Create and manage calendars in LibCal

Calendars allow you to create and share events with your patrons, but you can also create internal calendars just for staff use. Although only Admin users can create new calendars, Regular users will have the ability to create and edit their own events by default (though these permissions can be customized calendar by calendar).

Each public calendar has its own page in your LibCal site where patrons can go to browse upcoming events, view an event's details, and (if required) register to attend the event. You can also create several types of calendar widgets, which allow you to display your calendar's events on your library's website, in a LibGuide, or on other webpages.

Patrons can browse and search for events by title and description, but they can also filter your events by:

  • Date
  • Campus (if enabled -- this can also be renamed "Branch", etc., as you'll learn in this Springboard)
  • Location (you can even use one of your Space Bookings rooms, too)
  • Audience type
  • Category

This Springboard is intended for Admin users, who can create calendars and customize LibCal's system-level calendar settings (such as categories, audience types, etc.). If you are a Regular user looking for more info about adding events to a calendar, check out our Create and Manage Calendar Events Springboard.

Calendar management settings

Admins can add the Campuses, Locations, Audience Types, and Categories that all users can apply when creating their events. Admins can also create Event Templates, which can make it much easier for users to create events -- especially if you create the same types of events frequently (such as book clubs, story times, library instruction, etc.). That way, users don't have to enter the same titles, descriptions, featured images, audience types, etc., when creating a new event.

To get started, Admins can visit Admin > Calendars.

Event templates

An event template allows you to create blueprints for new events. If you find yourself creating similar types of events, such as events with the same times, campus, description, etc., you can create an event template to save all of that information. Then, you create those types of events in the future, you won't have to retype or copy & paste that same info over and over. It can be a huge time saver!

Only admins can create event templates, but anyone can use them when creating a new event. Just select the template you want to use from the dropdown in the Add New Event modal. The info from that template will automatically be copied into your new event, so all you have to do is fine tune it.

Example of creating an event from a template

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Audiences allow you to organize your events based upon their target demographics. For example, you could tag all of your Story Time events with an "Ages 5 and under" audience or your Book Club with an audience of "Adults". This makes it easy for your patrons to find events best suited to them.

When you add an audience, it will be available to add to any calendar or event template. Users will see a new Audience field when creating or editing their events, where they can select from one of the available audience categories. Keep in mind that, unlike categories, audiences are a system-level option, so calendars cannot have their own unique audience types.

Filtering a calendar by audience

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If you are part of a library system that has multiple sites (such as branches, libraries, or campuses), you can list at which site each event is located. This can be especially helpful when you're sharing one calendar with multiple sites. Only have a single site? No worries! This part is entirely optional and you do not need to set it up.

Although we refer to a site as a Campus by default, you can actually change this label to be whatever you'd like! For example, this could be a district, a region, a building, etc. -- whatever works best for you!

We recommend setting up your sites before you start creating calendars. That way, your event organizers will have a place to schedule their events so your patrons will know where to go.  :)

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Categories provide you and your patrons the ability to filter your calendar events by type. Categories are also helpful for browsing, as you can assign a specific color to events in a category to help them stand out. They also come in handy when using the Event Explorer, too, as you can filter your events by category (categories are also included when you export your Event Explorer data).

You can create as many categories as you'd like, but please note that they can only be used with public calendars (they won't display for internal calendars). For example, you could use categories to organize your book clubs, community events, workshops, and guest speakers. It's even possible to add subcategories (aka Second Level Categories). This can really help you fine tune how you organize your events. For example, under the top level category of Book Clubs, you could add a second level category for the each book club at your library.

If you had previously been using calendar-level categories to organize your events, you can actually migrate those to your system-level categories. That will give you the full benefit of being able to reuse those category types across all calendars, while also maintaining the associations between the former calendar-level categories and their events.

Example of using categories to filter the public calendar

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  • Create and manage system-level categories
    Learn how to create, edit, and delete system-level categories, which will be available to all calendars in your LibCal site. This will also show you how to convert calendar-level categories to system-level categories.

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Internal tags

Although optional, internal tags provide a way to classify your events for internal statistics and data gathering purposes and are never shown to the public. When events have been tagged with these new internal tags, you’ll be able to filter all statistical reports and event explorer pages by this parameter, which makes it easy to view all of the events tagged with “New Ideas” or “Funded by STEM Grants”.

