Pickup Manager resources
Learn more about Pickup Manager
What is Pickup Manager?
Pickup Manager is designed to streamline your holds pickup workflows and empower patrons to pick up their library items quickly and safely per your COVID-19 guidelines. Key features include:
- Fully integrates with your ILS for streamlined workflows
- Works great with LibCal’s Spaces module for designating specific spaces for pickups, and enabling patrons to schedule these at their convenience
- Uses LibAnswers SMS communication to conveniently coordinate pickups with patrons upon arrival
- Provides great statistics and analytics, helping you increase user satisfaction and improve your holds service
How does it work?
- At the heart of Pickup Manager are branches. A branch is a location where patrons can pick up their holds.
- Each branch is connected to a space bookings category in your LibCal system. When a patron is notified by your integrated library system (ILS) that their items are ready to pick up, they will reserve their pickup time slot using LibCal's public booking page.
- The confirmed booking will be added to Pickup Manager as a pickup ticket. When the patron arrives at their scheduled time, they will notify branch staff via SMS or Pickup Manager's built-in chat page.
- LibAnswers users assigned to that branch will be able to monitor Pickup Manager. Via the Pickup Manager dashboard, they will be alerted when the patron has arrived. Pickup Manager will check your ILS and display which items the patron has ready to pick up.
- Branch staff can reply to the patron right from within Pickup Manager. Once the items have been checked out in the ILS and delivered to the patron, staff will mark the pickup ticket as completed.
- Optionally, Pickup Manager can email a follow-up survey to the patron after their completed pickup. This can help branch staff assess their service quality and view patron feedback.
Check out the sections below to learn more about setting up and using Pickup Manager.
Connect your ILS to LibApps
Pickup Manager works with your Integrated Library System (ILS) to verify that a patron has holds ready for pickup when scheduling their pickup time. After entering their library ID/barcode and password on the secure LibCal booking page, Pickup Manager will check the ILS for holds that are ready to pick up for that patron. If holds are ready, the patron will proceed to selecting an available time slot. They'll also be able to see a list of holds they have to pick up, too!
To enable this integration, you must first add a connection to your ILS in LibApps. If you are not a LibApps admin user for your library, you will need to work with them and your ILS admin(s) to set this up. Currently, LibApps can connect with the following systems:
- Ex Libris Alma
- Innovative Interfaces Sierra
- SirsiDynix Horizon & Symphony
If your ILS is not listed above, you also have the option of setting up a generic SIP2 connection with your ILS, if it supports the SIP2 protocol.
Add user accounts to LibAnswers
Before a staff member can access the Pickup Manager interface, they must first have a user account in your LibAnswers system.
- Admin-level users in your LibAnswers system will, by default, be Admin-level users in Pickup Manager. These are users who can configure Pickup Manager settings, set up branch locations for pickups, and manage scheduled pickups for all branches.
- Regular-level users in your LibAnswers system cannot access Pickup Manager until an Admin user has added them to one or more branches. When adding a Regular-level LibAnswers user to a branch, they can be given one of the following access levels:
- Admin: these users can configure settings, control user access, and manage pickups for that branch only. This does not give the user access to other branches or to Pickup Manager system settings.
- Regular: these users are limited to managing pickups for that branch. They cannot access any branch or Pickup Manager system settings.
Admin-level users can add, edit, and delete users from within either Pickup Manager or LibAnswers. You can view and edit a Regular-level user's branch access when creating or editing their account.
Prepare LibCal for scheduling pickups
When you connect a branch in Pickup Manager to a space booking category in LibCal, patrons will use that category's public booking page to schedule their pickup times.
In LibCal, a category is a group of spaces that share the same booking limits, which are what define the frequency and duration of bookings. Often times, spaces in a category will also share the same hours, which define when spaces are available each day of the week. (However, individual spaces in a category can have different hours if needed.)
So, as with all space bookings, your LibCal admin(s) will need to set up this category's spaces, booking limits, and hours before patrons can start reserving pickup times. Here are some important things to consider when doing this:
- Do you want to create your category in an existing location? Or do you want to create a new location just for your pickup category? To decide what is best for you, consider that your category will inherit some settings from its location that may not be relevant to pickups.
- All categories in a location share base email templates for booking notifications, such as confirmation notifications that contain details about the booking's time and location. Templates can be customized to include additional details, such as for seat/space booking check-ins, which you may not want to include in email notifications for Pickup Manager bookings. In this case, you may either want to use a separate location for your pickup category, or take advantage of the category-specific partial email templates to include pickup info only for those bookings made in your Pickup Manager category.
