FAQ content

Set up and customize Tickets & Passes

In this article

Does your library have—or hope to launch—a free admission program to museums, galleries, cultural centers, and more in partnership with local institutions? Part of the LibCal Equipment add-on, the Tickets & Passes module is an online platform for managing digital and physical passes that can be booked by your patrons online or reserved by staff on their behalf. Patrons can pick up the passes from your designated locations, receive them via email to print, or simply show the digital tickets as saved on their personal devices to institution staff for admittance. 

Depending upon your needs and the terms you negotiate with your institution partners, you can add various restrictions and requirements to the process, including:

  • Pass limits: set limits on how many times a certain type of pass can be booked per day, week and month, along with validity dates.
  • Pass admittance: determine how many adults and children a single pass will admit.
  • Patron booking restrictions: limit the number of passes a patron can book in a day, week, and month.
  • Hours exceptions: configure standard closures on certain days of the week plus exceptions for holidays and other closures.
  • Email templates: customize email templates for each institution with specific details, using the email tags to generate dynamic content.
  • Custom booking forms: collect desired information at the time of booking.
  • LibAuth: restrict bookings by requiring patrons to sign in.

This Springboard is intended for Admin users who will be responsible for setting up the Ticket & Passes module, including creating institutions, adding digital and physical passes, and using optional customizations. If you are looking for details about submitting and managing patron bookings, check out our Springboard for managing bookings for Tickets & Passes.

Before you begin

Institution Checklist

Being in partnership with one or more institutions, you'll need to discuss with each one how you'd like your passes program to work. Below are things to consider and establish upfront for each institution. This list is not exhaustive, and you may need future tweaks as your respective needs change, but it's a great place to start for determining your options, setting expectations, and gathering the necessary details for the initial setup.

Passes: Digital, Physical, or Both?

  • What type of pass does the institution—and your library—want to use: digital, physical, or both?
  • Will passes require a barcode? What format: UPC-A, UPC-E, EAN 13, or MSI?
    • At this time, a single barcode will be used for each digital pass type.
  • For digital passes,
    • Should patrons print their digital passes or is digital proof sufficient, i.e., can patrons pull up the pass on their phone to show museum staff for admittance?
    • Barcodes should be scannable from a phone screen—this is worth testing using the museum's equipment to be sure. 🙂
  • For physical passes,
    • Will these be provided by the institution or created by the library?
    • If your physical passes are durable and need to be returned to the library and checked in so they can recirculate, these will be set up in the equipment module.
    • If your physical passes are one-time-use only and are collected by the institution or otherwise do not need to be returned, consider printing digital passes for pickup at the library instead.

Pass Types and Limits

  • Are there special Terms & Conditions from the institution to communicate to patrons while booking?
  • For physical passes:
    • Pass limits are determined by the number of passes you add as items to an equipment category along with the booking limits applied to that category.
  • For digital passes:
    • Is there a date range for when a pass should appear as bookable (i.e., the validity date)?
    • How many times can a particular type of digital pass be booked each day, week, and month (i.e., the allowed uses)?
    • Does the pass have specific admittance limits?
      • Passes can be set up to admit a set number of adults and/or children, or with no set limit on the number of people that can be admitted with a pass.
      • Group passes are convenient for patrons, who can make a single booking to get one ticket that will cover their entire party, e.g., date night at the art gallery, a family visit to the children's museum, etc.
      • Passes can also be designed as single admission tickets.
      • A group pass counts as one booking. You may want to factor this into the limits above. For example, a monthly limit of 100 bookings for individual passes (equalling 100 people) would be very different from a monthly limit of 100 bookings for party-of-five group passes (potentially up to 500 people).
    • What instructions and info from the museum, if any, should be included on digital passes, e.g., hours, parking, exclusions, etc.?

Institution Hours

  • What days are not eligible for the Tickets & Passes program? You can block those off so digital passes cannot be booked on those days, for example:
    • Upcoming holidays, special events, closures for renovations, etc.
    • Days of the week that the institution is regularly closed.
    • Days that are normally open but that the institution doesn't want available for the program. For example, if they're swamped on weekends but it's slow during the week, passes may be eligible for weekdays but unavailable on weekends.

Getting started

After you've decided on the parameters of the program with your partner institutions, it's time to set up the Tickets & Passes module. The sections below will guide you through the process of creating institutions, adding digital and physical passes, and exploring optional customizations.

Admins will find these options by going to Admin > Tickets & Passes.

Navigating to Tickets & Passes from the Admin menu.

Create and customize institutions

Passes are organized by institution. This could be an art gallery, children's museum, cultural center, and much more—basically, any institution or organization that your library partners with to provide free admission via a digital or physical pass.

You can create as many institutions as you need, and set their access to be public, private, or admin only. Each institution can include a featured image, description, and terms & conditions. You can additionally customize each institution's email templates and availability to mark certain days as closed.

Learn more

Add digital and physical passes

Once an institution has been set up, you can add and configure its digital passes and physical passes. An institution can use either or both types at once.

For digital passes:

  • Patrons book a digital pass to attend an institution on a specific, designated date. It is valid on that date only.
  • Patrons receive a PDF ticket via email, which can include an optional barcode. The digital pass does not need to be returned to the library.
  • You configure the daily, weekly, and monthly limits on how many times a specific pass type can be booked, along with a date range for when that pass type is available.
  • Passes can be set up to grant single admission only, or as group passes to admit multiple people, broken out by adults and children.

For physical passes:

  • Patrons book a physical pass for a specific institution based on the day they want to pick it up from a particular library location.
  • Patrons keep the pass as long as the booking duration permits (as configured in its equipment category booking limits) and can visit the institution at any time during that checkout period. As needed, specific institution hours or closures can be communicated via the terms & conditions for the pass, printed directly on the pass, etc.
  • Patrons show the pass to institution staff for admittance but keep the pass. Patrons then return the pass to the library so it can be checked in and recirculated.
  • Physical passes are connected to the equipment module. Their limits are determined by the equipment category's booking limits. 

Learn more

Optional customizations

Tickets & Passes offer optional customizations to tailor the booking process to your needs or based on the specific institution. These options are found under the tabs on the Admin > Tickets & Passes page.

Additional customization options for under tabs: Booking Forms, LibAuth, Booking Restrictions and Settings
  1. Booking Forms: Go beyond the default name and email address fields to ask patrons specific custom questions as they complete the form to get a ticket/pass. Booking forms are applied at the institution level.
  2. LibAuth: Require patrons to log in via LibAuth to authenticate as members of your library before they can book. You must choose a single configuration for all institutions, but can deactivate it altogether or set group rules (when available) on a case-by-case basis.
  3. Booking Restrictions: Set limits on how many passes an individual patron can book in a period of time across all institutions.
  4. Settings: Here you can customize the appearance of your tickets and passes landing page by adding text and selecting the colors and patterns that display on the passes booking page.

Learn more