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Settings: Add & customize a branch

In Pickup Manager, pickups are organized and managed by branch. You can think of a branch as a physical location where patrons will pick up their held items. Each branch has its own:

  • LibCal space booking category: this provides a public booking page for patrons to view and schedule pickup times.
  • Pickup tickets: when a patron schedules a pickup time in LibCal, a pickup ticket is created in Pickup Manager. This is used to track the status of the pickup from start to finish.
  • User access: only staff users assigned to a branch can view and manage its pickup tickets (this includes system-level Admin users).
  • LibAnswers SMS number: when a patron arrives, they can alert staff by texting a specific keyword to the assigned LibAnswers SMS number.
  • Chat queue: as an alternative to SMS, each branch has its own online chat page users can use to notify staff of their arrival.
  • Hours of operation: Pickup Manager can auto-respond to SMS or chat messages sent outside of the branch's hours of operation.

Before you begin

To get started with Pickup Manager, you must have at least one branch. Because Pickup Manager works with both your LibAnswers and LibCal systems, we highly recommend you follow the steps below before you begin adding branches.

Step 1. Add user accounts for all staff members who will use Pickup Manager.

Before adding a staff user to a branch, they must first have an account in your LibAnswers system. You can add & manage accounts from within Pickup Manager, or from within LibAnswers.

  • Admin-level users in LibAnswers are also Admin-level users in Pickup Manager. These users will be able to set up branches and assign Regular-level users to them.
  • Regular-level users in LibAnswers cannot access Pickup Manager branches by default. They must first be added to one or more branches and can only manage pickups for the branches to which they're assigned.

Step 2. Identify which SMS number to use with each branch.

In order for your patrons to send and receive SMS messages when arriving for a scheduled pickup, you must connect a branch to the SMS number from one of your LibAnswers queues or the dedicated SMS number for the Pickup Manager.

  • If you only have one SMS number in LibAnswers, you can use it with multiple branches -- just make sure to use a unique keyword for each branch.
  • Or alternatively, you can choose to assign one or more branches to the SMS number that is dedicated to the Pickup Manager
  • You can also have certain branches connected to SMS numbers from LibAnswers queues and other to the Pickup Manager's SMS number.

Step 3. Set up the LibCal space booking category you want to use for each branch.

Each branch in Pickup Manager must be associated with a space booking category from your LibCal system. The category you choose will determine when pickup times are available as well as the length of each pick up time slot. When a patron books a space in that category, a pickup ticket will be generated for the associated branch in Pickup Manager.

If you're new to LibCal Spaces, spaces are organized by location. A category is a group of spaces within a location that share the same booking limits and (typically) availability times. A space is an individual area that a patron will book for a duration of time.

When preparing a category to use with Pickup Manager, please consider the following:

  • 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

LibCal will indicate when a category is being used with a Pickup Manager branch. You can still customize the settings & booking limits for these categories, but you will not be able to delete them while they're still associated with a Pickup Manager branch.

example LibCal space booking category displaying pickup manager alert

Accessing your Branch settings

Navigate to Pickup Manager by clicking on the blue Spring-To menu and selecting Pickup Manager from your list of sites.

the Pickup Manager link in the Spring To menu

To add, edit, and delete branches in Pickup Manager, click on the Settings menu and select Branches from the dropdown.

the Branches option under the Settings menu

Add a branch to Pickup Manager

  1. Under the Branches tab, click on the Add a branch button.

the Add a Branch button

  1. In the Branch Name field, enter the name for your branch as you'd like it to display throughout Pickup Manager.
  2. Click the Submit button.

the Create a new Branch modal window

After your branch has been added, you'll be taken to its Settings page. See the sections below for information about settings and user access.

Edit a branch's settings

To edit a branch's settings, click on its Edit () icon in the Actions column.

the edit icon for a branch

This will take you to the General tab of the branch's settings page, where you will find the following sections:

General settings

Under the General tab, you'll find the following options in the General panel:

the General panel

  1. Branch Name: the name of the branch as it appears throughout Pickup Manager.
  2. Associate with Queue SMS Number: select the SMS number from your LibAnswers queue(s) for this branch to use, or select the SMS number dedicated to specifically to the Pickup Manager.
  3. Branch Location: the address and/or directions to the branch, which will be included in pickup notification emails to patrons.
  4. LibCal Location: the space booking location & category in LibCal that will be used for scheduling pickup times.

 After making changes to any of the above settings, click on its Save button.


Under the General tab, in the Keyword panel, you can specify the keyword patrons must send via SMS when they arrive for their pickup time.

the Keyword panel

  1. Keyword: Enter the word(s) you want to use and click the Save button.
    • Any words sent in addition to this keyword will be displayed as a message in the dashboard.
    • Keywords can either be a single word, or multiple words (like "here main" or "here south") and are not case sensitive.
    • Keywords must be unique to each branch. You also cannot use keywords currently being used in a LibAnswers queue's SMS automatic keywords settings.

For example, if the keyword is set to "here", a patron would send a text message of "here" to the branch's SMS number. Pickup Manager would detect that keyword and update the ticket's status to Arrived automatically.