- If your location has enabled LibAuth Authentication, patrons will be required to authenticate via your institution's SSO system (i.e. SAML, Shibboleth, CAS, Active Directory, etc.). This would be an additional step to entering their library ID number and library account password, which Pickup Manager uses to validate the patron's holds. If you want to avoid the extra authentication step for pickups but still require LibAuth for other space, seat, or equipment bookings, you may want to use a separate location for your pickup category.
- Not sure which way you want to go? No worries! You can always move categories between locations later on.
- During which hours can pickup times be reserved each day? This will help you set up the hours for your space booking category.
- How many spaces do you need? In the context of Pickup Manager, a space is the actual pickup spot each patron can reserve.
- In general, you will need to add one space for each parking spot or drop-off point that you're providing.
- For example, if you have four parking spots reserved just for patrons picking up items, you would create one space for each.
- How long should a pickup time slot be? This will help you determine your category's booking start times and duration limits. For example, if you wanted each pickup time slot to be exactly 15 minutes long, make sure the Booking Start Times, Minimum Duration, and Maximum Duration settings match, like so:
- Booking Start times available every X mins = 15 minutes
- Booking Maximum Duration = 15 minutes
- Booking Minimum Duration = 15 minutes
- Should there be any limits on booking pickup times? Optionally, you can choose to set limits on the duration and frequency of patron bookings, including:
- Booking lead time: choose how far in advance a patron must reserve a time slot
- Padding before and after booking: choose how much time (if any) should separate back-to-back bookings
- Single booking multiple spaces: choose whether to allow patrons to reserve more than one space at time
- Single booking same space multiple times: choose whether to allow patrons to reserve the same space multiple times
- User must cancel by: choose how far in advance a patron can cancel their booking before it begins
- Duration limit: choose the maximum number of minutes per day/week/month/year patrons can reserve (if any)
- Frequency limit: choose the maximum number of individual bookings per day/week/month/year/at a time patrons can reserve (if any)
- Back to back booking limit: choose how many hours a patron must wait between bookings (if any)
- Window limit: choose how many future dates patrons can view on the public booking page
Configure Pickup Manager settings
LibAnswers Admin-level users can configure the Pickup Manager's system settings. These are system-wide settings that will apply to all branches, including:
- Follow-up surveys: when enabled, Pickup Manager can send a brief survey to patrons following completed pickups. These automated surveys can help you assess patron satisfaction and review feedback.
- Email: Pickup Manager has a dedicated email address for sending messages to patrons. Similar to a ticket queue in LibAnswers, you can customize this address (the portion before the @ symbol) and the name assigned to outgoing emails (i.e. the "From" sender name). You'll also find customizable templates for the following Pickup Manager emails:
- User satisfaction email: when follow-up surveys are enabled, this is the email that contains a link to the feedback survey.
- Pickup reminder email: this is an email sent automatically to patrons reminding them of their scheduled pickup time.
- Macros: these are pre-written responses that staff can select from when replying to a patron's arrival notification. They can send a macro as-is, or they can add or edit text before sending the message. Not only does this save time, it also allows lets you provide consistent and clear communication to each patron.
Add branches to Pickup Manager
A branch is a location where patrons can pick up their holds. Each branch you add to Pickup Manager will be associated with a space booking category in LibCal. When a patron is notified that their hold is ready for pickup, they will reserve their pickup time slot using that category's space booking page in LibCal.
Once the booking is made in LibCal, it'll appear in Pickup Manager. When a patron arrives, they can text a specific keyword to the SMS number for your branch. This will notify branch staff the patron is ready, and even allow them to send replies via SMS back to the patron.
LibAnswers Admin-level users have access to all branches, but Regular-users must first be given access to a branch before they can manage pickups for it. This can be managed in a branch's Accounts settings.
Manage scheduled pickups
On the Pickup Manager Dashboard, you will be able to view, manage, and complete scheduled pickups for each branch.
- LibAnswers admin users can view and manage pickups for all branches.
- LibAnswers regular users can only view and manage pickups for the branches they've been given access to.
Under the Today Scheduled tab, you'll find a list of all pickups that have been scheduled for the current day, along with the time and pickup spot. Pickups scheduled for future dates can be found under the Upcoming tab.
When a patron arrives for their scheduled time slot, they will alert the library staff either by SMS or through Pickup Manager's built-in chat feature. These pickup tickets will appear under the Arrived tab. If a patron does not show up for their pickup by the end of the scheduled date, the ticket will appear under the Late Arrivals tab.
When the pickup is finished, staff will update the ticket to complete. All completed pickups can be viewed under the Completed page in Pickup Manager. If you have follow-up surveys enabled, this is where you can also see the ratings and comments provided by patrons.
Pickup Manager also provides statistics, allowing you to analyze the number of scheduled vs. picked up holds over time.