Advanced Bookings

"I think every penny we paid out adding the bookings module to Heritage was money well spent. It meant that we could get rid of the cumbersome hybrid (paper and electronic) booking system we had, add flexibility and responsiveness into the whole business of bookings, avoid mistakes and have information on bookings that is easy to access. It's also speeded up every part of the process."

Simon Webb, on behalf of the whole Religious Resource Centre team (Oct 2016)

"We have been using the advance bookings module very successfully for the last 2 academic years and have done 13000+ bookings. We use it to book equipment (from the LRC and our IT Department), classes into the LRC and satellite study areas, meeting rooms for departments and management team, and lecture rooms for large group presentations. Prior to having the bookings module there were separate paper-based systems for all of these, with each system with a different person and in a different location. Mistakes were often made when equipment was booked for use in a room which hadn’t been booked and was in use by someone else etc. Merging all the bookings into one system and using the Heritage Bookings module has made a huge difference as there is now only one contact for all bookings whether it is equipment, rooms or both. In the last college staff satisfaction survey 95% of staff were ”very satisfied” with the new booking system."

Julie Pickwell, Oldham 6th Form College (July 2009)

Virtually every library system available today can issue and return items at the time when they are required, but what about arranging to use resources in advance? Heritage Advanced Bookings offers the facility to to book any items for specific periods in the future. Advanced Bookings can cater for more than just the library – the facility to book items by the hour as well as the day means it is just as useful for booking resources such as rooms or equipment as traditional library stock.

A ‘Booking Planner’ is accessible to staff from the circulation form, which provides details of all the existing confirmed and tentative bookings for each item in the catalogue (be they copies of a book, meeting rooms or equipment). They can then select booking periods in the future on behalf of individual borrowers (using a ‘click and drag’ approach), and Heritage can ensure that the items will be available for collection at the appropriate time. If items might be required for loan by other readers between bookings, a ‘buffer period’ can be set to ensure that the item is returned in time for processing for the next booking (i.e. the preceding loan period will be automatically curtailed if necessary). Heritage provides three different methods of viewing future bookings, including the calendar (which defaults to the next seven months), the week (displaying the next seven days, for timed loans) and a display of all copies (up to seven copies shown at once) with the days/hours vertically aligned.

Summary of the features provided

  • Enables users to reserve items between two specified points in the future.
  • Bookings can be applied to timed loans as well as stock with day- based loans.
  • Timed bookings facilitate booking rooms, equipment or similar fixed resources.
  • Tentative bookings can be made, requiring confirmation by a specified time or date.
  • A buffer period can be applied to allow a reasonable time for the return or retrieval of an item.
  • An optional release date/time can be set so that items not collected or taken up can be re-allocated.
  • A log of all bookings placed is retained for statistical analysis.
  • The information controlling bookings is defined as an extension to the circulation rules.
  • A booking calendar displays future bookings for each item.
  • When a loan or booking request clashes with an existing booking an adjusted loan or booking period is offered.
  • Bookings can be applied to non-loan items, e.g. reference stock or facilities that would not be available for circulation ‘on demand’.

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