The Seat Bookings module is available as an add-on to your LibCal subscription. When enabled for your LibCal system, the Seat Booking module lets you make either entire spaces or individual seats within a space available for booking. This allows you to more easily advertise and manage a space's seating capacity. Because the same general settings & booking limits you can apply to a space's category are also applied to its seats, this allows you to:
- Enable staff mediation seat bookings
- Define the minimum and maximum duration of each booking
- Restrict the number of times or minutes a patron can book a seat by day, week, month, year, and/or simultaneously
- Limit how many days in advance patrons can book spaces
- Add padding time after a booking, allowing you to clean up and reset the seat before the next patron arrives
- By applying custom availability hours to a space, limit the hours a space's seats are available to be booked each day of the week
Adding and mediating bookings
The Seat & Space Bookings landing page allows patrons to look for available spaces and seats by location, or check in and out for their bookings.
To link directly to this page, append /r to your LibCal site's URL. For example, if your URL was mylibrary.libcal.com, you would access this page at mylibrary.libcal.com/r.
To start a new reservation, click on the Reserve button. This will take you to the New Reservation page, where patrons can look for available spaces and seats by location.
While your users can make bookings on their own from the public side of your LibCal site, new seat bookings can also be added via the staff interface. This can be helpful if a user needs help making a booking (in-person, over the phone, etc.) or you need to override booking limits for a particular patron.
Optionally, you can also require patrons to check in when they arrive for a seat booking and check out when they leave. This allows you to track the real-time occupancy of your spaces via the Spaces > Utilization dashboard.
- How can patrons submit & check in / out for seat bookings?
- Adding a seat booking via the staff interface
- Copying booking form info to create another booking via the staff interface
Mediating space bookings
Depending upon the nature of your particular library spaces, it may be useful to mediate seat bookings so you have more control over who is using seats in a given space. For example, let's say you have a really specialized space like a media studio. Since you may only have a few workstations available in the studio at one time, you may want to give priority to people working on class projects, or participating in certain courses. By mediating the booking requests for your studio's seats, you can review and approve each request that comes in.
Paying for seat bookings, issuing refunds, and viewing charges
If a space has billing charges set up for its bookings, patrons will be able to pay for those bookings online via credit card. If a patron is unable or forgot to pay online, LibCal also provides staff with a way to record in-person payments. Should a booking be canceled, LibCal will automatically initiate a refund for any payments made via credit card.
After a booking has been confirmed/approved, you can still make changes to the details, as needed. Edits to the user's name, booking form responses, booked seat, and start & end times can be made to any existing bookings.
- How to view and edit a seat booking's details
- How to change a seat booking's seat, start time, or end time
- Cancel a seat booking
Along with being able to edit the details of bookings, there are a variety of other management-related functions that you can perform for your bookings.
This includes the Utilization Dashboard, which allows you to monitor the current capacity of the spaces (and the seats within spaces, when applicable) of the location that you are viewing. You can use these numbers to help manage your social distancing policy and to quickly see how many spaces and seats are being used by your patrons.
In addition to showing the current occupancy details, the dashboard displays the most recent Booking Activity -- showing new bookings, check-ins, and check-outs. Each booking record can be clicked on to show the booking's details from where you can manually check the patron in/out for their booking.