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June 2023

New LibCal Spaces UI Debut

LibCal Space's search-based booking user interface debuted in May 2023! This new UI enables patrons to find spaces by entering desired location, category, capacity, and date/time. The LibCal algorithm then finds availability for the exact - or similar - parameters and delivers the results for easy booking.

This opt-in, search-based booking page style is designed to be easy to use on phones, and it's also great to use on a computer. Patrons select their desired location, category, and capacity, along with the option to search by preferred time or for a particular space or seat - in case patrons have a favorite location they prefer to reserve! They can additionally select a zone and include accessibility and power requirements for the space. After selecting search, patrons are provided suggestions that match their criteria in a user-friendly list. If the available times don't match what they want, the system will present them with alternatives.

 

Example Spaces Booking Page

Feature Highlights

  1. Completely Optional: Admins can choose either the new suggestion-based UI or the existing availability grid - the new UI is optional.
  2. Mobile-Friendly: Patrons have a great mobile booking experience, from start to finish.
  3. Preview Before Committing: See how the new UI works before turning it on for patrons.
  4. Add Equipment to Space Booking: Patrons can optionally add equipment to their spaces booking reservation.

 

Sneak Peek: Tablet-Display Interface

If you thought that was all, think again!

A new dedicated tablet-display interface for wall-mounted tablets is coming soon! These specially customized screens will allow patrons to book, check-in, and check-out of rooms using tablet-mounted displays. Each space will have a direct URL to a dedicated tablet display just for that space, which can be used on any type of tablet to get to the new tablet-friendly UI.

Take a look at this blog post where we explored Duke University Libraries' implementation of tablets in conjunction with LibCal to book their Project rooms.

Example Tablet-Display Interface

 

Even More Coming Soon!

The find by room/seat name capability will be available soon! Keep an eye out for more information on its availability in coming weeks.

The integration with Smart Locks is also on its way, allowing patrons to have the door automatically unlocked! Fill out the survey on the left and let us know what brand of smart locks you're using (or are planning to use) so that we can ensure a smooth integration for you. 

Keep an eye on our blog and the Springshare Lounge for more news about the Tablet-Display Interface and everything else that's on its way!

 

Activate the New Booking Page Style

    This change is instant and system-wide. 

Following the steps below to switch to the Suggestion Based / Mobile Friendly booking page style will immediately change all of your public-facing Space and Seat booking grids, including widgets, to use the search-based method of booking. It affects all locations in your LibCal site. Likewise, if you switch back to the Availability Grid style, everything will update instantly to that interface instead. If you only want to explore, use the preview links.

 

  1. Go to Admin > Spaces & Equipment.
  2. Click the Settings tab.
  3. In the Spaces Booking Page Style panel, select the option Suggestion Based / Mobile Friendly.
  4. Click Save.
    • To switch back to the original grid style at any time, select Availability Grid and click Save.
Manage Spaces & Equipment

For more info on how to preview and opt-in to the new LibCal Spaces UI, check out this training video!