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Locations are the actual places in each campus/branch where an event will be held. This could be a place like an auditorium, conference room, classroom, children's room, etc. The great thing about locations is that LibCal will check to see if a location is already in use when scheduling an event, preventing you from making double bookings. You can even change a location's status to inactive if it's not currently available. For example, if your meeting room is being renovated, you could set it to Inactive so it can't be used for new events. Once it's back online, you can change it's status back to Active.

If you are using the Spaces module for your library's room bookings, you will also be able to select those as a location when creating new events. That means you do not need to recreate those spaces in your calendar locations. For example, if you have already added your classrooms to the Spaces module, you'll be able to select them as locations when creating events. When you do, LibCal will check the space's availability during the event's date & times: if it's available, then a booking will be placed that is linked to your calendar event. Otherwise, LibCal will indicate that the space is unavailable so you can select a different one.

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Under the Settings tab, you'll find options allowing you to customize the appearance of your public calendar pages. These include:

  • The location of the calendar & event filters (top or left).
  • The default calendar view (card view, daily list view, or month view).
  • The daily list view event template.
  • The monthly view event template.

Both the daily list view and monthly view templates allow you to customize how events are listed in each calendar. The daily list view will display a list of events, including the title, description, date, time, location, audience, and categories. The monthly calendar view will display your events in a monthly calendar, each event displaying the title, time, and location. However, you can customize how these event listings are displayed -- adding, removing, and repositioning the content that displays for an event in the calendar. (Note: these templates only affect how events display on the calendar page. Once a user clicks on an event, your system's Event Page Template will be used. This can be customized under Admin > Look & Feel > Event Page Editor.)

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Creating and managing calendars

Only Admin users are allowed to create and delete calendars. They also have the ability to edit the settings for individual calendars, as well. However, they can also assign ownership of a calendar to a Regular user, which will allow that user to manage that calendar's settings.

Each calendar has its own separate user permissions, allowing Admins to control whether Regular users can create events, as well as which events they are allowed to edit. If you are using LibCal to manage calendars for multiple libraries or departments, these settings allow you to restrict each calendar's permissions to the appropriate staff members.

To get started, click on Calendars in the LibCal navigation bar.

The Calendars link in the navigation bar

Registration forms

When you enable registration for an event, you have the option to select a registration form that people must submit in order to register. By default, people only need to provide their name and email address in order to register. However, you can create customized registration forms that allow you to collect additional information. For example:

  • Patron status
  • Department or home library
  • Library or ID card number
  • Phone number
  • How someone learned about the event
  • What someone wants to learn from the event
  • Any special needs or accommodations a person might require

These responses are saved, allowing you to view and export them via the Event Explorer.

To create and manage registration forms, go to Calendars > Registration Forms.

Example of getting to the Registration Forms page

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Creating calendars

When creating a new calendar, there are a few key settings that you'll configure right away:

  • Calendar visibility: do you want this to be a public or internal calendar?
    • Internal calendars can only be viewed by logged in users, unless you give them a friendly URL. Then, only people who know the friendly URL can view the calendar.
    • Public calendars are visible to everyone.
  • Make "Registration Required" the default in the "Add new event" form: do you normally require patrons to register for events? If so, you can have event registration enabled by default when creating new events.
    • Default registration form: which registration form do you want to use by default?
    • Default LibAuth configuration: if you've added a LibAuth configuration to your LibApps system settings, do you want to require patrons to authenticate before registering? If so, you can select the default LibAuth authentication method to use.
    • Prevent duplicate addresses from registering in the same event: enable this option if you do not want to allow the same email address to register multiple times for the same event.
  • Friendly URL: this allows you to customize the URL of your calendar, which can make it easier to share.
  • Allow events to book multiple Locations/Rooms: do you ever have events that use multiple locations or spaces? If so, you can allow event organizers to select multiple locations when creating events.
  • Allow Regular account holders to modify any event: do you want to allow Regular users to modify anyone's events in the calendar, or just the ones they created? (You can further customize these permissions once you've created the calendar.)

Once you've created a calendar, there are additional settings you can customize, as well. These include more advanced calendar permissions, date/time formats, email templates, and much more. These can only be customized by Admin users, unless a Regular user has been assigned ownership of the calendar.

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Calendar settings

Looking for more info about specific calendar settings? Check out the links below for an overview of the different options found under the Calendar Settings menu.

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Related Springboards