Plugin / Book a Room

Colin Tomele

Description

Description

** IMPORTANT! A recent update requires you to add delimiters to your regex. Please check your Locale settings and make sure your phone and zip regex have a slash / at the start and end.**

Note: You need the Book a Room Event Calendar plugin to view the Event Calendar.

Backup before updating to 2.0 and above.

Commercial event calendars can be expensive, confusing for both staff and patrons, and are generally developed with businesses, not libraries, in mind.

We wanted to develop a system that is designed for libraries!

The meeting room system we developed and use was designed in-house by our marketing team and coded by our staff developer over the course of about a year. It has improved our workflow, lessened staff stress and frustration, minimized mistakes, and has made our staff and patron’s experience a better and more pleasant one.

Here are a few things we thought about in tackling this project:

  • Time
    • Whether you’re spending your precious off-the-floor time trying to make sense of yesterday’s meeting room requests, trying to contact today’s reservations after the power (and internet) went out, or are helping a patron sign up over the phone, any unnecessary or excessive time spent dealing with your meeting room system is time away from your other patrons. We started fresh and looked at what we needed as a multiple-branch library system instead of trying to make a cure-all for every situation. Because of this, we were able to simplify our workflow by saving time on managing requests. We also simplified the public forms so that staff spends little to no time handling the questions and problems that a more complex system can create.
  • Price
    • Since the setup and yearly fees of commercial systems can cost tens of thousands of dollars, we wanted to develop our own system that would be free (outside of our developer’s time). We knew from the start that if we could get it to work we wanted to share it with other libraries (or anyone interested) by making it open source and submitting it to the Word Press plugin repository, once we felt we had a finished project. We wanted to make sure that it would be easy to set up, simple to use, and provide a few workflow optimizations to save staff time. Our choice of platform had to be WordPress, an open source and free blogging platform that is one of the most used platforms available; it has a vast amount of plugins, tutorials, themes, and technical support forums available for free online. They also have a great online reference for plugin coding that is always up to date.
  • Bells and/or Whistles
    • Since we had used other systems for years, we had grown to know what had been causing the bottlenecks in our workflow. We made the public forms easier so staff spend almost no time answering customer questions or fixing mistakes. We simplified the management so that creating, approving, and editing reservations and events is more intuitive. Since it’s a WordPress plugin, it uses your own user accounts and doesn’t need to be themed separately from your site.
      In addition to simplifying our forms, management console, and installation, we added some things that would save addition time, as well as help during a crisis. Daily meetings can be pulled up instantly by date and printed or emailed directly from the page with one click. Lists of contact information for any day’s reservations can be pulled up and printed by date quickly and easily. Our forms have error checking that displays the error messages prominently and in English, not error codes. You can even quickly print out room signs that you can tape to your doors.

Ratings

4.7
7 reviews

Rating breakdown

Details Information

Version

2.8.2.4

First Released

08 Oct, 2015

Total Downloads

11,264

Wordpress Version

3.0.1 or higher

Tested up to:

4.9.12

Require PHP Version:

-

Tags

Contributors

Languages

The plugin hasn't been transalated in any language other than English.

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