the Outlook/Exchange calendar sync, you will have the option to turn on two-way sync between LibCal spaces and Exchange room resource calendars.
  • Process and manage spaces that include charges for booking.
    • If you charge patrons for space bookings, you can use LibCal's billing functionality to allow them to quickly, easily, and securely pay online during the booking process.
    • By connecting to a third-party payment processor, you will be able to collect credit card payments and deposit them into your library's merchant account.
  • Create events from a booking request.
    • You can now create an event in one of your calendars from within any confirmed booking.
    • This is a great way to create an event linked to a booking, especially if you use your space bookings for librarians, faculty, or groups to schedule classes, workshops, or meetings.
    • Alternatively, after you migrate you can use your Spaces as the location for any events that you create -- booking the accompanying space upon event creation.
  • Provide your users with the option of booking individual seats.
    • After migrating to Spaces, you can add on the Seat Booking module to allow your users to book individual seats.
    • Spaces can be configured as container spaces that house the seats that your users can book.

The migration process in a nutshell

If you'd like to use Spaces to manage all of your room bookings, you can migrate your existing room groups from the Room Bookings module. The migration process will:

  • Migrate your existing room groups as new room categories.
  • Migrate the individual rooms in each group, including the room names, descriptions, images, and terms & conditions.
  • Migrate all future bookings for each room (past bookings data will still be available via Stats > Room Bookings after migration).
  • Remove access to the Room Bookings module once the migration has been completed.

Ready to get started?

If you're ready to begin the migration to Spaces (it's worth it!), you can check out our FAQ on the migration process!