Hours of operation

Under the General tab, in the Hours of Operation panel, you can define the hours that each branch is open and available for pickups each day. If a patron sends the branch's keyword via SMS or starts a chat outside of those hours, Pickup Manager can respond automatically with a pre-defined message.

the Hours of Operation panel

  1. Operation Hours: use the Day dropdown to select a day of the week, then use the From and To dropdowns to set the day's open and closing times respectively.
    • Click the Add a Range button to add more hours to your schedule.
    • You can enter one or multiple ranges per day. For example, on Monday you could have one range from 9am to 12pm and another from 2pm-5pm.
  2. Off-hours SMS response message: enter the message patrons should receive if they send the SMS keyword outside of your operation hours (maximum 160 characters).
    • If left blank, the default message is "Sorry, our pickup service is not currently open, please come back during normal business hours."
  3. Off-hours chat response message: enter the message patrons should receive if they start a chat outside of your operation hours.
    • If left blank, the default message is "Sorry, the library is not currently open for pickup."

 After making changes to any of the above settings, click on its Save button.

Chat messages

Under the General tab, in the Chat Messages panel, you can customize the default messages patrons see if they launch the Pickup Manager's built-in chat page.

the Chat Messages panel

  1. Welcome Message: this is the message that patrons will see when they first navigate to the mobile chat, prior to sending in their first message.
    • If left blank, the default message is "Welcome to the Library Pickup Chat! Please use the text box below to send us a message and let us know you're here."
  2. No Librarians Available Auto-Response: this is an auto-response that patrons will see if they attempt to start a chat with the library, but no librarians are looking at the Pickup Manager for that branch.
    • If left blank, the default message is "Sorry, no one is available to answer this chat right now."

 After making changes to any of the above settings, click on its Save button.

Add or edit user access for a branch

To manage which users can access a branch's tickets or settings:

  1. Click on the branch's Edit () icon in the Actions column.

the edit icon for a branch

  1. Then, click on the User Access tab.

the User Access tab

Access levels

The User Access panel will display all of the user accounts that currently have access to that branch.

the User Access panel

A user can have one of the following access levels:

  • System Admin: these are those that have Admin-level accounts in your LibAnswers system. These users have access to all branches, settings, and tickets in Pickup Manager. You cannot remove System Admin users from a branch.
  • 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.

Add users to a branch

Regular-level accounts in your LibAnswers system do not have access to Pickup Manager by default. To give these users access to a branch:

  1. Click on the Add Users to Branch button.

the Add Users to Branch button

  1. In the Add Users to Branch modal window, you will select one or more users to assign to a specific access level. If you want to assign some users as branch admins and others as branch regulars, you will need to add them in separate batches.
    • From the Users dropdown, select the users to add to the branch.
    • From the Branch Access Level, select the access level to grant them.
  2. Click the Add Users to Branch button.

the Add Users to Branch modal window

Edit or remove a user

To change a user's access level or remove their access from a branch:

  1. Click on the Edit link next to the user you want to edit or remove.

the Edit link for a user

  1. In the Edit User Access to Branch modal window, select a new access level to apply from the Branch Access Level dropdown.
    • To remove the user's access to the branch, select the "No Access" option.
  2. Click the Save button.

the Edit User Access to Branch modal window

Set a branch to "Inactive" status

If you no longer want to use a branch for managing pickup tickets but want to retain its past data and statistics, you can set the branch to Inactive status. Setting a branch as inactive will:

  • Disconnect it from any LibCal Location
  • Disassociate it from any SMS numbers
  • Remove it from showing on the Pickup Manager dashboard
  • Stop allowing any new pickup tickets from being added to it
  • Remove its SMS keyword

To do this, an Admin-level user or Regular-level user with Admin branch access can:

  1. Under the Branches tab, find the branch you want to change and click on its Deactivate Branch () icon in the Actions column.

the Deactivate Branch icon for a branch

  1. In the Deactivate modal window, click on the Deactivate Branch button.

the Deactivate modal window

Once the page refreshes, the branch will appear in the list with "(Inactive)" next to its name.

example of a branch name with inactive status indicator

Reactivate an inactive branch

If you would like to resume using a branch that was set to Inactive status, you can reactivate it. Because deactivating a branch resets some of its settings, please note that you will have to:

  • Reconnect it to a LibCal Location
  • Associate it with an SMS number
  • Set its SMS keyword

To reactivate a branch, an Admin-level user or Regular-level user with Admin branch access can:

  1. Click on the branch's Edit () icon in the Actions column.

the Edit icon for a branch

  1. Under the General tab, in the Branch is Inactive panel, click on the Reactivate Branch button.

the Reactivate Branch button

Once the branch is reactivated, the page will refresh and you can modify its settings.

Delete an inactive branch and/or its pickup tickets

When a branch is inactive (see the section above), system-level Admin users will have the option to either:

  • Delete all of the pickup tickets from the branch (this will clear the branch's statistics)
  • Delete the branch entirely (this includes tickets and statistics, too)
Caution: deleting a branch and ticket data can't be undone
If you are considering deleting a branch and/or its pickup ticket data, please note that this action is permanent and cannot be undone. Please proceed with caution, as you will no longer be able to view its completed tickets or statistics.

To get started, click on the branch's Edit () icon in the Actions column.

the Edit icon for a branch

Delete a branch's pickup tickets

Under the General tab, in the Delete Branch panel, click on the Delete All Pickups in Branch button.

the Delete All Pickups in Branch button

You'll be prompted to click the button again to confirm your decision. Click the Are you sure? button to proceed.

the Are you sure button

Delete a branch entirely

Before you can delete a branch, you must delete its tickets first (see above). Once you do that, click on the Delete Branch button in the Delete Branch panel.

the Delete Branch button

You'll be prompted to click the button again to confirm your decision. Click the Are you sure? button to proceed.

the Are you sure button

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